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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 01:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,699

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Religious freedom vs. LGBTQ rights: Supreme Court sides with Catholic foster care agency

Source: USA Today

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled that a Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia may turn away gay and lesbian couples as clients, a major victory for conservatives with the potential to shift the balance between LGBTQ rights and the First Amendment's protection of religious exercise.

In one of the most significant cases before a Supreme Court that has shifted to the right in recent years, the justices handed down the most high profile defeat to LGBTQ rights advocates since a 2018 decision absolved a Colorado baker of discrimination for refusing to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

The catholic agency "seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for a unanimous court. "The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment."

Catholic Social Services said its religious views keep it from screening same-sex couples as foster parents. The agency, with a long history of placing foster children, said it shouldn’t be blocked from its work because of those views. Philadelphia countered that all foster care agencies are required to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Read more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/4155263001

U.S. Supreme Court rules for Nestle, Cargill over slavery lawsuit

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a lawsuit accusing Cargill Inc and a Nestle SA (NESN.S) subsidiary of knowingly helping perpetuate slavery at Ivory Coast cocoa farms, but sidestepped a broader ruling on the permissibility of suits accusing American companies of human rights violations abroad.

The 8-1 ruling authored by Justice Clarence Thomas reversed a lower court decision that had allowed the lawsuit, brought on behalf of former child slaves from Mali who worked at the farms, filed against the companies in 2005 to proceed.

The court ruled the claim could not be brought under the Alien Tort Statute, which lets non-U.S. citizens seek damages in American courts in certain instances. The business community has long sought to limit corporate liability under this law.

The lawsuits targeted the U.S. subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, the world's biggest food producer, and commodities trader Cargill, one of the largest privately held U.S. companies.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/business/us-supreme-court-rules-nestle-cargill-over-slavery-lawsuit-2021-06-17/

Supreme Court won't extend reduced charges to low-level drug offenders

Source: NBC News

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a revised federal law does not allow prison inmates to seek a reduction in their sentences for possessing small amounts of crack cocaine.

The court said the wording of one of the rare bipartisan achievements of the Trump administration, the First Step Act, which made sweeping changes to the criminal justice system, means that the law does not apply to low-level offenders, even though supporters said they intended it to do so.

Its decision was unanimous.

During the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s, Congress passed a law providing that someone arrested for possessing a small amount of crack cocaine would receive the same sentence as someone who possessed 100 times that amount of powder cocaine.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/supreme-court-won-t-extend-reduced-charges-low-level-drug-n1270675

U.S. Supreme Court limits reach of federal computer fraud law

Source: Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday limited the type of conduct that can be prosecuted under a federal computer fraud law, overturning a former Georgia police officer's conviction for misusing a government database to investigate whether a purported local stripper was an undercover cop.

The justices, in a 6-3 decision authored by conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, sided with former Cumming, Georgia police sergeant Nathan Van Buren in an appeal of his conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, reversing a lower court ruling that had upheld a jury verdict against him.

The justices agreed that Van Buren could not be convicted for misusing the database to perform the investigation because the information had been available to him as part of his job. Van Buren was charged after a 2015 FBI sting operation.

"This provision covers those who obtain information from particular areas in the computer - such as files, folders or databases - to which their computer access does not extend. It does not cover those who, like Van Buren, have improper motives for obtaining information that is otherwise available to them," Barrett wrote in the ruling.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/technology/us-supreme-court-limits-reach-federal-computer-fraud-law-2021-06-03/

Judge Awards Daily Mail More than $100,000 in Attorneys' Fees in Katie Hill Case

Source: NBC News Los Angeles

A judge who previously cited First Amendment grounds in dismissing the Daily Mail as a defendant in former Rep. Katie Hill's revenge porn suit Wednesday awarded the publication its entire demand for more than $100,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

The Daily Mail's website in October 2019 published nude photos of Hill taken by her former spouse, Kenneth Heslep, according to the former congresswoman's Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 22 and alleges state Civil Code violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yolanda Orozco eliminated the Daily Mail as a defendant on April 7, prompting the publication to file a motion to recover its costs in reaching that result. Finalizing a tentative ruling she issued Tuesday, the judge granted the Daily Mail $103,625 in attorneys' fees and $1,120 in costs.

While judges often award attorneys' fees amounts in amounts smaller than those requested, Orozco's ruling gives the Daily Mail the full total sought.

Read more: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/national-international/judge-awards-daily-mail-more-than-100000-in-attorneys-fees-in-katie-hill-case/2608612/?_osource=SocialFlowTwt_LABrand&&__twitter_impression=true

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy condemns Marjorie Taylor Greenes tweet comparing vaccinations to Holocaust

Source: CNBC

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned a member of his own party, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for comparing a company’s Covid vaccination rules with the treatment of Jewish people in Nazi Germany.

“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling,” he said.

CNBC has reached out to Taylor Greene’s spokesman for a response.

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/25/gop-leader-kevin-mccarthy-condemns-marjorie-taylor-greenes-tweet-comparing-vaccinations-to-the-holocaust.html

Florida expands gambling, joins ranks of sports betting states. But hurdles remain

Source: The Miami Herald

Florida joined the dozens of states that have authorized mobile sports betting Wednesday as legislators wrapped up their special session and ratified an agreement with the Seminole Tribe in the broadest expansion of gambling in a decade in Florida.

But don’t expect to start wagering on your favorite sports teams for a while.

Federal regulators must approve the deal, which expands the gambling monopoly in Florida for the Seminole Tribe, to make sure its guarantee of $500 million in revenue sharing with the state is fair to the Seminole Tribe and legal for the state.

“Congratulations on an historic compact with the Seminole Tribe of Florida,’’ said Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, at the conclusion of the vote, adding that the complex proposal “was a difficult one to navigate.”

Read more: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article251528698.html

Val Demings to run for Senate against Rubio

Source: Politico

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Rep. Val Demings is planning to run for the U.S. Senate, rather than governor, providing Democrats with a big-name candidate to take on Republican Sen. Marco Rubio next year.

For months, Demings mulled which statewide office to pursue, but decided she could do the most good by taking on the two-term senator, according to several Democrats familiar with her thinking.

“I would’ve supported her running for governor, but this is the right fit for her and for us,” said Alex Sink, a former Florida chief financial officer who narrowly lost her 2010 bid for governor against Rick Scott, who is now a senator.

“She’s going to draw a contrast between who she is and how she represents Florida vs. Marco Rubio, who a lot of people where I live never see him.”

Read more: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/news/2021/05/18/demings-running-for-senate-rubio-489137



I would have preferred that she run for Governor, because that race is more winnable and there aren't any candidates running that I think can win.

White House to work with states on reimposing work search requirements following GOP outcry

Source: Washington Post

President Biden said on Monday that the White House will “make it clear” that Americans on unemployment must take a job if offered a “suitable” one or lose their benefits, wading into an issue that Republicans have seized on in the past week.

The White House said it is directing the Department of Labor to work with states on re-imposing work search requirements for Americans collecting unemployment benefits. The Department of Labor will also soon issue a letter to “reaffirm" the rules of unemployment to ensure workers, employers, and states understand the rules of the program, the White House said.

In remarks in the East Room, Biden reiterated that the administration disputes GOP claims that April’s disappointing jobs data, released Friday, shows that unemployment benefits are too generous and causing workers to stay home rather than rejoin the workforce. And the White House did not announce a departure from prior policy on unemployment benefits. Still, the president’s remarks suggest that the White House is sensitive to the growing political criticisms over their handling of the issue. Several GOP-run states are moving to cut the unemployment benefits on their own.

“We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment," Biden said in remarks in the East Room. "There are a few covid-19 related exceptions ... But otherwise that’s the law.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/05/10/biden-unemployment-benefits/

New Georgia law legalizing college athlete endorsements also allows schools to take athletes' money

Source: Yahoo Sports

College athletes in Georgia are now allowed to collect endorsements and sponsorships. And their schools can take a significant cut of that money if they want.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed the state's new bill regulating athletes' name, image and likeness rights on Thursday. Kemp held his signing ceremony at the University of Georgia with a Bulldog backdrop in the athletic department's recruiting lounge. The symbolism was meant to be obvious for a law ostensibly designed to let athletes profit off their own image rights starting on July 1.

But there's a provision in the law that allows colleges to have significant control over athletes' endorsement money.

The bill that Kemp signed into law allows schools across the state to take up to 75% of an athlete's endorsement income. That cut would be deposited into a pool for all athletes at the school and then redistributed upon athletes' graduation.

Read more: https://sports.yahoo.com/new-georgia-law-legalizing-college-athlete-endorsements-also-allows-schools-to-take-athletes-money-143850090.html
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