law

Law
5:05 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Justice's 'Peacemaker' Unit Focuses On Transgender Rights

Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person to work as a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, helped to develop a new Justice Department program that trains law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of transgender people.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 8:20 pm

A groundbreaking survey reports that nearly 2 out of 3 transgender people say they've been victims of physical assault. Most of those crimes are never reported to police. This year, the Justice Department wants to change that by training law enforcement to be more sensitive to the needs of trans people in their communities.

Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole says its new training program is motivated by a simple yet powerful idea.

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Law Enforcement
4:24 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Advocacy Groups Want to Know When and How Police Use Tasers

Credit TASER International

The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut is calling for statewide regulations and clear policies on how the police use Tasers.

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Connecticut First
5:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Lawmakers Try to Ban Unemployed Discrimination; Bill to Ban Public Input in Subdivision Applications

Connecticut lawmakers are again trying to ban discrimination against unemployed job seekers. Advocates say the problem has not gone away even though the jobless rate has fallen from 9.5 percent in November 2010 to 7 percent in February. A similar proposal failed in 2012. The legislation would prohibit employers from mentioning in a job ad that being unemployed disqualifies an applicant.

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WAMC News
1:48 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Vermont Senate To Debate Lyme Disease Bill

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:17 pm

Doctors and other health professionals would be immune from professional conduct charges if they pursued a hotly debated course of treatment for Lyme disease under a bill given preliminary approval by the Vermont Senate.

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Horses
9:27 am
Tue April 8, 2014

A Lot Riding on a Bill to Limit Liability For Connecticut Horse Owners

Daryl DeCarli and Soldier on DeCarli's farm in Ellington.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

Are all horses naturally vicious? The State Supreme Court didn't answer that question in its recent ruling about a horse named Scuppy who bit a toddler in 2006.

However, a majority of justices agreed that all horses are inclined to bite. This presumption has upset horse owners and equine business owners in Connecticut, who say a lot is now riding on legislation that would reduce their liability to personal injury lawsuits.

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Is Another Water Revolution on the Horizon?

Virginia de Lima, Chief of USGS New England Water Center's Connecticut Office
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Each time you go to turn on the faucet, flush the toilet, or water the lawn, you’re connecting yourself to a complex water system with nearly two and a half thousand years of history. The structure of our modern network of reservoirs, pipes, and drains owes much of its influence to designs dating back to ancient Rome. 

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Gun Control
3:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Anti- and Pro-Gun Advocates in Connecticut Continue Their Fight

Gun control advocates rally at the capitol.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Gun control advocates rallied with Democratic leaders at the capitol Thursday, announcing a new effort to support lawmakers who passed last year's gun measures. The meeting came as pro-gun activists plan a rally of their own.

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Chimpanzee Attack Victim
4:02 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Legislative Committee Blocks Charla Nash's Request to Sue

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

A legislative committee is not allowing a Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack to sue the state and seek financial damages. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:31 am
Mon March 31, 2014

The Scramble Meets Charla Nash, Talks Politics With David Plotz

Charla Nash.
Credit Shelly Sindland / Shelly Sindland Photography

The Scramble, our Monday episode, is a wrap-up of the weekend's news, and a look at the week ahead. This hour, we have a conversation with Charla Nash, who is seeking the right to sue the state of Connecticut over the chimpanzee attack in 2009 that left her badly mutilated.

We also feature our SuperGuest, Slate Political Gabfest panelist, David Plotz. He's been thinking a lot about the high-budget involved in anti-technology films like the upcoming movie, Noah, and whether or not Hillary Clinton is too old to run for president.

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Law School Transparency
3:26 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Comparing Law School Rankings? Read The Fine Print

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:12 pm

When students go to law school, they make a bunch of calculations. A big one is cost: top schools charge more than $50,000 a year, and graduate-student debt is on the rise. Another key calculation: The likelihood of getting a good job after graduation.

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State Regulations
1:39 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bill Aims to Strike Obsolete Regulations

Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has submitted a bill that would eliminate about a thousand pages of regulation that's currently on the state's books. 

The regulations dealt with in the bill are pretty obscure. Malloy's office has dubbed them obsolete, duplicative or excessively burdensome. 

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Suing Connecticut
2:56 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Charla Nash Seeks $150 Million in Damages From State

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

As a matter of law, citizens can't sue the state, in order to protect taxpayer money. That's why there is a Claims Commissioner -- a government appointee tasked with deciding when it's "just and equitable" to waive state immunity.

Last June, the Commissioner decided immunity shouldn't be waived for Charla Nash, who is seeking $150 million in state damages.

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Prosecution
11:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Obama Nominates Daly as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly.

President Barack Obama has nominated Deirdre M. Daly as United States Attorney for Connecticut. Obama said Daly has extensive legal experience and a commitment to public service.

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Drug Free Schools
11:40 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Around Schools, a Potential Drawback for "Drug Enforcement" Zones

A new proposal aims to draw back the drug enforcement zones around schools from 1500 to 200 feet.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law proposes making drug enforcement zones around schools smaller. It's a measure aimed at giving teeth to a law that's been on the books since 1987.

Currently, if you're convicted of possessing or selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school, you're subject to mandatory jail terms. But in urban areas, especially, that 1500-foot area encompasses vast areas of residential space.

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Congress
7:41 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Feinstein's CIA Outrage Splits Senate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA publicly and at length of hacking Senate computers to spy on Senate aides and remove documents.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:07 am

The Senate was a chamber divided in reaction to Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein's diatribe against the CIA for allegedly hacking into Senate computers.

A no-nonsense Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to speak at length and publicly for the first time about a dispute with the agency.

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Sandy Hook
7:00 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Cyclists Ride From Newtown to D.C. With Message for Lawmakers

Team 26 Left Newtown on Saturday. They arrived in D.C late Tuesday morning.
sandyhookrideonwashington.com

A group of cyclists completed a 400 mile bike ride on Tuesday from Newtown, Connecticut to Washington, D.C. This is the second annual Sandy Hook Ride on Washington.

Team 26, a group of 26 cyclists from Newtown and around the country, left Newtown's Edmund Town Hall on Saturday. On the way to D.C., they held rallies in Harlem; Morristown, New Jersey; Doylestown, Pennsylvania; and Baltimore, Maryland.

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Tracing Your Roots
6:39 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Proposal Could Allow Adoptees to Access Birth Certificates

The legislation would allow adopted adults to access their birth certificate.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / Katelyn Kenderdine

A proposal that went before the Public Health Committee could allow adopted children access to their birth certificate if they are age 21 or older.

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Last Dry Town
8:13 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bridgewater Will Remain Dry, For Now

Bridgewater was ready for a town referendum lifting the ban on alcohol sales. A Connecticut law may keep Bridgewater a dry town for another 21 months.
Ray Hardman WNPR

A decades-old blue law has blocked the town of Bridgewater's effort to lift an ordinance prohibiting the sale of alcohol. That means Bridgewater will, for the time being, be the last remaining dry town in Connecticut.

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Legislative Session
10:03 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Drone Use Among Many Topics at Judiciary Committee Public Hearing

State Senator Eric Coleman.
Credit CT-N

A lawsuit brought against the Hartford Police Department has piqued interest in private drone use in Connecticut. The state legislature's Judiciary Committee is expected to address the topic, among others, during a meeting on Monday.

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Gun Control
8:48 am
Mon February 24, 2014

New Gun Law Poses New Questions About Those Who Break It

Joel Cramer.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It appears thousands of Connecticut residents may have failed to comply with the state's new gun registration law. The state banned the sale of certain so-called assault weapons after the Newtown shootings, and created a registry for residents who already own them.

Failure to register is a felony, but officials have no way to identify the new group of criminals, and no plans to round them up.

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Gun Control
4:21 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

New Law Stubs Toe On A Tough Unknown: Who Owns The Guns?

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Oh, Joe You Didn't!
3:37 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Trader Joe's Caught In Sticky Lawsuit Over Peanut Butter Pretzels

The Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel: The salty-sweet snack that launched a bitter lawsuit.
Courtesy of Tina Haupert

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.

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Weapons Registration
11:48 am
Sat February 15, 2014

Connecticut Will Accept Some Late Assault Weapons Registration Applications

A GR16 R4 Carbine assault rifle.
Credit Brian nairB / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection will accept and process several hundred applications to register assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines that were not received by the January 1 deadline.

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Civil Rights
10:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States, speaks at a Feb. 7 reception for baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in Washington.
Nick Wass AP

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

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Connecticut First
11:42 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Judge Upholds State Gun Law; South Carolina Company Apologizes for Email Ad

U.S. District Judge Alfred Covello upheld the state’s tough gun control law, while acknowledging that it affects Second Amendment Rights.  He said the measure is constitutional. In response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, State lawmakers added more than 100 firearms to the state’s assault weapons ban and restricted the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines. A lawyer for the plaintiffs said they’ll appeal.

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Courts
12:39 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Federal Judge Upholds Connecticut Gun Control Law

Credit Chris Reed/iStock / Thinkstock

A federal judge upheld the state's gun control law on Thursday, acknowledging that it affects Second Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Alfred Covello said in a ruling on Thursday that the measure is constitutional.

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It's All Politics
3:52 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Lawmakers Roll Out Voting Rights Act Fix

People wait in line outside the Supreme Court in Feb. 2013 to listen to oral arguments in the Shelby County, Ala., v. Holder voting rights case.
Evan Vucci AP

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.

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Code Switch
2:58 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Justice Department Prepares Broader Ban On Racial Profiling

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia on November 5, 2013
Matt Rourke ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 1:33 pm

The Justice Department is preparing to unveil new guidelines that ban racial, ethnic and religious profiling in federal investigations, a law enforcement source tells NPR.

The long-considered move by Attorney General Eric Holder could be announced by the end of January. Holder discussed the guidelines in general terms Wednesday in a meeting with New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio; a closed-door conversation that covered strategies for preventing crime "while protecting civil rights and civil liberties," a Justice Department spokesman said.

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Gun Control
12:15 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Some Women Decide Their Place Isn't In The Illegal Gun Trade

Most gun crimes are committed by men, but women also help buy, hide and sell guns for others.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 9:28 am

Most firearms in the U.S. start out in a state of perfect legality, sold by a manufacturer to a federally licensed dealer. But somewhere along the way, some of them cross the line and become what are called "crime guns."

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Immigration
10:11 am
Thu January 2, 2014

New Protocols Take Effect in Connecticut for Immigration Detention Requests

Credit fergregory/iStock / Thinkstock

New protocols went into effect January 1 that affect the way state law enforcement handles detention requests by federal immigration authorities. 

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