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Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Purvi Patel’s Appeal Is Around the Corner

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

In a matter of weeks, the State of Indiana will be back in court arguing for the right to prosecute pregnant people for not delivering a live baby.

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

An Indiana appeals court will hear arguments later this month in the case of Purvi Patel, the Indiana woman currently serving 20 years in prison after a jury convicted her of conflicting charges of feticide and neglect of a dependent. Rewire will have analysis and commentary as the May 23 arguments approach, but as this piece explains, even now her case has wide-reaching ramifications.

Speaking of Indiana, a few fire departments there have started offering “baby boxes,” slots where parents can “deposit a newborn anonymously and walk away, reassured that it is safe.” That’s great and all. But not prosecuting pregnant people would be even better.

I mean, even Alabama is going to start limiting prosecution of pregnant people in the states—specifically, those who use prescribed drugs during pregnancy. That said, those using non-prescription drugs while pregnant in Alabama can still be charged under the chemical endangerment law.

The reverberations from Scalia’s death keep on … reverbing. This piece from Eilene Spear, Jennifer Schaller, and Nicole Cudiamat Minnis at the National Law Review discusses the impact Scalia’s death will have on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, specifically.

Here is another horrific example of why the fight about religious liberties is about way more than birth control.

“U.S. Supreme Court” and “victory for labor” are not two phrases that typically go together, but thankfully for Seattle’s $15 minimum wage campaign, this time they do!

However, the Supreme Court won’t allow the attorneys for the late so-called D.C. Madam to release her customer records, which, frankly, makes me more curious about what’s in them.

The justices did tell the State of Alabama to review its death sentencing practices, though.

Is the name for the Washington football team so offensive that it should not receive trademark protection? A couple of cert petitions ask the Supreme Court to weigh in.
 
This seemed inevitable. Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore has been suspended from the bench over allegations that he “flagrantly disregarded and abused his authority” in fighting off marriage equality in his state. Again.
 

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