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Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Supreme Court ‘Friends’ Are Usually White Guys

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Of course, the nation's highest court would consider white men the most natural fit as a "friend of the court" in legal proceedings.

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

In “No One Could Have Predicted” news, when the Supreme Court appoints lawyers to argue as a “friend of the court,” the Court usually chooses white dudes.

Filed under the same “No One Could Have Predicted” category, radical anti-choice group Operation Save America is rallying support behind Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, who faces yet another removal from the bench for refusing to recognize federal law—in this case, marriage equality.

After a 50-year battle, a small town in Mississippi is being forced to desegregate its middle and high schools. And yes, it is 2016.

Meanwhile, a new report issued by ProPublica shows the software used across the country to try and predict future criminals is biased against Black people.

Remember when Oklahoma was botching executions? Turns out that after first receiving the wrong execution drugs, Gov. Mary Fallin’s (R) top lawyer told prison officials to “Google” the drugs they did receive. Thankfully, that didn’t happen and a last-minute stay means Richard Glossip remains in an Oklahoma prison. Alive.

The National Park Service continues to be a difficult space for women to work within, as this latest sexual harassment investigation—and the ensuing resignation of the Grand Canyon national park superintendent—shows.

And the financial services sector also continues to be a difficult space for women workers.

Or any industry, apparently. Even with some of the best employment law protections on the books, a New York court still ruled against a woman who claims she was fired for being “too cute” and perceived by her boss as a threat to her marriage.

Liberty Counsel is itching for any fight they can get on the issue of transgender rights, this time asking the Supreme Court to take up its challenge to a Fairfax, Virginia, school district’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

Judges in Texas have some interesting ideas concerning the state’s relationship to the federal government. Like the idea that a federal trial court judge would oversee “ethical education” of any Washington-based Justice Department lawyer in any case—state or federal—in 26 states over the next five years.

Bah. A federal trial court upheld Virginia’s Voter ID law.

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