Indiana Is Making It Harder for Minorities to Vote, Lawsuit Alleges – Pema Levy Aug. 10, 2017 3:41 PM


A new state law would close hundreds of polling locations in areas with large minority populations.

The Indiana chapter of the NAACP is suing state election officials to block a new law that would shutter hundreds of polling locations in a county with a large number of African American and Hispanic voters. The lawsuit, filed in federal court Wednesday, alleges that the law specifically targets a particular region of the state with a large minority, poor, and elderly population, impeding the ability of those voters to cast a ballot.

The law was signed by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in May, as Indiana was already increasing voting opportunities in whiter Republican strongholds while decreasing them in areas with more minority and Democratic voters. An investigation by the Indianapolis Star found that since 2008, when Barack Obama won the state, Republican officials have driven up turnout significantly in conservative, suburban areas by increasing the number of early voting locations. At the same time, they have driven down turnout in Democratic, urban areas by cutting the number of early polling stations. In May, the NAACP, its Indiana chapter, and Common Cause Indiana, a progressive watchdog group, filed a lawsuit over the disparity in early voting locations.

This spring, the Republican-controlled legislature added to this trend with the Lake County Precinct Consolidation Law. The law targets a single county that has the state’s second-largest African American population and its largest Hispanic population. Under the law, the county would have to eliminate or consolidate all voting precincts with fewer than 600 active voters as of the 2016 election. (Voters who are “inactive,” meaning that election officials have flagged them as potentially no longer residing in the county, are not counted, even though they are eligible to vote and often do.)

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A New Lawsuit Alleges Asylum Seekers Are Being Illegally Turned Away at the Border – Noah Lanard Jul. 13, 2017 3:08 PM


“This country must hear their stories and offer them the protection of the law.”

Traffic at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego.Josh Denmark/US Customs and Border Protection

In August 2016, Dinora Doe and her now-18-year old daughter arrived at the Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego fleeing death threats, kidnapping, and rape committed by MS-13, a gang that has terrorized citizens in Doe’s native Honduras.

On their first two attempts to enter the United States, both women were told (incorrectly) that Central Americans were not eligible for asylum, according to a court document. On their third attempt, a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official told Dinora she could cross, but only if she left her daughter behind. They chose to stay in Tijuana instead, where they remain today. 

Yesterday, Doe became one of six individual plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit filed by immigration lawyers and advocates alleging that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) illegally turned them away after claiming that there was no asylum in the United States.

The lawsuit, which is being argued by the American Immigration Council, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the law firm of Latham & Watkins, claims that Doe’s case is part of a systematic effort by CBP to prevent people from making asylum claims. In a call with reporters, the lawyers argued that border officials have misled, threatened, and physically abused asylum seekers in hundreds of cases to prevent them from entering the country. These families see the United States as their only refuge, said Baher Azmy, the Center for Constitutional Rights’ legal director.

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This Peruvian Man is Suing an Energy Company Over Climate Change: VICE News Tonight on HBO – Published on Mar 21, 2017


VICE News’ Arielle Duhaime-Ross travels to the Peruvian Andes where, for the first time, a single individual is suing a company over the effects of climate change.

In this case, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, a local mountain guide in the Andean town of Huaraz, claims that one of the most prolific greenhouse gas emitters in the world, the German company RWE, is partially responsible for the glacial melt which might cause a nearby lake to overflow and destroy his house.

 

Detroit Students Are Suing The State Of Michigan: VICE News Tonight on HBO – Published on Dec 5, 2016


This segment originally aired Nov. 18, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

In September, seven Detroit students filed a lawsuit against Governor Rick Snyder and other state education officials. They argued that the state of Michigan is violating students’ Constitutional rights by depriving them of literacy.

A senior at Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design named Jamarria Hall is currently taking his second year of pre-calculus. Math is his favorite subject, he told VICE News correspondent Jay Caspian Kang in Detroit.

“Really, I don’t think there’s even another teacher probably available to teach the next math class,” Hall said. “And even if it is, it’s probably not even no books for that math class.”

Hall is classmates with one of the unnamed plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Earlier this month, the state filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming there is no fundamental right to literacy.

Watch next: “This principle figured out how to get kids excited about going to school” – http://bit.ly/2g2geVl

 

 

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel said to fund Hulk Hogan’s Gawker lawsuit – Nellie Bowles Tuesday 24 May 2016 22.05 EDT


The billionaire investor, who has a difficult history with the site’s tech branch, is paying the legal bills for the ex-wrestler in his sex-tape lawsuit, Forbes reports

Peter Thiel once called Valleywag, Gawker’s tech branch, ‘the Silicon Valley equivalent of al-Qaida’.

Billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel is secretly funding lawsuits to financially ruin journalist Nick Denton and his media empire Gawker, according to a new report from Forbes.

Thiel – who co-founded PayPal, was an early investor in Facebook and has an estimated wealth of $2.7bn – is allegedly paying the legal bills for former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s fight against Gawker. Hogan, who sued Gawker for posting a clip from a sex tape, was recently awarded $115m, a decision Denton is appealing.

Thiel, a Trump delegate for California, has a long and difficult history with Gawker and its tech branch Valleywag, whose writers have posted critical pieces about him and worked to publicly out him with a 2007 piece: Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.

The Guardian has not been able to independently verify the Forbes report. However, Thiel’s dislike of Gawker is well known. He said in 2009: “Valleywag is the Silicon Valley equivalent of al-Qaida”.

Denton had told the New York Times on Tuesday that he had a “personal hunch” someone in Silicon Valley was backing the lawsuit, which has been carefully orchestrated to avoid allowing Gawker’s insurance to pay for damages.

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Fight Over N.C. Bathroom Law Escalates With State, U.S. Suing Each Other – By Valerie Bauerlein and  Devlin Barrett Updated May 9, 2016 12:18 p.m. ET


Justice Department says state law over transgender use of rest rooms violates civil rights

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the federal government ‘is attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina.’

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said the federal government ‘is attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina.’ —  Photo: Gerry Broome/Associated Press

RALEIGH, N. C.—North Carolina and the Obama administration filed dueling lawsuits against each other Monday over the state’s bathroom law, in a legal showdown that some experts said could settle for good the question of whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects transgender people.

The state accused the Justice Department of employing bullying tactics and federal officials countered the state is mistreating transgender people by telling them which restrooms they can use.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch told reporters in Washington, D.C., that the law amounts to “state-sponsored discrimination against transgender individuals, who simply seek to engage in the most private of functions in a place of safety and security—a right taken for granted by most of us.”

The Justice Department lawsuit “is about a great deal more than bathrooms,” the attorney general added. “This action is about the dignity and respect that we accord our fellow citizens.”

The Justice Department contends the access rights of transgender people are protected under language in the 1964 law that bars discrimination based on sex, race and other factors.+

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‘SpaceX Stole Our Best Minds’: Chip-Maker Sues Elon Musk Startup – DAVID AXE 03.31.16 10:00 PM ET


Outer space just got a bit more litigious.

Irvine, California-based computer chip-maker Broadcom has sued SpaceX—billionaire Elon Musk’s Hawthorne, California, space-exploration startup—for allegedly poaching five highly skilled engineers following failed negotiations between the two companies.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/01/spacex-stole-our-best-minds-chip-maker-sues-elon-musk-startup.htmlThis is not SpaceX’s first legal entanglement. And it surely won’t be the company’s last, as it also targets a lucrative government-endorsed rocket monopoly.

Broadcom, which employs more than 11,000 people and did around $7 billion in business in 2015, filed a lawsuit in an Orange County court on March 23 alleging that SpaceX lured away five Broadcom engineers and put them to work developing new communication technology, rather than paying Broadcom to perform the same work.

SpaceX, which does not disclose its revenue, builds and launches rockets for commercial and government customers including NASA. In December, the company successfully launched, and safely landed, a reusable Falcon rocket—the first demonstration of multi-use rockets that SpaceX believes will help drive down the cost of exploring space.

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