law

CT Senate Democrats / Flickr

The Connecticut General Assembly returned to Hartford for a special session Monday, and while the state Senate spent the afternoon deliberating the two budget bills, the House of Representatives took up the "excessive force bill."

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Daily Joe / Creative Commons

The EPA has issued new guidelines for underground gasoline tanks, changes the agency hopes will beef up safety standards for containers underneath gas stations and convenience stores in Connecticut.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

Chris Campbell / Creative Commons

A landmark state education funding trial that was delayed in January is scheduled to take place later this year.

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader has appointed a trial lawyer as director of the planned American Museum of Tort Law set to open in the activist and consumer advocate's home town of Winsted, Connecticut.

Nader said Tuesday that Richard L. Newman will oversee the museum, which is intended to broaden public understanding of civil law and issues such as health and consumer protections.

Major decisions are expected this month, as the U.S. Supreme Court works its way through several cases still pending before it closes out its calendar for the 2014-2015 term.

It was an ugly scene. A fight broke out at a pool party in a McKinney, Texas, subdivision on Friday, allegedly after a white resident told a group of black teenagers to "go back to their Section 8 housing." Local cops show up in force. At some point, a bystander pulls out his cellphone and begins videotaping.

Diana Robinson / Creative Commons

Lots of awards were handed out in New York this weekend. The annual Tony Awards were given to the best Broadway productions of the year. But no amount of theatrical showmanship could top what happened in the Belmont Stakes.

American Pharoah completed horseracing's elusive Triple Crown.  Finishing a few lengths behind him in third place was Keen Ice, who is part-owned by two Connecticut residents. This hour, we speak with one of the local owners.

Keith Allison / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers have voted to reverse a state Supreme Court ruling -- which had been criticized by the media -- that said police are only obligated to release basic information about arrests to the public while prosecutions are pending.

Helder Mira / Creative Commons

The end of the legislative session is drawing near, which means it’s time for Where We Live to check in with some of our state lawmakers. 

(This post was last updated at 11:09 p.m. ET.)

It was a dramatic day on the floor of the United States Senate on Sunday. Unable to overcome parliamentary maneuvers by Sen. Rand Paul, the body adjourned and let three controversial provisions of the Patriot Act expire at midnight.

Trying to beat a midnight deadline during a rare Sunday session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to fast track a House bill that would overhaul the government's bulk collection of Americans' phone records.

The state senate has passed a workers compensation bill that towns and cities say would impose new "mega mandates" on them. 

The Safety of Rail Travel Across the Northeast

May 18, 2015
Mark Llanuza / f

Train ridership is higher in the northeast than anywhere else in the U.S. Last year on Amtrak alone, nearly 12 million people rode the Northeast Corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C.

Despite so much riding on the reliability of trains, government and industries responsible for maintaining the rail system have been slow to make crucial safety improvements.

A Glimpse Into The Dark Side of Technology

May 14, 2015
Charis Tsevis/flickr creative commons

We all depend on technology and its vast, positive potential on everything from poverty to medicine, but there’s a flip side. As we gear up for the Internet of Things, with greater connections come greater risks. 

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons

Hartford is one of the poorest cities in America. While there is lots to love about this city, like the fact that poor minorities are not subject to the police brutality seen in Baltimore and Ferguson, people of color who live in Hartford and who also happen to be poor share the same high levels of unemployment and urban decay seen in those cities. 

Chris Yarzab / Creative Commons

Is it time to rethink how we train our police? This hour, we take a closer look at police training guidelines both in Connecticut and across the nation. 

Margaret Almon / Creative Commons

The legislature is considering a bill that would regulate how homeowners display their house numbers.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

The state legislature has approved a bill aiming to protect the online privacy of employees and job applicants, but state analysts expect the law to impact fewer than ten people per year.

Michelle Malven/iStock / Thinkstock

A bill that would prevent local police officers from crossing into another Connecticut community to enforce their town's ordinances has cleared the House of Representatives. 

Wikimedia Commons

A compromise has been worked out between the state's automotive dealers and electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla. That's according to the co-chair of the state's transportation committee. 

The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department.

Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, a district that covers 8 million people.

Saying that Google has abused its dominant position in the search market "by systematically favoring its own comparison shopping product," the European Commission has sent a list of antitrust charges to the search giant. The European Union has also opened a new inquiry into the Android mobile system.

"I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service" and broken European law, says the EU commissioner in charge of competition policy, Margrethe Vestager.

Updated at 6:21 p.m. ET

Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas have approved changes to their respective "religious freedom" measures designed to answer critics who charged the laws were meant to discriminate against gays and lesbians by allowing businesses to refuse them service.

The amendments were passed by Legislatures in Indianapolis and Little Rock after a day of wrestling over the details of amendments to the measures.

Starwood

Connecticut’s Starwood Hotels and Resorts is one of the companies condemning efforts by state legislatures to pass discriminatory legislation. 

Ryan King / WNPR

After years of debate, controversy, and construction, commuters can finally take CTfastrak (aka, the busway). It's less than a week old, but how's it going so far? This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the long road to opening day for this bus rapid transit system.

Also, Governor Dannel Malloy is making the rounds on national television shows after he signed the first executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana after recently passed "religious freedom" legislation. The self-described "porcupine" governor is showing his quills to the country.

Despite criticism and protests, Arkansas legislators passed a religious freedom bill on Tuesday that is similar to the one passed by Indiana.

NBC News reports:

"Protesters gathered outside the governor's mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning. A final vote in the state House could come later in the day.

Gov. Malloy Office / Twitter

Governor Dannel Malloy signed an executive order Monday, banning all state sponsored travel to Indiana.

The Scramble Goes Clear

Mar 30, 2015
Aaron Stroot / Creative Commons

This weekend, HBO premiered a documentary about the Church of Scientology that has been generating headlines and controversy for months. What new information was learned from the film? This hour, we talk with someone who has written extensively about the church.

Also, a "religious freedoms" bill was signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Some businesses in the state are already receiving backlash from customers who won't do business in the state because of the law. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is expected to announce an executive order that will ban state-funded travel to Indiana. However, Connecticut is one of 19 other states with similar religious freedom laws on the books.

Update, 11:17 p.m. ET

The Indianapolis Star's editorial board is weighing in on the matter, rather loudly, in tomorrow's edition.

Update, 8:55 p.m. ET:

Two Democrat-dominated state governments, Connecticut and Washington state, joined the boycott against Indiana on Monday.

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