Legal Briefs: What’s Happening in the Law

January 26, 2015

Each week we bring you updates on the legal world.

Looking ahead

Capitol review of capital punishment. The Supreme Court will soon review drug administration protocol in lethal injections used in the United States. Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, will defend his state’s execution procedures. This comes after the botched execution in April of 2014. The Supreme Court intends to examine whether these procedures violate the Eighth Amendment and constitute cruel and unusual punishment. (The Washington Post)

Strength in numbers. In a new effort to combat cybercrime, a White House proposal seeks to incentivize sharing information about such attacks. Private companies that provide the federal government with information about the attacks will receive partial protection from legal action in response. By collecting a vast amount of information about the nature of cyber attacks, the White House hopes to organize its approach and enhance anti-cyber attack intelligence. (CNN)

Yes means yes. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed expanded provisions to the state’s sexual assault laws. Applying to private colleges and universities, the new law would require more explicit consent before engaging in sexual activity. In Governor Cuomo’s words, the law intends to combat “the imbalance of power that women face across the board.”(The Huffington Post)

Fantasy finances. The Washington legislature is considering a new bill that would legalize betting on fantasy sports leagues. Although currently placing money on such competitions is illegal, the new measure would reclassify fantasy sports bets from gambling to “contests of skill.” (The Seattle Times)

And in case you missed it

Big brief support. Several Democratic city mayors plan to file a legal brief in response to and support of President Obama’s recent executive orders on immigration. As of right now, 28 mayors have signed the brief, and five more intend to sign it in the near future. (The Hill)

Same-sex success. On Friday, Alabama became the thirty-seventh state in the union to permit same-sex marriage. A federal judge struck down the state’s previous ban, justifying her decision by citing the biological implications of same-sex marriage laws. Because “no evidence”has been presented that same-sex marriage bans “have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children…the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”(NBC)