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Federal horserace authority rules again blocked in 2 states
Law Firm Business | 2022/08/11 18:06
A national horse racing authority has again been blocked by a federal court from enforcing some of its rules in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

A north Louisiana federal judge last month had blocked the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority from enforcing its rules in the two states.

That ruling was put on hold last week by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But a revised ruling this week from the New Orleans-based appeals court keeps some of the limits on enforcement in place.

Rules blocked under the latest court order deal with the authority’s access to racetrack records and facilities, the calculation of state fees paid to the authority, and definitions of which horses are covered by the regulations.

The appeals court on Wednesday set arguments in the case for Aug. 30.

State and racing officials in Louisiana and West Virginia had sued to prevent the rules from going into effect.


Probation for woman who wiped up blood after killing spouse
Law Firm Business | 2022/08/08 02:42
A Florida woman who was acquitted of murdering her husband, a prominent official at the University of Central Florida, was sentenced Friday to a year of probation for tampering with evidence.

A judge sentenced Danielle Redlick in state court in Orlando.

Last month, a jury acquitted Danielle Redlick of second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Michael Redlick. Danielle Redlick said she had killed her husband out out of self-defense during a fight inside their home in which he had tried to “smother her to death.”

Jurors found Danielle Redlick guilty of evidence tampering for cleaning up her husband’s blood after stabbing him. Detectives found a pile of bloody towels, a bloody mop, bloody footprints and the strong smell of bleach in the house. She spent three years in jail prior to the trial.

Michael Redlick was the director of external affairs and partnership relations for the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at the University of Central Florida. He had previously worked for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Cleveland Browns and Memphis Grizzlies.

Court records showed that the Redlicks had been going through a divorce before the case was dismissed from a lack of action by Danielle Redlick, who initiated the court proceeding.

In a divorce petition, Danielle Redlick said the marriage was “irretrievably broken” and she was asking for alimony because she said she was unable to support herself without assistance. She listed herself as an unemployed photographer and multimedia professional.


Family loses Supreme Court bid to extend boy’s life support
Legal Watch | 2022/08/02 19:01
Britain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to prevent a hospital withdrawing life support from a 12-year-old boy with catastrophic brain damage, rejecting a bid by his parents to extend his treatment.

The parents of Archie Battersbee had aske Supreme Court justices to block a lower court’s ruling that the Royal London Hospital can turn off the boy’s ventilator and stop other interventions that are keeping him alive.

Archie’s treatment had been due to end at noon on Tuesday, but the hospital said it would await the decision of the Supreme Court.

Justices at the U.K.’s top court said Archie had “no prospect of any meaningful recovery,” and even with continued treatment would die in the next few weeks from organ and heart failure.

The judges agreed with a lower court that continuing treatment “serves only to protract his death.”

Archie was found unconscious at home with a ligature over his head on April 7. His parents believe he may have been taking part in an online challenge that went wrong.

Doctors believe Archie is brain-stem dead and say continued life-support treatment is not in his best interests. Several British courts have agreed.

The family appealed to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and wanted the withdrawal of treatment put on hold while the committee examines the case.


Massachusetts governor signs bill protecting abortion access
Legal Watch | 2022/07/29 19:16
A sweeping abortion bill designed to protect access to the procedure in Massachusetts at a time when many other states are restricting or outlawing abortions was signed into law Friday by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

The new law attempts in part to build a firewall around abortion services in the state after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade last month.

The law protects abortion providers and people seeking abortions from actions taken by other states, including blocking the governor from extraditing anyone charged in another state unless the acts for which extradition is sought would be punishable by Massachusetts law.

The bill also states that access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care services is a right protected by the Massachusetts Constitution; requires the state’s Medicaid program, known as MassHealth, to cover abortions; allows over-the-counter emergency contraception to be sold in vending machines; and requires public colleges and universities to create medication abortion readiness plans for students.

A unique Texas law banning most abortions after about six weeks is enforceable through lawsuits filed by private citizens against doctors or anyone who helps a woman obtain an abortion.


Louisiana Supreme Court’s chief justice reelected
Court Center | 2022/07/25 19:04
The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court has won re-election to another 10-year term.

Chief Justice John Weimer was automatically reelected when nobody signed up to challenge him by Friday’s qualifying deadline for the Nov. 8 ballot, The Advocate reported.

Weimer, 67, a former professor at Nicholls State University, first won election to the state’s high court in 2001. He won reelection in 2002 and 2012. In the latter race, he ran unopposed and returned campaign checks to contributors to his campaign.

On Wednesday, he was one of the first candidates to pay the qualifying fees and file the paperwork for the fall election. Weimer’s current term ends Dec. 31.

U.S. District Judge John deGravelles of Baton Rouge lifted a stay July 13 that had blocked the November election for the state Supreme Court’s 6th District, which Weimer represents. The stay arose out of a lawsuit filed in 2019 by the NAACP.

The lawsuit contends that two of the seven Supreme Court districts should have a Black majority in a state where about one-third of the state’s residents are African American. Only one Supreme Court district currently has a Black majority, the one represented by Justice Piper Griffin in New Orleans.

The 6th District, with about 600,000 residents, consists of 12 coastal parishes: Assumption, Iberia, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, and a portion of the west bank of Jefferson.

The federal court had stopped all Supreme Court races in May. Only Weimer was up for reelection this year. Justices run in staggered terms every two years. The next justice is not on the ballot until 2024.


Abortion clinic goes before judge to challenge WVa ban
Lawyer Blogs | 2022/07/18 20:00
West Virginia’s only abortion clinic was going before a county judge on Monday to ask that an 1800s-era law be thrown out so the facility can immediately resume abortions.

The Women’s Health Center of West Virginia suspended abortion services on June 24, the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The state has an abortion ban on the books dating back 150 years that makes performing or obtaining an abortion a felony, punishable by up to a decade in prison. There is an exception for cases in which a pregnant person’s life is at risk.

The ACLU of West Virginia has argued on the clinic’s behalf that the old law is void because it hasn’t been enforced in more than 50 years and has been superseded by a slew of modern laws regulating abortion that acknowledge a woman’s right to the procedure. One example is West Virginia’s 2015 law, which allows abortions until 20 weeks.

In motions before Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tera L. Salango in Charleston, the Women’s Health Center’s attorneys said abortion services are essential health care, and the state’s most vulnerable residents are put at risk every day they don’t have access to that care.

Staffers have canceled dozens of abortion appointments, fearing they or their patients could be prosecuted under the old statute. “When it was in effect, the statute was used to criminalize both people who seek and provide abortion care,” the ACLU said.


Court reinstates ban on lobster gear to protect right whales
Headline News | 2022/07/13 19:14
A federal circuit court has reinstated a ban on lobster fishing gear in a nearly 1,000-square-mile area off New England to try to protect endangered whales.

The National Marine Fisheries Service issued new regulations last year that prohibited lobster fishing with vertical buoy lines in part of the fall and winter in the area, which is in federal waters off Maine’s coast. The ruling was intended to prevent North Atlantic right whales, which number less than 340, from becoming entangled in the lines.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine issued a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the rules. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston vacated that ruling Tuesday.

The circuit court sent the case back to the district court level, but noted in its ruling that it does not think the lobster fishing groups that sued to stop the regulations are likely to succeed because Congress has clearly instructed the fisheries service to protect the whales.

“Although this does not mean the balance will always come out on the side of an endangered marine mammal, it does leave plaintiffs beating against the tide, with no more success than they had before,” the court ruled.

The ruling was the second by a federal court in favor of right whale protection in the past week. A U.S. District judge ruled last week that the federal government hasn’t done enough to protect the whales from entanglement in lobster fishing gear, which can be lethal, and new rules are needed to protect the species from extinction.


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