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June 17, 2021
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Biden Caps European Trip by Thawing Relations With Putin
President Joe Biden offered his Russian counterpart a chance to improve relations with the United States as the two sides vowed to open dialogue on several fronts.
by CAIN BURDEAU
House Sends Juneteenth Holiday Bill to Biden’s Desk
by BRANDI BUCHMAN
Texas Becomes Latest State to Allow Permitless Handgun Carry
by KIRK MCDANIEL
Mystery of Dimming Betelgeuse Solved
Turns out space can get dusty too.
by MADELINE REYES
Paleolithic Light Transformed Dark Caves Into Spaces for Art and Living
Firelight transformed how early humans utilized their rocky dwellings.
by JASON SANDEFUR
Column
Oregon Flouts Ninth Circuit Law
Court administrators in Oregon are enforcing an access policy identical to one that was enforced in California courts and found in violation of the First Amendment.
by BILL GIRDNER
Support for Biden Spending Plans Remains High While Popularity Takes a Dip
The honeymoon may not be over per se, but Americans’ feelings toward the 46th president have tempered some as the administration traverses the rocky partisan shoals of its second 100 days.
by CARSON MCCULLOUGH
Courts
California Ordered to Halt Prolonged Detention of Inmates With Mental Illnesses
The ACLU fought to halt prolonged detention of inmates found incompetent to stand trial.
by DUSTIN MANDUFFIE
Prosecutors Oppose Chauvin Retrial Motion, Calling Arguments ‘Scattershot’
by ANDY MONSERUD
Court Won’t Toss Confession From Woman Accused of Hiding Texas Soldier’s Body
by DANIEL CONRAD
International Criminal Court Swears in New Top Prosecutor
by MOLLY QUELL
Obituary
Brooklyn Federal Judge, Appointed by LBJ, Dies at 99
U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein is remembered as prioritizing humanity throughout his five-decade term, calling out the cruelty of minimum sentences and the drug cases where they abound.
by NINA PULLANO
Watchdog Slams Lack of Preparation for Growing Threat Against Judges
by KAILA PHILO
Across the Nation
American Samoans Are Not Born Into US Citizenship
A federal appeals panel says it is Congress, not the courts, that should decide whether to foist U.S. citizenship on people of a territory thousands of miles away who may not want it.
by AMANDA PAMPURO
Fourth Circuit Upholds Block of North Carolina Abortion Law
by ERIKA WILLIAMS
Minnesota Libertarians Ask Panel to Toss Ballot Access Rules
by ANDY MONSERUD
Ohio House Votes to Oust Indicted Former Speaker
by KYLE ANNE UNISS
Two Native California Species Slated for Endangered Species Review
The Temblor legless lizard and Santa Ana speckled dace have faced threats from climate change, wildfires development and invasive species — protected status could save their rapidly declining populations.
by SAMANTHA HAWKINS
Judge Likely to OK Decommission Plan for San Onofre Nuclear Plant
Southern California’s iconic nuclear power plant has remained a fixture along San Diego County coastline even after its closure in 2013.
by NATHAN SOLIS
NYC Democrats Trade Blows in Final Debate Before Mayoral Election
by JOSH RUSSELL
Texas Governor Unveils State’s Border Wall Project
by CAMERON LANGFORD
Read the Top 8
Court Rules for Man Who Killed Relative While Looking for Proof of Child Porn
by ROX LAIRD
Justice Department Sues to Block Aon’s $30B Purchase of Willis Towers Watson
by KAYLA GOGGIN
Podcast
This week on Sidebar
In episode 2 of our new podcast, we break down this spring’s dramatic — and right-leaning — Texas legislative session, the federal trial into the failure of a cryogenic tank containing human embryos and eggs, and an upcoming fight over California’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines.
Most Popular
GirlsDoPorn Actor-Recruiter Sentenced to 20 Years in Human Trafficking Scheme
by BIANCA BRUNO
Texas Couple Accused of Duping Black Victims With Pyramid Scheme
by CAMERON LANGFORD
City Must Face Claims of Man Shot by Police After Throwing a Book
by NICK CAHILL
Rulings
by KELSEY JUKAM
Batteries
A federal court in New York denied MTA Trading’s request to dismiss a complaint accusing it of breaching a purchase agreement with Energizer by reselling batteries to co-defendant Best Deal. Energizer claims the defendants have been falsely advertising that the batteries they sell online are new, confusing consumers and harming the battery company.
Cake Discrimination
A court in Colorado ordered Masterpiece Cakeshop to pay $500 to a transgender woman for refusing to make a birthday cake for her that also reflected her transition from male to female. The court ruled the defendants violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act’s prohibition against “discrimination in a place of public accommodation.”
Data Breach
The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of some of Rhode Island’s claims against Google’s holding company Alphabet pertaining to a Google+ data breach. 
Cigarette Tax
The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a federally chartered tribal corporation’s suit against California’s attorney general seeking injunctive relief against taxes imposed on inter-tribal sales of cigarettes. 
Kosher Meals
The Eighth Circuit upheld a ruling in favor of Iowa Department of Corrections and Iowa State Penitentiary officials on an inmate’s claims they violated his First Amendment right to freely exercise his Hebrew Israelite religion by refusing to supply him with kosher meals during Passover and Sukkot while he was being held in an administrative segregation unit. 
From the Walt Girdner Studio
Street peddler at night. From Walt Girdner's Europe collection.
Swing time. From Walt Girdner's America collection.
Bicycle cops on the streets of Paris. From Walt Girdner's Paris collection.
Beasts of burden plowing a field in Africa. From Walt Girdner's color collection.
Hot Cases
Union Dues
An Indiana teachers union is suing the state over a new law that requires teachers to complete a three-step process each year in order to keep paying union dues.  
Jesus & Mary Chain
Two founding members of the Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain sued Warner Music in federal court, claiming the label refuses their “second chance” demands to reclaim the copyrights to their work as required under the Copyright Act.
Unemployment Aid
A group of Indiana residents sued the state’s Republican governor over his decision to end participation in the enhanced federal unemployment insurance program offered during the pandemic, arguing the move violates state law and will prevent from being able to cover basic living expenses.
Juneteenth Holiday
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution establishing a national holiday for Juneteenth, the June 19 celebration of the emancipation of more than 250,000 slaves at the close of the Civil War. 
Human Resources
Former San Francisco Department of Human Resources manager Rebecca Sherman has been charged with two counts of felony forgery for allegedly falsifying documents that purported to settle a lawsuit with an employee who had filed a complaint. 
More News
Law
India Says Twitter Knowingly Not Complying With Local Laws
Lebanon’s Crisis Threatens One of Its Few Unifiers, the Army
Michigan Republicans Pass Bills to Add Voter ID Requirements
Politics
Iran Field Narrows as Candidates Quit on Campaign’s Last Day
Junta Troops Burn Myanmar Village in Escalation of Violence
Schumer, White House Back Repeal of Iraq War Authorization
Science & Technology
Security Flaw Found in 2G Mobile Data Encryption Standard
Spacewalking Astronauts Boosting Station’s Solar Power
GM, Ford Outdo Each Other With Electric Vehicle Investments
Environment & Health
Hong Kong Watching Chinese Nuclear Plant After Leak Reported
Southern Baptists Vote to Debate Sex Abuse Investigation
Covid Hits Ecuador Doctors Who Delayed Wedding to Treat Sick
Places
Throngs of tourists from all parts of the globe circle Rome's (arguably) most famous site, the Colosseum. The largest ancient amphitheater ever built --- and the largest still standing --- the impressive structure took just eight years to build, from 72 until 80 A.D. The colosseum could hold up to 80,000 spectators who enjoyed everything from gladiator battles, animal hunts, plays and executions. (Courthouse News photo / William Dotinga)
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