Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: With Scalia Gone, No More Government Broccoli and Legal Applesauce

Jessica Mason Pieklo & Imani Gandy

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died, launching a thousand think pieces on his legacy beyond government broccoli and argle-bargle applesauce.

A particularly moving statement on Scalia’s death is that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The Ferguson City Council effectively voted to reject the consent decree reached between Ferguson, Missouri and the Department of Justice (DOJ) over systemic racial abuses in the city’s police practices. Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, is having none of it, promising the department would respond by taking all “necessary legal actions to ensure that Ferguson’s policing and court practices comply with the Constitution and relevant federal laws.” Almost immediately after issuing that statement, the DOJ filed suit against Ferguson.

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By the way, don’t miss Imani Gandy’s brilliant explainer on consent decrees.

The New York Times has this piece on crisis pregnancy centers in California fighting tooth-and-nail for the right to mislead patients about all their reproductive options by refusing to provide them with information related to abortion clinics.

In another sign of an expansion of jurisprudence giving fetuses legal rights as people, a Colorado judge will allow testimony about whether Dynel Lane intended to commit a “fetal abduction” when she allegedly assaulted Michelle Wilkins and cut out her fetus in 2015.

A federal judge once again blocked a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

More good news from the federal courts: Crisis pregnancy centers can’t withhold abortion information from clients, a judge ruled last week.

Catholic leaders don’t care if the Zika virus is creating a reproductive health-care crisis; nobody is getting contraception or abortions if they have any say.

Parents in Connecticut who allege their high-school daughters were indoctrinated into a religious cult by three Spanish teachers and a high school counselor at their public school can move forward with claims the school violated their parental rights to raise their child in the religion of their choice and other First Amendment arguments.

Camille Cosby will be deposed in one of the many lawsuits her husband Bill faces.

A Kentucky lawmaker has had enough with anti-choice politicians in her state and has introduced a bill that would require men to first obtain a note from their wives before obtaining a Viagra prescription.

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