courts

Months after the Obama administration advised school districts that transgender students should be given access to bathrooms based on their gender identity, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the guidance from going into effect — for now.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states.

Jacqueline Rabe / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments continued on Tuesday in the decade-old school funding lawsuit filed against the state. 

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Giant health insurers fighting legal action against their merger plans will get their wish for separate trials. The D.C.-area judge who was charged with hearing the government’s anti-trust suits against Anthem and Aetna said he will only hear one of the cases. 

Jacqueline Rabe / CT Mirror

Closing arguments began on Monday in a decade-old lawsuit that claims the state's school funding system is unconstitutional. 

Alex Prolmos / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The U.S. Justice Department recently filed two lawsuits to block mega-mergers that would reduce the number of the nation’s largest health insurance companies from five to three.

The larger of the two multi-billion dollar mergers is a takeover of Connecticut-based Cigna by Indiana-based Anthem.

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Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents could see their health insurance rates go up starting January 1. Anthem is seeking an increase of nearly 27 percent for individual health plans sold on and off the state’s health exchange.

In Middletown, St. George’s boarding school has announced a settlement with up to 30 former students, who allege they were sexually abused. 

All summer long, the clock has been ticking on voting rights cases. Judges don't like to change voting rules too near an election, and November is creeping ever closer.

And the last two weeks, in particular, have been eventful: Five courts in five states ruled against voter ID and proof-of-citizenship laws.

There's still time for appeals and stays. But for now, advocates for voting access are celebrating.

"It's been like Christmas Day," one activist told CNN on Monday.

A federal appeals court has overturned North Carolina's sweeping voter ID law, ruling that the law was passed with "discriminatory intent" and was designed to impose barriers to block African-Americans from voting.

The ruling came from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The state is "almost certain" to appeal to the full court or to the U.S. Supreme Court, NPR's Pam Fessler reports.

Ned Gerard / AP

A Connecticut judge heard arguments in Bridgeport on Thursday on whether company documents of gun maker Remington Arms should be sealed from public view as it fights a lawsuit filed by families of some of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of Justice filed two anti-trust lawsuits on Thursday to block the mergers of four of the nation’s five largest health insurance companies.

A Baltimore judge has found Lt. Brian Rice, the fourth of six Baltimore police officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray last year, not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. That's the most serious charge Rice had faced; he was also cleared of lesser charges.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Six years after he was convicted on charges that he took a bribe in one scheme and tried to extort a city developer in another, former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez has gotten a reprieve from the state’s highest court.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The legal battle between the city of Hartford and the developers of its stalled and shuttered minor league ballpark has now begun in earnest.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

Yale University officials have asked the state not to pursue criminal charges against a former worker who destroyed a stained glass window depicting slaves in a cotton field. 

Updated at 10:00 p.m. ET with names of the victims and gunman

Two bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff was wounded in a shooting Monday afternoon at a courthouse in southwestern Michigan, according to Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey.

The gunman was shot and killed. The deputy sheriff was in stable condition, as was one civilian who was also wounded.

Bailey said the shooting took place on the third floor of the courthouse in St. Joseph, about 40 miles from the border with Indiana.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Most of us know the Miranda rights -- our "right to remain silent" -- even if we've never been arrested. But do you know the full history behind them? This hour, we talk to a local public defender about the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona.

A court in Spain has sentenced Lionel Messi, widely hailed as one of the best soccer players alive, to 21 months in jail for tax fraud. Messi 's father, Jorge Horacio Messi, received the same sentence, over not paying some 4 million euros in taxes.

Almost at the last minute, a federal judge has declared a controversial Mississippi law unconstitutional.

The law, HB 1523, would have protected religious objections to gay marriage, extramarital sex and transgender identities. The judge says it favors some religious beliefs over others and would codify unequal treatment of LGBT people.

The state's governor has said he looks forward to an appeal, but Mississippi's attorney general has expressed hesitation over appealing the case.

Months after he was granted a new hearing because of new evidence, Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder conviction was a key focus of the hit podcast Serial, has been granted a new trial, according to his attorneys.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed's conviction, saying in a memorandum that his attorney "fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment" in handling his case.

Announcing the news Thursday, attorney Justin Brown tweeted in all-caps: "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!!"

Protesters in Hartford Call for Ban on Deportations

Jun 28, 2016
WNPR

Protesters in Hartford called for a moratorium on immigration-related deportations after a U.S. Supreme Court deadlock that effectively killed President Barack Obama's plan to help millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. 

MGM Resorts International has suffered a setback in a bid to block development of a casino in Connecticut that would be a direct competitor to the $950 million casino the Las Vegas-based company is building in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors can be barred from owning weapons.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession.

The Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law requiring clinics that provide abortions to have surgical facilities and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law was predicted to close many clinics and further reduce availability of abortion in Texas; the court has ruled the law violated the Constitution.

Steve Masiello / Creative Commons

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by casino developer MGM Resorts International challenging the constitutionality of a Connecticut law creating a process for a possible third casino along the Massachusetts border.

The Supreme Court deadlocked when it considered whether President Obama had the authority to shield millions of immigrants from deportation.

The 4-4 tie — announced in a single sentence by the court — deals a major blow to the president and leaves in place a lower court ruling that put his plan on hold.

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the University of Texas' affirmative action program.

"The race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of petitioner's application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause," the court held.

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

Ned Gerard / AP

A state judge in Bridgeport, Connecticut heard arguments on Monday about whether a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer has legal merit to move forward.

By refusing to hear an appeals, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that left in place assault weapons bans in New York and Connecticut.

The high court declined to hear an appeal of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

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