law

The Colin McEnroe Show
9:15 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Overconfidence Is Overrated

Daylian Cain is an associate professor at Yale School of Management
Chion Wolf WNPR

Here's my favorite one. Eighty-four percent of Frenchmen rate themselves as above average lovers. Ninety-three percent of young drivers in another survey said they were above average. And, 68% of the faculty at the University of Nebraska place themselves in the top 25%.

All of those numbers reflect misplaced confidence. It seems to be genetically wired into us in certain ways.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 22, 2015

After Connecticut Teen Undergoes Chemotherapy, Questions on Informed Consent for Minors

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a 17-year-old cancer patient must continue chemotherapy treatment.
Linus Ekenstam Creative Commons

The story of Cassandra C, 17, dominated national headlines after she refused treatment for a curable cancer. The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed with a lower court decision that the Department of Children and Families can retain temporary custody of the girl, and force her to undergo chemotherapy. We hear from Cassandra's attorney about next steps for her.

We also talk with medical experts about informed consent. Should Cassandra and other minor patients like her be forced to undergo treatment?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

The Wheelhouse Looks for a Parking Spot

If you don't have a handicap permit, don't park here!
Credit Mr. Nygren / Creative Commons

There is a simple formula for restoring respect for democracy and other American institutions: just study everything that happens in Bridgeport and do the opposite.

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest-hosts with check-ins on Bridgeport, New London County, and Hartford. 

The capital city is part of a different formula: study how Hartford runs elections and do the opposite. Also, don't park in a handicap spot, especially if you're a lawmaker using your official state plates.

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Supreme Court
1:03 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Should Judicial Candidates Be Allowed To Solicit Campaign Money?

Judge Adrian Adams is helped with his robe by his daughters during a robing ceremony Friday in Gretna, La. Adams won a race for 24th Judicial District Court in November behind a campaign that raised a modest $22,350, including several four-figure donations from attorneys and law firms. Louisiana law, like Florida law, bars judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.
Brett Duke The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 8:56 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

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Environment
11:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

New Justice Department Environment Chief Takes Helm Of Gulf Spill Case

Cruden ranks the Gulf oil spill as one of the most significant environmental disasters of our time. It "deserves ... all of our energy to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," he says.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:37 am

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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White House
10:31 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama Task Force on Policing Includes Yale Law Professor

Tracey Meares, a professor at Yale Law School.
Marquette University Law School

Yale Law School professor Tracey Meares is a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which meets for the first time publicly on Tuesday.

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Policing
4:08 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

New Taser Law Takes Effect in Connecticut

A Taser stun gun.
Credit Playing Futures: Applied Nomadology / Creative Commons

The reform is the first of its kind in the nation, and it works like this: every time police fire a Taser, they'll have to file a "use of force report."

"It's a very thorough report," said David McGuire with the ACLU of Connecticut. "It goes through the person's race, their age, their height, their weight; how the Taser was used; what mode it was used in; how many times it was fired; whether the person had an injury; whether medical assistance was provided."

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Medical Decisions
7:56 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Can Connecticut Force A Teenage Girl To Undergo Chemotherapy?

Jackie Fortin's daughter, Cassandra, last summer.
Courtesy of Jackie Fortin

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 5:58 pm

Update at 3:05 ET: The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday afternoon that the state can require Cassandra to continue treatment.

Her mother, Jackie Fortin, said she's disappointed by the decision. "She knows I love her and I'm going to keep fighting for her because this is her decision," Fortin said. "I know more than anyone, more than DCF, that my daughter is old enough, mature enough to make a decision. If she wasn't, I'd be making that decision."

Here's our original story, reported Thursday morning:

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Where We Live
10:45 am
Wed January 7, 2015

The Wheelhouse: Inauguration Edition

Brian Dowling, Hartford Courant
Chion Wolf

It’s inauguration day in Connecticut! And it’s also Wednesday...and that means The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable. How convenient is that?

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Boston Bomber
6:50 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Jury Selection To Begin Monday In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 1:23 pm

The search begins Monday for the jurors who will decide the fate of the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was the deadliest act of terrorism in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks, and the trial is one that many have been waiting for.

A couple of dozen survivors are expected in court for at least part of the trial — including Heather Abbott, who lost a leg in the attack. She's hoping for answers to both why and how the bombing was carried out.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:23 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Hartford Convention: 200 Years Since We Started the Fight Over States' Rights

Matt Warshauer is a professor of History at Central Connecticut State University and the author of several books including "Connecticut in the American Civil War"
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legend holds that years after the the Hartford Convention, a visitor from the South was touring the Old State House and asked to be shown the room where the Convention met. Ushered into the Senate chamber, the southerner looked at the crimson in the face of George Washington in the Gilbert Stuart portrait hanging here and said, "I'll be damned if he's got the blush off yet.

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Privacy
10:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

State Supreme Court: Arbitrators Outside Freedom of Information law

Connecticut Supreme Court in a WNPR file photo.
Diane Orson WNPR

The state Supreme Court has ruled that arbitrators are not covered by the state's Freedom of Information laws, denying the public's right to know what evidence is presented in arbitration hearings between teacher unions and school boards.

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Lawyers
8:06 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Former U.S. Attorney Gives Up Law License In Settlement

H. James Pickerstein was a federal prosecutor for 16 years.
Credit danielfela/iStock / Thinkstock

A former U.S. attorney has resigned from the bar rather than face disciplinary action on accusations he took money from a former client. 

The Connecticut Post reported that H. James Pickerstein waived his right Thursday to ever be a lawyer again as part of a settlement with the state Disciplinary Counsel. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri December 12, 2014

The Nose: The Pope's Pups, Sports in the Court, and The Lawyer Who Paid Too Much

Tracy Wu-Fastenberg is the Director of Development at the Mark Twain House & Museum.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Pope Francis changed our plans for The Nose today when it was revealed informally that the souls of animals may go to heaven. In fairness, the Pope was consoling a boy whose dog had died but nonetheless, the pronouncement kicked off a larger conversation that ranged from the outreach Christian wing of PETA - who knew there was one - to the National Pork Producers Council.  

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Setting the Bar
2:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

America, the Greatest*

Two of the Founding Fathers carved in stone.
Credit Dean Franklin / Creative Commons

The United States of America has always been imperfect. In some ways, it was designed that way. Despite the fact that their faces are on money and engraved into the side of a mountain, the "Founding Fathers" were actually humans with all of the flaws and fallacies that accompany the species. Many, if not all of them, knew that too.

At what point in history did America start thinking of itself the "greatest country in the world"?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 3, 2014

The Wheelhouse: 'Tis the Season for Resignations, Deficits, and Hartford Politics

It's that time of year again in Connecticut.
Credit Ben Pollard / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court will take up an issue that’s pitting privacy advocates against First Amendment proponents. Simsbury’s first selectman resigns after taking a big pay cut she says is illegal. Meanwhile, the City of Hartford has a race for mayor that's about to start.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses these stories, plus the cuts in state spending were not enough to eliminate a budget deficit.

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Politics
3:47 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

After Lawsuit Regarding Baseball Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Credit Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

It's time for a do-over.

The city of Hartford will hold a second meeting on zoning changes related to its $350 million baseball stadium development, because its first meeting did not meet state public notice requirements. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision, What's Next?

Memorial to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Jamelle Bouie Creative Commons

As the nation tries to better understand the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss what comes next. With widespread calls for change in the judicial system, how does that happen?

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Affordable Care Act
11:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Republicans File Suit Against Obama Administration Over Health Law

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:49 pm

House Republicans on Friday followed through on a threat to sue President Obama over actions he has taken concerning the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court against the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury.

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White House
12:08 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch For Attorney General Post

Loretta Lynch has handled or supervised a wide range of cases including New York police brutality against a Haitian immigrant, a $45 million cybertheft involving ATMs and the ongoing fraud prosecution of Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 3:33 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

President Obama today officially announced his nomination of Loretta Lynch, a two-time United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.

"It's pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than Loretta Lynch," the president said at a news conference today after praising the work of Attorney General Eric Holder.

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Elephants
2:10 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Limits On Ivory Sales, Intended to Protect Elephants, Stir Debate

Creative Commons

The Quinnipiac Law Review will hold a symposium this weekend about ivory trafficking, focusing on controversial ivory laws that went into effect last February.

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Early Voting Measure
4:54 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Connecticut Voters Reject Ballot Measure to Change Election Laws

Denise Merrill, Connecticut's Secretary of the State, brought up the ballot initiative in 2012 Gov. Malloy's support.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut voters rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have opened the door to more early voting options. 

The question on Tuesday's ballot would have given state officials new authority to pursue changes to election laws like having multiple voting days and expanded use of absentee ballots.

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New Haven
3:29 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

New Haven Developer Convicted of Arsons; Lawyer Suspended

Angelo Reyes during a previous court appearance.
Credit Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

A New Haven developer has been convicted of hiring someone to set fires in the city in 2008 and 2009. 

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Drones
11:31 am
Fri October 10, 2014

If Police in Connecticut Use Drones for Surveillance, Do They Need a Warrant?

Don McCullough Flickr Creative Commons

Experts on remotely piloted aircraft, also known as drones, convened at the Connecticut state capitol this week to discuss requiring police to obtain a warrant before using a drone for surveillance. The state has no laws governing drone use, which means if law enforcement uses the technology, they don't need to get anyone else's approval.

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SCOTUS
6:54 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Did The Supreme Court Just Legalize Gay Marriage?

People wait to enter the Supreme Court in Washington Monday as it begins its new term. The justices cleared the way Monday for an immediate expansion of same-sex marriage by unexpectedly and tersely turning away appeals from five states seeking to prohibit gay and lesbian unions.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 8:29 pm

Technically, the Supreme Court Monday did not establish a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. It merely declined an opportunity to rule definitely one way or the other on the question.

But in the not-too-long run, the consequences may well be the same. Because the situation the court created — or acknowledged — will almost surely continue trending in favor of same-sex couples who want to marry.

Conversely, the legal ground is eroding for states that want to stop such marriages or deny them legal recognition.

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

5 Questions About The Supreme Court And Gay Marriage In The U.S.

Jennifer Hasler (left) and Karina Tittjung smile after picking up their marriage license at the Oklahoma County courthouse in Oklahoma City Monday. When the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the issue of gay marriage, it opened the door for gay men and women to marry in 11 states, including Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana.
Nick Oxford Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 7:22 pm

On Monday, the Supreme Court surprised many when it refused to enter the contentious debate over gay marriage.

The court left intact decisions by three federal appeals courts that had struck down bans on gay marriage in parts of the South, West and Midwest. Attorneys general in five states asked the court to review those decisions and overrule them. But the court instead stepped back, leaving the lower court rulings intact.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 3, 2014

"Ag-Gag" Laws; Preserving and Celebrating Connecticut's Farmland

Lindsay Wilson Creative Commons

To date, seven of America's major agricultural states have successfully passed what are known as agricultural gag laws -- laws that restrict the investigation of animal abuse on major industrial farms. 

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Massachusetts
10:06 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Poll Finds Majority Oppose Casino Repeal

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:16 pm

A new poll finds a majority of likely voters in Massachusetts say they’ll vote against repealing the state’s casino gambling law.

The latest survey by the Western New England University Polling Institute found 52  percent of likely voters said they will vote no on Question 3, the casino law repeal initiative on next month’s Massachusetts election ballot.

Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said the survey of 416 likely voters found 41 percent said they would vote to ban casinos with just 6 percent undecided and 1 percent declining to answer.

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Business of Defense
7:48 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Sen. Murphy: Pentagon Spends Billions Overseas, Costs Jobs

Big contractors like Pratt & Whitney should be required to source more of their parts in the US, according to Senator Chris Murphy
Pratt and Whitney

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that in the past seven years, the Pentagon has spent more than $160 billion of taxpayer money on foreign-made goods. He’s accusing the defense department of abusing legislation that requires it to buy American.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Warning: The Scramble Will Automatically Download to Your iTunes

Credit David Goehring / Creative Commons

We're back today after a one-week hiatus. 

Ben Nadaff-Hafrey is also back, this time as our Scramble SuperGuest.

We start today with a conversation about the embrace of U2 by Apple, and end with a chat about embraces in general.

So, leading off earlier this month, Apple had one of its special events. When people stop what they're doing to watch a big company roll out a new product, in this case the iPhone 6, Don Draper would be drooling in envy, right?

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