Roundups Law and Policy

Gavel Drop: Brock Turner Appeal Quibbles About ‘Trash Bin’ Versus ‘Garbage Enclosure’

Imani Gandy & Jessica Mason Pieklo

Funny how the convicted rapist doesn't dispute that he assaulted an unconscious woman, just where the assault happened.

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

Brock Turner, the one-time Stanford University swimmer, is appealing his sexual assault conviction, partly on the grounds that the prosecution said that his unconscious victim was assaulted behind a trash bin, but it wasn’t a trash bin. It was a garbage enclosure. Yes, Brock Turner is an asshole.

Trump’s Muslim ban lives, at least until the federal courts of appeals rule on it.

In the New York Review of Books, David Cole of the ACLU (and co-counsel for the same-sex couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig appealing in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissionexplains the issues at stake in the case, which Cole argued before the U. S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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A Pennsylvania bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks and prohibit dilation and evacuation abortions (a common method for second-trimester abortions) is moving along in the Pennsylvania House. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has vowed to veto the bill should it reach his desk.

The outcome of a fight in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals about Texas’ voter ID law will depend on whether that court’s conservative justices believe that the Texas legislature intentionally discriminated against voters of color. U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, who presided over the case in a lower court, certainly believes it.

English professor Rachel Tudor won a nearly $1.2 million dollar judgment in her employment discrimination lawsuit against Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Tudor is transgender and alleged that she was discriminated against based on her gender and gender identity. The jury agreed.

Six actresses and scriptwriters have filed a civil racketeering lawsuit alleging that a group of companies comprised a “Weinstein Sexual Enterprise” that helped Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein silence and pay off his victims.

A group of Black firefighters has filed a lawsuit against the New York City Fire Department, alleging racial discrimination. They say they were denied promotions and equal pay.

A former chairman of the Colorado GOP was found guilty of voter fraud after he forged his ex-wife’s signature on a ballot. Steve Curtis said he accidentally filled out her ballot when he was confused during a nighttime diabetic episode and mailed it in the next day. Considering that the GOP is the party incessantly whining about Democrats committing voter fraud, the irony slapped us right upside the head.

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