law and courts | KUOW News and Information

law and courts

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Friday

Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to be appointed to New York's Court of Appeals, was found dead on Wednesday in the Hudson River.

She had been reported missing from her home in Harlem.

The New York Times reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that its affiliates had filed 13 coordinated Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, demanding government documents related to implementation of the president's executive orders on travel and immigration.

Many have wondered what Kshama Sawant's next fight will be, now that Seattle has a $15 minimum wage (to be phased in over several years). At City Hall on Thursday night, she'll make the case for legalizing rent control.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Members of the Seattle City Council have been quiet about the child sex abuse allegations against Mayor Ed Murray. Until now.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, left, walks past his husband, Michael Shiosaki, center, and his attorney, Bob Sulkin, to make a statement to media members Friday, April 7, 2017, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Ed Murray’s lawyer says a doctor’s exam shows sexual assault allegations against the Seattle mayor are false.


A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are continuing a hunger strike, according to immigrant advocacy group Latino Advocacy.

Latino Advocacy director Maru Mora Villalpando said up to 200 people were participating in the hunger strike Monday.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray speaks Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Jeannie Yandel talks to Seattle attorney Michael Pfau about the lawsuit filed against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray last week. He explains what happens now as the legal case proceeds and how it might be prosecuted and defended.

Pfau has tried sexual abuse cases against the Catholic Church, the State of Washington, the Boy Scouts of America and others.  

Dylann Roof, who gunned down nine people in the basement of a historically black church in Charleston in 2015, pleaded guilty to murder charges at a South Carolina state court.

In exchange, a circuit judge is expected to hand down a life sentence Monday afternoon, as The Post and Courier reported.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Liz Jones talks with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the role of local governments in federal immigration enforcement. The Attorney General's office produced a document that lays out best practices and policies for police departments, schools, hospitals, and other public agencies.

Read the full document online here.

Thursday is the day the judicial filibuster in the Senate is scheduled to die. There hasn't been much of an effort to save it, but there have been a lot of lamentations for the slow demise of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (WGDB), otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.

Here are five insights into what the death of the judicial filibuster means:

1. The winners and losers

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

When it comes to undocumented immigrants, what's your role as a city, school or hospital? Or cop?

Chicago police have now arrested two suspects in the brutal sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl that was streamed on Facebook Live. Both of those charged in the attack are teenage boys, ages 14 and 15, and police continue to look for more accomplices.

About 40 people may have watched the rapes on Facebook as they happened, but none of them reported the crimes to the police. That's raising ethical and legal questions about those who witnessed the crime, including whether they can be charged for their inaction.

Four conservation groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in an effort to limit the federal government’s use of deadly cyanide traps.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services killed a wolf using an M-44 cyanide trap targeting coyotes. The agency uses the devices to protect livestock from potential predators.

The governors of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska have written a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for forbearance with their marijuana policy experiments.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent an administrative subpoena to Seattle City Light on  January 31st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state’s highest-ranking judge is still waiting for federal immigration officials to write her back.

Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst requested that courthouses be off limits for immigration arrests. But that option will likely stay on the table for now.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says initiative promoter Tim Eyman violated campaign finance laws for personal gain. Ferguson filed a lawsuit Friday against Eyman and a signature-gathering firm he worked closely with. 

Faced with an expiring supply of a controversial sedative, the state of Arkansas plans to execute eight men over 11 days — a pace that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history and that has been criticized by lawyers and former corrections officials.

The state is set to carry out the executions two a day on four days between April 17 and April 27. Multiple lawsuits have been filed over the schedule, citing concerns about the speed. Arkansas' governor and attorney general say the deaths will bring closure to victims' families.

Chris Hayes, host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC
KUOW Photo/ Jason Pagano

Bill Radke talks to Chris Hayes, host of All In With Chris Hayes on MSNBC about his new book "A Colony In A Nation."

Most baby boomers say that they plan to keep working past conventional retirement age. But to do that, they have to get hired first. New research shows that can be harder when you're older.

Outside the home of her foster sister Renee Davis, Danielle Bargala breaks down in tears while talking about how Davis' young children are living with different families. Davis, who was pregnant, was shot at her Muckleshoot reservation home last October.
Dan DeLong for KUOW

The young mom texted her boyfriend: “Come and get the girls or call 911. I’m about to shoot myself.”


President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, to announce Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court. Gorsuch stands with his wife Louise.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Starting Tuesday morning, NPR Politics team cover the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A state Supreme court decision Thursday gives a Washington tribe the right to transport goods and services across state lines without taxation. Attorneys and tribal members said the case is a win on the side of tribal sovereignty.

King County's juvenile court and jail are located south of Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/jseattle

At any given time about 50 young people are booked into the juvenile detention facility on East Alder Street in Seattle. Some are awaiting trial, others are booked because there’s no adult to release them to. More than half are kids of color. 


Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson smiles during a news conference about President Trump's new executive order Monday, March 6, 2017, in Seattle. The new ban, which takes effect March 16, halts travel for 90 days for residents of Iran, Libya,
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The state will continue to press its legal case against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today.

Lois Silver

UPDATE: 3/08/17, 3:50 p.m. PT 

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 'dreamer' recently arrested near Seattle despite his DACA status, will remain in immigration detention.

A federal judge said he’ll make a decision early next week about whether to release Ramirez from a Tacoma lockup, where he has been held since Feb. 10. Ramirez is asking the court to find that his arrest violated his constitutional rights.

FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/av619h

Bill Radke speaks with Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel about the "gathering storm" around President Trump's attorney general. The Post broke the story that AG Jeff Sessions spoke twice with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, which sounds fishy because Sessions claimed under oath that he didn't have contact with Russian officials.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

President Trump signed a measure into law Tuesday that rescinds an Obama-era rule aimed at blocking gun sales to certain mentally ill people.

The GOP-majority Senate passed the bill by a 57-43 margin earlier this month, following a House vote to overturn the rule.

A measure under consideration in the Oregon Legislature would allow juries to award unlimited damages in lawsuits alleging negligence.

Juries can already award unlimited damages that are tied to actual economic harm done to victims. But the state has a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as "pain and suffering."

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it illegal to check your social media feeds while you're behind the wheel. A House panel takes up the bill Monday afternoon.

During a sentencing hearing in Texas two decades ago, a defense attorney for a man named Duane Buck called on an expert who said his client's race made it more statistically likely that he would commit violent crimes in the future.

Because of that statement, the Supreme Court has ruled 6-2 that Buck, who is black, can appeal his death sentence.

It's the latest development in a case that Chief Justice John Roberts describes as "a perfect storm" of circumstances that he says culminated in a lower court "making a decision on life or death on the basis of race."

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