law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can collect state sales taxes from online retailers on consumer purchases. The decision overruled a decades-old precedent that had protected out-of-state sellers from being required to collect such taxes.

A Chinese immigrant arrested during the bust of a sprawling illegal pot growing operation last November wants to withdraw his guilty plea. The man claims he didn't understand his conviction could lead to deportation.

A fish-friendly culvert in Washington state.
Flickr Photo/Washington DNR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cCuMVy

A tie in the U.S. Supreme Court may cost Washington state $2 billion.

The court split 4-4 Monday in a long-running court battle between tribes and the state over salmon-blocking road culverts.


The Russia imbroglio has brought Washington, D.C., to a crossroads that could have historic implications for President Trump and the nation.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller wants to interview Trump about what he knows and why he has acted in the way he has. The president and his attorneys have all but ruled that out. The president denies any wrongdoing.

Which side will blink?

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Facebook and Google for campaign finance violations. The lawsuits filed Monday allege the companies failed to keep records about who purchased political advertising from them.


The lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, VA
Flickr Photo/Global Panorama (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/nwpVJ9

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington professor Angelina Godoy about the settlement of a lawsuit against the CIA. The UW's Center for Human Rights has been seeking information about U.S. involvement in the civil war in El Salvador during the 1980's.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the 7-to-2 decision was on the narrowest of grounds and left unresolved whether business owners have a free speech right to refuse to sell goods and services to same-sex couples.

The Olympia city prosecutor's office confirmed to public radio Thursday that it will file animal neglect charges in the next day or two against the owner of an Oregon-based sloth sanctuary. This is fallout from a raid two months ago on a satellite center under development in Olympia, Washington.

The Swedish parliament has passed a bill that the government said, "states the obvious: if sex is not voluntary it is illegal."

The new legislation rules that sex without explicit mutual consent is rape. Previously, the law stated rape was committed only in instances where a victim was violently coerced or threatened into a sexual act.

Updated at 9:58 a.m. ET

Harvey Weinstein surrendered Friday to authorities at a police station in New York City, where the former Hollywood megaproducer has been charged with rape and sexual misconduct.

Weinstein arrived early in the morning at the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan, ushered into the station by law enforcement officers as members of the media crowded behind metal barriers. He kept his gaze lowered amid a barrage of shouted questions.

Michael Frank ran his finger down his medical bill, studying the charges and pausing in disbelief. The numbers didn't make sense.

His recovery from a partial hip replacement had been difficult. He had iced and elevated his leg for weeks. He had pushed his 49-year-old body, limping and wincing, through more than a dozen physical therapy sessions.

The last thing he needed was a botched bill.

His December 2015 surgery to replace the ball in his left hip joint at NYU Langone Health in New York City had been routine. One night in the hospital and no complications.

President Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday that he’s going to sign into law “big changes” to the Dodd-Frank banking regulations put in place after the financial crisis.

The bill passed the House late Tuesday, with supporters saying it would make it easier for midsize and regional banks to lend. It already passed the Senate in March.

The promise of adventure didn't do it. Neither did the lure of independence, or the weight of his 30 years. Instead, it took a judge to pry Michael Rotondo from his parents' home. The New York couple won an eviction order against their son after a judge argued with Rotondo for 30 minutes.

Sports betting
Flickr Photo/Baishampayan Ghose (CC BY-SA) / Flickr Photo/Baishampayan Ghose (CC BY-SA)

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the states can legalize sports betting.

In Washington state, that could only happen if the Legislature passes a law. And that would require a 60 percent majority.

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

The 15-year-old boy who pleaded guilty to igniting the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge last September could be required to pay more than $36 million in restitution to 11 parties related to fire damage.

Judge John Olson did not reach a decision on how much to award in court and said he would issue a written order on the amount of restitution as early as Friday. 

The unnamed Vancouver, Washington, teen did not attend the restitution hearing in Hood River County Thursday morning. He was represented by his attorney Jack Morris.

Updated at 4:22 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, dealing a symbolic blow to the FCC's new rule that remains on track to take effect next month.

The final vote was 52-47. As expected, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined Democrats in voting to overturn the FCC's controversial decision. But two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also voted in favor of the resolution of disapproval.

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

Uber riders who experience sexual harassment or assault will now be able to take their claims to court, instead of being forced into private arbitration, the ride-hailing app announced Tuesday.

Uber, like many companies, has a clause in its user agreement — and its employment contract — that requires a person to waive his or her constitutional right to take Uber to court. Instead, disputes are taken before a private third-party arbitrator, who is paid by the company.

Washington Supreme Court justices will be in northeastern Washington Tuesday to hear three cases in Nespelem, where the Confederated Tribes of the Colville are headquartered.

Rudy Giuliani, the latest addition to President Trump's legal team, spent much of the weekend trying to clarify statements he made earlier concerning his client's legal troubles.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A federal judge in Seattle has upheld, for now, Daniel Ramirez Medina’s DACA status.

Marijuana plants are shown in the flowering room at Grow Ambrosia in Seattle
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

A Seattle municipal court judge will decide if hundreds of marijuana convictions should be vacated after a request from Pete Holmes, the city attorney. 

If approved by the court, 542 people convicted of marijuana possession would have their records affected.

Oregon and Washington are joining a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in suing the Environmental Protection Agency and its administrator Scott Pruitt over the decision to roll back greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles built between 2022 and 2025.

The states argue those emissions standards for cars and light-duty truck models were put in place to help reduce carbon pollution and oil consumption.

Updated at 5:34 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains a graphic description of sexual assault.

A Pennsylvania jury has found Bill Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, setting up the comic legend for the possibility of years of imprisonment for drugging and sexually violating a woman 14 years ago on a couch in his Cheltenham, Pa., home.

FILE: U.S. Supreme Court
Flickr Photo/Phil Roeder (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/T2SxdT

Bill Radke talks to Lisa Marshall Manheim, associate professor at the University of Washington School of Law, about what arguments were presented in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday in favor and against Trump's travel ban. Washington state was among those suing the president over the executive order.

During intense arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices, by a narrow margin, seemed to be leaning toward upholding the third and current version of the Trump travel ban.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the deciding vote in closely contested cases, for example, made repeated comments suggesting that the court does not usually second-guess a president's national security decisions — even in the context of an immigration law that bans discrimination based on nationality.

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end deportation protections for some young immigrants, saying the White House was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to end the Obama-era DACA program.

In a blow to President Trump, who has long railed against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia said the Department of Homeland Security had failed to provide an adequate rationale for why the program is unlawful.

The sentencing of former Washington Auditor Troy Kelley has been delayed until the end of June while his attorneys seek to have Kelley’s federal conviction for possession of stolen funds overturned--or a new trial granted.

A memorial for Charleena Lyles is shown outside of Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Monday, June 19, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A Seattle nonprofit is no longer part of a lawsuit filed by the family of Charleena Lyles. A King County judge dismissed Solid Ground from the wrongful death suit Friday.

Superior Court Judge Julie Spector ruled that Solid Ground was not legally responsible for the police shooting.

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