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Courts reject another Arizona immigration law

•  Headline News     updated  2014/10/20 12:50

Arizona's authority to confront its illegal immigration woes was again reined in Wednesday when a federal appeals court threw out a 2006 voter-approved law denying bail to people in the country illegally who are charged with certain crimes.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals follows other battles over the state's immigration policies, including rulings that struck down much of Arizona's landmark 2010 immigration enforcement law.

A small number of the state's immigration laws have been upheld, including a key section of its 2010 law that requires police to check people's immigration status under certain circumstances.

But the courts have slowly dismantled other laws that sought to draw local police into immigration enforcement as frustrations in the state grew over what critics said was inadequate border protection by the federal government.

Writers object after UK court bans abuse memoir

•  Headline News     updated  2014/10/20 12:50

Prominent writers say free speech is under threat after a British court halted publication of a celebrity's memoir of child abuse because his ex-wife argued that it would harm their son.

Three appeals court judges last week temporarily stopped publication of the book, which has already been printed and was due to be published this fall.

They described the author as a "talented young performing artist" whose ex-wife lives abroad with their son.

She argued the book would cause "psychological harm" to the boy, who has Asperger's syndrome and other disabilities.

The judges granted an injunction stopping publication of key sections of the book pending a full trial.

On Friday writers including Tom Stoppard, David Hare and Stephen Fry called the ruling "a significant threat to freedom of expression."

French court extends adoption rights to lesbians

•  Court News     updated  2014/09/29 16:48

France's highest court has ruled that married lesbians are allowed to adopt their partner's child born through in vitro fertilization or other medically assisted reproduction.

The Cour de Cassation's ruling is a consequence of the legalization of gay marriage in France last year.

France allows assisted reproduction only for heterosexual couples who have been together at least two years. The restriction has sent many gay couples abroad — many of them going to neighboring Belgium or Spain to have access to fertility treatment.

Upon return to France, French law recognized only the birth mother as the legal parent.

The court ruled Tuesday that married lesbians may adopt children born by their partners through assisted reproduction performed outside of France.

Court-martial for Missouri drill sergeant resumes

•  Law Firm News     updated  2014/09/29 16:48

The military court-martial of a Missouri sergeant accused of sexually assaulting eight female soldiers has resumed.

A verdict is expected Wednesday after a three-day trial for 30-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Angel M. Sanchez, who is accused of using his supervisory position with the 14th Military Police Brigade to threaten some of the women he was tasked with training.

Sanchez pleaded guilty to three charges at the outset of the military judicial hearing. His accusers said the incidents took place in the bathroom of the female barracks as well as in an office shared by drill sergeants.

Most of the allegations involved women at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, but some involved women in Afghanistan and Fort Richardson, Alaska.

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