Welcome to Gavel Drop, our roundup of legal news, headlines, and head-shaking moments in the courts.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard Indiana’s appeal to breathe life into SB 404, a law that bans doctors from performing abortions on teenagers without informing their parents first. A decision on the challenge, parts of which were barred from taking effect by another court, is expected within three months.
Do you want to watch Ginni Thomas interview her husband, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for her “Daily Caller News Foundation Series”? You do? OK. Here you go. Talk about #FakeNews.
Remember Google Bro James Damore? He’s the guy who got fired over the summer once his controversial Bro Manifesto about how gender difference means women aren’t cut out for the tech industry went viral. Since then, he has remained unemployed and dabbled with the alt-right, even admitting that he admires the titles, like “grand wizard,” that the KKK uses. He turned out to be a real gem. Well, he filed a class action lawsuit against Google last week alleging that Google discriminates against white conservative man. Yes, it’s OK to laugh.
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A Nebraska couple’s malpractice lawsuit against a Boulder, Colorado, clinic and doctor began last week over a later abortion gone awry. The couple alleges the doctor missed part of the fetus’ skull, which was found embedded in her uterine wall more than a year later and, according to another physician, required a hysterectomy to remove.
A Wisconsin school district agreed to pay Ash Whitaker, a former Tremper High School student, $800,000 to settle Whitaker’s discrimination suit. Whitaker, who is transgender, was barred from using the boys’ bathroom when he attended Tremper High and was subjected to surveillance and disciplinary action stemming from his use of the boys’ bathroom. As part of the settlement, Kenosha Unified School District withdrew its U.S. Supreme Court appeal and has agreed to allow Whitaker to use the men’s bathroom if he returns to the school as an alumnus or as a community member.
The fight over an amendment—Amendment 1—that would strip the right to an abortion from the Tennessee Constitution has come to an end: A federal appeals court last week upheld the 2014 vote that adopted the amendment, paving the way for the Republican-dominated legislature to enact stricter abortion restrictions.
Native American tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota have been filing lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors in an effort to hold them responsible for the addiction epidemic in indigenous communities. The lawsuits seek compensation for costs they have incurred due to the crisis.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two Fourth Amendment cases that will determine the boundaries of warrantless searches. One will decide whether police authority to search vehicles without warrants extends to vehicles kept on private property, including, potentially, those housed in a garage. The other will decide whether a person driving a rental car can be subjected to a warrantless search if their name is not listed on the rental agreement.
The federal judiciary is not immune from the #MeToo movement: Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said that she will be asking all federal judiciary nominees whether they ever committed sexual misconduct. While we admire the idea, it’s not like people tend to tell the truth about these things.