Courts

Reproductive Rights Groups Sue to Stop Oklahoma’s COVID-19 Abortion Ban

The Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) have filed an emergency lawsuit to nullify Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s ban on abortion procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Stitt issued an executive order temporarily halting elective surgeries, which he later specified includes all abortions not deemed “necessary to prevent serious...

U.S. Appeals Court Rules in Favor of COVID-19 Texas Abortion Ban

On Tuesday, March 31, a United States appeals court ruled to allow Texas to continue enforcing limits on people’s ability to obtain safe and legal abortions due to the state’s policy to postpone “non-essential” procedures in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a New York Times release by Reuters, “Texas and other states that...

Transgender Navy Officer Sues Pentagon Challenging Trump Transgender Military Ban

This week, a transgender Navy officer referred to as Jane Doe filed a lawsuit against the Pentagon regarding the Trump administration’s transgender military ban. Doe is seeking emergency relief to continue to serve in the military on the same terms as her cisgender peers, faced with involuntary discharge on the basis of her gender identity....

Immigration Courts to Stay Open During Coronavirus Pandemic

The Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review declared “operations as usual” for proceedings involving non-detained immigrants on Sunday night. The decision comes after Seattle’s immigration court was shut down last week after a report of second-hand exposure to coronavirus; it will remain shut until April 10. The order states that master calendar dates,...

French Priest Confesses to Abusing Dozens of Children

Earlier today Bernard Preynat, a 75-year-old ex-priest, was convicted and sentenced to prison for five years for sexual assault. Preynat admitted to abusing dozens of boys for nearly 20 years in Lyon, France. The case highlights the profound corruption within the Church’s establishments with the guilt of a top cardinal deepening the world’s understanding of...

Transgender Minors in NY Now Allowed to Change Their Gender Marker

Transgender individuals born in New York can now change their gender marker on their birth certificate before their 18th birthday thanks to a lawsuit by a 14-year-old trans boy, known only as M.H.W.   “Effective immediately, transgender individuals born in New York will have the right to make this deeply personal decision without the government’s...

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison

Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday morning. The sentencing comes after a jury found him guilty of rape and a criminal sexual act on February 24. He was acquitted of two counts of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape. Justice James A. Burke of the New York State Supreme Court...

Colombia Could Pave the Way for Abortion Access in Latin America

In the coming days, a high court in Colombia could rule to legalize abortion within the first few months of pregnancy. In a region known for restrictive abortion laws, this could be a landmark decision in Latin America. Generally seen as a regional legal trendsetter, the Colombian high court could shift abortion access in an...

ACLU Sues Seven Texas Cities for Passing Extreme Anti-Abortion Ordinances

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against seven small Texas cities with local laws banning abortion. The cities call themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn” and have passed laws that define abortion as murder, allow family members of abortion patients to sue providers for emotional distress, ban emergency contraception and birth...

U.S. Women’s Soccer Players Seek More than $66 Million in Damages

Players on the U.S. women’s national team are seeking more than $66 million in damages in their gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation. The papers were filed this past Thursday at the Los Angeles U.S. District Court. The trial date for the lawsuit is set for May 5. Included within these papers...

Attorneys General File Landmark ERA Lawsuit

Three attorneys general that represent the last three states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) have filed a lawsuit stating that according to Article V, the amendment must be added to the Constitution immediately. This lawsuit was brought forth by Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and Nevada Attorney...

Court Strikes Down Mississippi Law Banning Abortion After 15 Weeks

This past Friday a federal appeals court found Mississippi’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks unconstitutional. The ban was blocked from taking effect in 2018 after Jackson Women’s Health Organization—the only abortion clinic in Mississippi—sued the state. The fight came down to the argument that there is no medical evidence that proves a fetus is...

Seattle Man Whose Guns Were Confiscated for Threats Against Women has Guns Returned by Judge

A Seattle man, who made multiple gun violence threats on social media, had his guns returned to him by a judge. Charles Donnelly had his firearms, all legally owned, confiscated in mid-October after multiple threatening social media posts. Several weeks later, he returned to court and testified that the posts were only jokes. His lawyer,...

Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments on DACA Case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case. The Obama-era federal program that has allowed over 700,000 undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, was rolled back by the Trump administration. The initiative allows children of undocumented immigrants who’ve arrived in the US when at a very...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Rule Allowing Clinicians to Refuse Abortion Care for Moral or Religious Reasons

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday struck down a new Trump administration rule that would allow health care clinicians to refuse to provide medical services, such as abortions, to patients for moral or religious reasons. United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York rejected the rule on...

Federal Appeals Court Blocks Trump Administration Contraceptive Rule

The Trump administration issued a ruling to block the enactment of a Trump administration policy that would allow employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to provide birth control coverage in their insurance plans. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently joined the Third Circuit in...

Alabama’s Near-Total Abortion Ban is Temporarily Blocked by Federal Judge

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a controversial Alabama abortion bill from taking effect next month, ensuring the procedure remains available and legal while it makes its way through the courts. Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday barring the...

Jeffrey Epstein Victim Jennifer Araoz Names More Defendants in Sex Trafficking Ring

Jennifer Araoz, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, filed a new complaint Tuesday that names multiple women and more than 20 corporate entities she says enabled the wealthy businessman’s sexual assaults of herself and other young women throughout the mid-2000s. The complaint accuses four people of facilitating Epstein’s abuse of Araoz when she was 14 years...

Supreme Court to Hear Louisiana Abortion Case Next Term

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will take up a controversial abortion case next term, a first since Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Grouch have joined the court. Many are worried that the now conservative majority court will use this as an opportunity to rule against abortion rights.  The Louisiana case, June Medical...

In Mixed Ruling Virginia Court Upholds Two Abortion Laws, Overturns Two Others

On Monday, a federal judge gave a mixed ruling on Virginia abortion laws, overturning two restrictive laws, but upholding two. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled on the case that challenged four Virginia laws that restrict abortion access, commonly known as TRAP laws, or targeted restrictions on abortion providers. Hudson overturned two laws, one...