Legal Briefs: This Week in Law

August 26, 2013
  • Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing classified documents to WikiLeaks.  (Washington Post)  Manning’s announcement of a female identity named Chelsea Manning gives rise to new legal questions, including whether military prisons are required to provide transgender medical care.  (Courthouse News ServiceNY Times)
  • Ninth Circuit will hear arguments on how the Supreme Court’s recent DOMA decision impacts the question of whether attorneys may use peremptory challenges to exclude gays and lesbians from juries. (American Lawyer)
  • The Department of Justice will file a lawsuit against the State of Texas over the state’s voter photo identification laws.  (Department of Justice)
  • Fort Hood shooter found guilty, and while sentencing remains to occur it is unlikely Nidal Hasan will be executed, even if he does receive the death penalty.  (Al Jazeera America)
  • Seventh Circuit dismisses Scottie Pippen’s defamation claim again several news organizations, who falsely reported that Pippen was bankrupt, since he did not show that the defendants acted with actual malice.  (United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Federal court strikes down an amendment to Oklahoma’s constitution that prohibited courts from considering Islamic law when rendering decisions.  (Wall Street Journal)
  • Ninth Circuit holds that a police officer’s disclosure of fellow officers’ misconduct and abuse is protected speech, reversing the lower court’s decision.  (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)
  • Artist wins lawsuit on First Amendment grounds; his pictures of neighbors, who were unaware they were being photographed, were part of an exhibit in a New York gallery. (The Guardian)
  • Robin Thicke sues Marvin Gaye’s heirs, seeking a declaration that “Blurred Lines” does not infringe one of Marvin Gaye’s songs.  (BusinessweekForbes)  In other music industry news, Chubby Checker files a multi-million dollar lawsuit regarding a certain smartphone app.  (Esquire)
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California releases tentative order that the Southern California Institute of Law is required to post recent bar passage statistics, disagreeing with the school’s free speech argument.  (US District Court for the Central District of California)
  • One of the lawyers behind the “stop and frisk” decision explains his inspiration for pursuing law.  (ABA Journal)  The decision also raises the issue of what to do when allegedly effective policy conflicts with constitutionality.  (Slate)
  • Oklahoma judge issues temporary injunction blocking enforcement of state law that would require minors to have a prescription for the morning-after pill.  (NY Times)
  • Obama suggests that law school should be two years versus three.  (ABC News)