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Lawyers: airport shooting suspect ill but legally competent

Lawyers: airport shooting suspect ill but legally competent

Lawyers for the Alaska man charged in a Florida airport shooting rampage say he’s definitely mentally ill but is also competent to stand trial. The attorneys say in court papers that 26-year-old Esteban Santiago of Anchorage, Alaska has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. He’s accused in the Jan. 6 shooting that killed five and wounded six at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Santiago’s lawyers say he is taking an anti-psychotic drug and is able to com…
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Miami-based asbestos firm files tortious interference lawsuit

MIAMI (Legal Newsline) – A Miami-based law firm that typically specializes in asbestos litigation has filed a lawsuit against a former client and his South Carolina attorney for allegedly interfering with a business relationship in an effort to keep the firm’s fees to themselves. The Ferraro Law Firm PA, which according to its website handles a broad range of injury cases including those involving asbestos exposure and environmental toxic tort lawsuits, filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District…
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Pending storm stirs legal question over Tuesday elections

There was no calm before the storm, just lots of confusion. Local elections for most New Hampshire towns were scheduled for Tuesday, the day a nor’easter is expected. Many towns decided to postpone them, even though the secretary of state’s office said they couldn’t. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, following a conference call with towns and the attorney general, strongly recommended Monday that the elections be held. “We think that’s a very important part of the process,” he said. &quot…
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Florida Gov. Scott signs death penalty fix into law

Florida will now require a unanimous jury recommendation before the death penalty can be imposed under a bill signed late Monday by Gov. Rick Scott, who has remained relatively quiet about the problems with the state’s death penalty law in recent months. Lawmakers rushed to get the bill passed on the fourth day of their legislative session in hopes of fixing a death penalty law that’s been found unconstitutional twice since January 2016. It’s been seen as a better-than-nothing option for death …
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AP Exclusive: Under radar, Florida spent $240M on lawyers

Gov. Rick Scott and other top Florida Republicans frequently complain about government spending, but they have quietly spent more than $237 million on private lawyers to advance and defend their agendas, an Associated Press investigation has found. Florida taxpayers also have been forced to reimburse nearly $16 million for their opponents’ private attorney fees. That means an overall $253 million has been spent on legal fights in the last six years, including a water war with Georgia and losing…
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Massachusetts AG Healey weighing legal options on travel ban

Massachusetts AG Healey weighing legal options on travel ban

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said she’s considering all legal options in response to President Donald Trump’s reworked travel ban issued Monday. The Democrat described the revised ban as “a clear attempt to resurrect a discredited order and fulfill a discriminatory and unconstitutional campaign promise.” “My office remains opposed to this misguided policy and will consider all legal options to protect our residents, our institutions and our businesses in Massachuse…
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Proposal to repeal abortion laws heads to Idaho House

A proposal to reverse two anti-abortion laws in Idaho is headed to the House floor for debate after being approved on Monday at the committee level by lawmakers hesitant to loosen the state’s tough anti-abortion stance. Earlier this year, a federal judge agreed to give the Idaho Legislature time to repeal two laws passed in 2015 banning women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine. The judge said that he will rule those laws as unconstitutional and unenforceable if law…
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New travel ban eases some legal questions but not all

President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban eases some of the legal questions surrounding the previous order, but critics said it does not answer all of them, including accusations that the measure is a thinly veiled attempt to discriminate against Muslims. Opponents promised to challenge the president again in court. The new, narrower ban announced Monday temporarily bars new visas for citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries — one fewer than the original ban, with Iraq removed from th…
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Rubinstein & Associates provides premier legal services in Premier Plaza

This slideshow requires JavaScript. Jeffrey Rubinstein, partner-in-charge at Rubinstein & Associates, says the economy is on the upswing. His law firm focuses primarily on high-stakes business and real estate law, and the types of cases he and his associates are working on are a sign of the times, he explains.  “When the economy is good, we put together deals, and when it’s bad, we take apart deals,” Rubinstein said. “Currently, we are executing more start-ups and private equity tr…
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Louisiana governor defends his LGBT-rights order in appeal

Gov. John Bel Edwards is defending his executive order that aimed to protect the rights of LGBT people in state government, saying in an appeal filed Monday that a judge erred in deciding the governor overstepped his legal authority. Edwards formally challenged Judge Todd Hernandez’ ruling in a Baton Rouge-based appeals court, nearly three months after Hernandez ruled the Democratic governor violated Louisiana’s constitutional separation of powers by banning discrimination in government and sta…
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Black Lives Matter course creates room for debate with guest speakers, social media

Black Lives Matter course creates room for debate with guest speakers, social media

Professor Osamudia Jones introduces an economics lecturer to the Black Lives Matter course at UM’s law school. The course welcomed lecturers from a variety of disciplines to educate students about the various causes of racism. Amanda Prats // Senior Photographer The University of Miami School of Law’s first interdisciplinary course on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement will be open to all students and faculty March 9 when Alicia Garza, one of the founding members of BLM, will come to campus and talk to students. Garza is one of the many speakers who have been invited to the class to speak about the converging societal issues that created the BLM movement. The course was created and is taught by professor Osamudia James, vice dean of the School of Law. James, who has contributed columns on race relations in The Washington Post and The New York Times, has been teaching Torts and Administrative Law for nine years, along with a seminar on inequality in the public school system. She formed the Black Lives Matter course to help explain why a group of people felt the need to breathe new life into a civil rights movement in modern-day America. “I probably got the idea when people were saying Black Lives Matter is a hate group or when we started getting the All Lives Matter retort,” James said. “People didn’t understand the underlying social conditions that had prompted it. People didn’t understand the frustration that was behind it … so I wanted to create a space where we could reflect on that.” The interdisciplinary course involves speakers from 19 different UM schools and departments along with local organizations. Two speakers attend James’ Thursday class and discuss intersectional issues, such as disproportionality in child welfare and special education or the use of theater and literature in propelling ideas on Black Lives Matter. James’ law course comes after a two-part undergraduate course about BLM in spring and fall 2016 that took a look at activists and theorists in the movement while analyzing current U.S. race relations. David Ikard, director of Africana Studies, taught the course. The law course was hand-tailored to relate to Miami, with some class sessions focusing specifically on the criminal justice system in Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade report filings have indicated frequent racial profiling. Such a case involved one young black Miami Gardens man being stopped 258 times by police over the course of four years. Future class sessions will feature individuals from the Community Justice Project and Legal Services of Greater Miami. “Miami is a really interesting place, and identity is understood differently in Miami than it is in other parts of the country,” James said.  “You also have issues of immigration and you have some serious class issues here in Miami. It didn’t make sense to me to talk about Black Lives Matter in Miami and not talk about Miami activists who do the work.” James has also taken steps to bring the conversation out of the classroom and onto social media. Students in James’ class use social media, such as Twitter, to ask questions about the week’s lecture, using the hashtag “PerspectivesOnBLM.” James said there has been vigorous conversation outside of the classroom. Most recently, the debate centered on robo-policing, or the use of robots in the place of human police officers, and veteran police officers and outside law professors joined the conversation. @OsamudiaJ Whoa, great question. DARPA funded Good Strangers research on social interactions in the military & police context; good stuff @OsamudiaJ But distinguishing b/t good & bad reqs a goal, and there are so many diff goals and ways to prioritize them. “I think it’s important that the entire university be able to be involved in the conversation, whether you agree with Black Lives Matter or not, whether you completely understand the issues or don’t,” James said. Law student Amber Dawson said she was excited to participate in the class. As an African-American woman, Dawson said she was able to relate to several topics discussed throughout the course. In particular, she said she related to visiting speaker Donald Jones’ presentation on dangers certain spaces present to black people. “Growing up with money, it was nice to go out driving in a nice car, but you’re not meant to be driving on a highway late at night in a nice car in a nice neighborhood,” Dawson said. “It would give police a reason to pull you over, and you’re just not safe.” Dawson is planning to write her final paper on the perception of African-Americans as property, aging from slave trade to modern day law. She said the course offers a place for students to talk about difficult topics, a crucial form of education to ensure the progression of society toward equality. “I’m proud to say that I attend a law school where this type of interdisciplinary course is made available to so many students because it allows us to further a conversation I think is very long overdue,” Dawson said. James said she plans to continue the class in spring 2018, with new speakers and new topics to cover. Alicia Garza’s presentation will take place at 7 p.m on Thursday, March 9 in the Shalala Student Center Grand Ballroom. The University of Miami will soon embark on its first phase of the competition to find the replaceme … You can feel the momentum building now, and it simply feels different than anything experienced in t … Former University of Miami safety Jamal Carter said he opened his email invitation to the NFL Scouti … The University of Miami needed cornerbacks after the departure of seniors Corn Elder and Adrian Colb … When Virginia Tech lost Chris Clarke for the season with a knee injury, it lost its best passer, its … The University of Miami continues to encourage students, faculty, staff, and visitors on campus to u … A highlight of National Engineers Week is inviting high school girls to UM to discover how analytica … Members of the University of Miami community and UM partners recognize those who support career read … In a lecture presentation at UM Hillel, a former skinhead shared his inspirational story of overcomi … Drag Out, an annual event sponsored by the student organization SpectrUM, brings attention to the LG … University of Miami senior Davon Reed is the recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2017 … University of Miami freshman Bruce Brown has been named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academi … For the second straight year, Miami Hurricanes swimmer Angela Algee will take part in the NCAA Swimm … The University of Miami women’s golf team concluded play Wednesday afternoon at the 2017 Hurric … Following its opening round bye, the No. 16/16 Miami women’s basketball team is set to start pl … The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.
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Airports, legal volunteers prepare for new Trump travel ban

SEATTLE (AP) — Airport officials and civil rights lawyers around the country are getting ready for President Donald Trump’s new travel ban — mindful of the chaos that accompanied his initial executive order but hopeful the forthcoming version will be rolled out in a more orderly way. The new order was expected as soon as Wednesday. A draft suggested it would target people from the same seven predominantly Muslim countries but would exempt travelers who already have visas to come to the U.S….
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Miami judge slams ‘shameful’ FBI delays in making 9/11 documents public

A Miami federal judge Tuesday excoriated the FBI for what she called its “shameful” delays in making public certain records about the bureau’s 9/11 Review Commission. “It is distressing to see the length to which a private citizen must go” to obtain records under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA],” said U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga. “It’s quite shocking frankly.” facebook twitter email Share More Videos 1:33 How to respond if you receive a robocall Pause 3:40 Widow…
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Airports, Legal Volunteers Prep For New Trump Travel Ban

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter SEATTLE (CBSMiami/AP) — Airport officials and lawyers are preparing around the country for President Donald Trump’s new travel ban- aware of the chaos that ensued after the first order but hoping the next one will be implemented more smoothly. The new order is expected to be issued in the coming days. A draft suggested it would target people from six of the original seven predominantly Muslim countries but would exempt travelers who already hav…
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Pot is producing jobs and revenue in states where it’s legal

The states that have legalized recreational marijuana — a multi-billion-dollar business — don’t want to hear the federal government talk about a crackdown. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she wants Oregonians left alone to “grow these jobs.” In Oregon alone, that’s roughly 12,500 jobs, said economist Beau Whitney of Portland, adding that he is making a conservative estimate. Oregon’s attorney general said she would be duty-bound to fight to protect the state’s marijuana industry. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said his department is reviewing a Justice Department memo that gives states flexibility in passing marijuana laws and noted “it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer predicted stepped up enforcement. Underscoring how the marijuana industry is pushing job growth in Oregon, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates and licenses the state’s recreational marijuana industry, says it has over 12,640 applications for marijuana worker permits. It has also received 2,174 marijuana license applications, with over half coming from would-be producers and the rest mostly from those seeking to set up as retailers, processors, wholesalers and laboratories. It had activated 943 licenses by Tuesday. Marijuana shops are prevalent in many Oregon cities. In the countryside, marijuana greenhouses are not uncommon. “We now have a nascent, somewhat successful industry,” Brown said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press and a freelance journalist. “These are good paying jobs. It’s a pretty diverse business community.” In January alone, recreational marijuana sales in Oregon were over $20 million, with medical marijuana generating about $2.8 million more, the OLCC said. In Oregon, Washington state and Colorado, marijuana tax revenues totaled at least $335 million in either the last calendar year or the last fiscal year. Whitney, who has been involved in several marijuana businesses and has advised state government, estimates that workers in the marijuana industry in Oregon earn a total of $315 million per year. That’s based on workers earning an average of $12 per hour. He noted that the wage scales vary widely, with harvesters earning less than processors and chemists. Their wages are pumped back into the local economies. If the Trump administration moves against legalized recreational marijuana, it would be going against its own objectives, Oregon’s governor said. She noted that citizens in several states have voted to make pot legal. Oregon legalized recreational marijuana in a 2014 ballot measure. “This administration very clearly wants to grow the economy and create jobs, and the other piece that they want is to have the states be the laboratories of democracy,” Brown said. “There is no better type of laboratory than the initiative process, and voters in Oregon and Washington and California and Alaska and Nevada, and there’s a few other states, have voted to legalize marijuana. On the West coast alone, that’s 49 million people.” Her message to Washington: “Let our people grow these jobs.” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum indicated she would go to court to protect those jobs. Currently, the Cole Memorandum, which provides guidance for federal marijuana enforcement, restricts it to a few areas, including preventing distribution to minors and preventing marijuana from being transported from pot-legal states to other states. Under the Cole Memorandum, states where marijuana is legal have been largely been left alone. “If the Cole memorandum is pulled, or replaced with other guidance, we would evaluate it immediately,” Rosenblum said in a recent interview with AP. “Possibly if we felt we had a basis, we would push back against that, because we have a burgeoning industry here, very successful so far with some bumps in the road … so that would be important for the attorney general to take a stand.”
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As Dean, Trump's Labor Sec'y Pick Put Law School On the Map

As Dean, Trump’s Labor Sec’y Pick Put Law School On the Map

Next Article: Microsoft, Stripe Urge Federal Bank Regulators to Go Cautiously on Cyber Regs…
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Judge blocks California law on posting actors’ ages

A California law that restricts a popular Hollywood website from posting actors’ ages raises First Amendment concerns and does not appear likely to combat age discrimination in the entertainment industry in any meaningful way, a federal judge said Wednesday. U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria granted IMDb.com’s request to block AB 1687 while the website’s lawsuit challenging it winds through the courts. Chhabria said the law prevented IMDb from publishing factual information on its public…
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One-time Hurricanes QB hopeful Kevin Olsen arrested and charged with rape

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Trump Immigration Crackdown Sparks Fear Among Even Legal Miami Valley Immigrants

News this week of sweeping Trump administration changes to United States immigration-enforcement policies is sparking a wave of fear among both legal immigrants and immigrants in the Miami Valley illegally, advocates say. The immigration crackdown means millions of people living in the country illegally could face deportation.   Credit Jonathan Platt / WYSO The Associated Press reports a Homeland Security memo indicates any undocumented immigrant who is charged, or even suspected of a crime, …
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Lisa Marie Presley to pay estranged husband’s legal fees

Lisa Marie Presley will not have to pay spousal support to her estranged husband while they fight over her assets, but she will have to pay some of his attorney’s fees, a judge ruled Wednesday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patrick Cathcart ordered Presley to pay $50,000 to the lawyer representing her estranged husband, Michael Lockwood. It comes days after Presley filed court documents stating she is deeply in debt and their 8-year-old twin daughters are subject to a child welfare case. The order does not affect the couple’s children, who are in the care of Presley’s mother, Priscilla. No details about the children were discussed in court. A trial in children’s court is scheduled for March. Presley, 49, is the only child of Elvis Presley and ex-wife of both Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage. Lockwood is challenging the validity of an agreement he signed after marrying Presley in 2006 that would govern how much he is entitled to in a divorce. He had been seeking $40,000 a month in spousal support, but Cathcart said the unemployed musician would have to wait until after a trial on the agreement. Lockwood’s attorney, Jeff Sturman, argued that Presley had not proven she was deeply in debt and had received an average of $5.6 million in payouts from her father’s estate, according to her most recent tax returns. Presley’s lawyer, Mark Gross, contended that Presley has not paid $1 million in taxes she owed last year, is deeply in debt on a property in England and didn’t receive the big payout from the estate last year that she has received in previous years. Lockwood “has no money with which to live,” Sturman argued. Leaving him without money from Presley “just leaves Mr. Lockwood in this continuing state of poverty.” Lockwood gave up his career and worked for Presley before their breakup, according to court documents. Gross contended that Lockwood hasn’t been looking for work and should apply to be a music teacher or work at Guitar Center. Presley and Lockwood both appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for Wednesday’s hearing but did not appear to speak to each other. They separated in June after 10 years of marriage. Their breakup has grown messy in recent weeks, with Presley disclosing her money trouble. She also said in court filings that she has been living with her adult daughter and has been in a treatment facility for undisclosed reasons since moving from Tennessee to California last year. She contends the children’s court proceeding was initiated after she discovered photos and “disturbing” video on her husband’s computer. Sturman has said the allegations are “highly sensational” and inaccurate.” Priscilla Presley tried to allay fans’ concerns about the legal issues and well-being of the twins in a Facebook post Sunday. “There is lots of confusion, commotion and concern from all the talk circulating,” she wrote. “Let me put this to rest … the girls have not been in foster care and never will be. The girls have been with me and will be until all this is sorted out.”
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Already 18? Oregon county says don't worry about tobacco law

Already 18? Oregon county says don’t worry about tobacco law

Commissioners in an Oregon county say a proposed ordinance to increase the legal age for using and buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 should include a clause to exempt users who have already turned 18. “Eighteen-year-olds who are already addicted shouldn’t have to quit cold turkey,” Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich said at Tuesday’s public hearing on the issue. “Let’s be fair to those who are already addicted at a legal age, rather than making their addiction illegal.&qu…
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Already 18? Lane officials say don’t worry about tobacco law

Commissioners in an Oregon county say a proposed ordinance to increase the legal age for using and buying tobacco products from 18 to 21 should include a clause to exempt users who have already turned 18. “Eighteen-year-olds who are already addicted shouldn’t have to quit cold turkey,” Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich said at Tuesday’s public hearing on the issue. “Let’s be fair to those who are already addicted at a legal age, rather than making their addiction illegal.&qu…
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Trump administration ushers in changes to Obama health law

The Trump administration took steps Wednesday intended to calm jittery insurance companies and make tax compliance with former President Barack Obama’s health law less burdensome for some people. But the changes could lead to policies with higher annual deductibles, according to the administration’s own proposal. That seems to undercut President Donald Trump’s assurance in a recent Washington Post interview that his plan would mean “lower numbers, much lower deductibles.” The moves announced separately by the Health and Human Services Department and the IRS don’t amount to sweeping changes to the Affordable Care Act. That would fall to Congress, where Republicans are struggling to reach consensus over how to deliver on their promise to repeal and replace the health law. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is expected to present elements of a plan to GOP lawmakers Thursday morning. But the administration actions do signal a change in direction. Recently confirmed HHS Secretary Tom Price called them “initial steps in advance of a broader effort to reverse the harmful effects of Obamacare.” Premiums are up sharply this year, while many communities were left with just one insurer. For consumers, the proposed HHS rules mean tighter scrutiny of anyone trying to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment by claiming a “special enrollment period” due to a change in life circumstances such as the birth of a child, marriage, or the loss of job-based insurance. Also, sign-up season will be 45 days, shortened from three months currently. For insurers, the curbs on special enrollments are a big item. The industry claimed that some consumers were gaming the system by signing up when they needed expensive treatments, only to drop out later. Insurers would also gain more flexibility to design low-premium plans tailored to younger people. But that flexibility could lead to higher deductibles, according to HHS. “The proposed change … could reduce the value of coverage for consumers,” the administration proposal said. “However, in the longer run, providing (insurers) with additional flexibility could help stabilize premiums.” Larry Levitt of the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation said “this would allow insurers to offer plans with higher deductibles, which seems counter to President’s Trump promise to lower deductibles.” A deductible is the annual amount consumers pay for medical care before their insurance kicks in. Democrats said the HHS changes would undermine consumer protections and make more people uninsured. Some called the move “sabotage.” Separately, the IRS said it’s backing off from a tighter approach to enforcement that was in the works for this tax-filing season. The IRS said that’s in line with Trump’s executive order directing agencies to ease requirements of the health law. Under the law, people are required to have health coverage or risk fines from the IRS — an unpopular provision. That underlying requirement remains on the books, and taxpayers are still legally obligated to comply, the IRS said. But the agency is changing its approach to enforcement. Originally, the IRS had planned to start rejecting returns this year if a taxpayer failed to indicate whether he or she had coverage. Now the IRS says it will keep processing such returns, as it has in the past. Administration officials said the HHS rules will help to stabilize the individual health insurance market for next year. That could buy time for Congress to make bigger changes. The industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans commended the administration, but said more is needed. In particular, insurers want Trump and Congress to remove a legal cloud over billions of dollars in subsidies that the companies are obligated to pay to cover deductibles and copayments for low-income people. It remained unclear if insurers would be swayed. Only Tuesday, Humana announced it will not participate in next year in the government-run marketplaces, where insurer exits have already diminished consumer choice. “I don’t necessarily think these changes are enough to alter insurers’ decision-making about staying in the markets,” said Caroline Pearson of the consulting firm Avalere Health. Pearson said consumer reviews may also be mixed. Healthy people may appreciate more affordable premiums. But people with health problems could see an erosion in coverage. Separately, a government report Wednesday said the nation’s problem with rising health care spending is back and here to stay, regardless of what happens to the Obama health law. Nonpartisan experts at HHS said health care spending will claim a growing share of national resources for the foreseeable future. Health care will grow at an annual average of 5.6 percent from 2016-2025, outpacing expected economic growth. Now $3.5 trillion, the nation’s health care tab will increase to nearly $5.5 trillion in 2025, accounting for about one-fifth of the economy. The unwelcome trend is due to fundamentals such as rising prices for treatments and services, as well as an aging population.
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Archbishop On Churches Taking In Immigrants: ‘Sanctuary’s Not Going To Solve Problem’

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The head of the Archdiocese of Miami, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, says there’s not much legal protection a church can provide for an illegal immigrant seeking sanctuary from immigration officials, which is what a woman is doing in Denver. Jeanette Vizguerra has been taking refuge at Denver’s First Unitarian Church to avoid being deported. “Sanctuary is a concept that arrived in the Middle Ages, in Catholic Europe in…
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Cooper seeks temporary block of Cabinet confirmation law

Cooper seeks temporary block of Cabinet confirmation law

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is returning to court to try to prevent his Cabinet secretaries from being subjected to confirmation hearings starting this week that he argues are unconstitutional. Cooper’s outside lawyers asked a three-judge panel late Monday to temporarily block enforcement of the law directing his department heads be subject to the “advice and consent” of a majority of senators. Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said the hearing on the motion was expected Tuesday, a day …
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SPLC, advocates urge Miami-Dade to resist Trump over immigration enforcement

The SPLC and a broad coalition of advocates and legal scholars today urged Florida’s Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to uphold a …
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ACLU: Miami-Dade mayor “duped” by President Trump on immigration detentions

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez misread the law and the risk of losing federal aid when he tried to appease President Donald Trump by ordering local jails to detain inmates sought by immigration agents, a coalition of liberal advocacy groups wrote in a letter to county commissioners on Monday. “The County should not give in to President Trump’s bluster,” read the 10-page letter signed by local leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union, Service Employees International Union, Southern P…
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ACLU On Miami-Dade Mayor’s Immigration Decision: ‘County Is Going To Be Sued’

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Previously, Miami-Dade County held arrested immigrants if the feds asked, but only if they were charged with a serious, violent offense. People have taken to the streets protesting Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s decision to detain any immigrant who comes into the county jail system if immigration asks, even those charged with petty offenses. Now, the American Civil Liberties Union is urging citizens to call their county commissioners and lobby them to overturn the …
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Tennessee online sales tax rule draws legal challenge

Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday that the state’s move to require all major online vendors to collect sales taxes on purchases made in Tennessee has drawn a legal challenge. Under current federal law, online retailers can only be required to collect sales taxes if they have a physical presence in the state such as a store or office there. Consumers ordering from out-of-state retailers are technically required to pay the tax to the state Revenue Department, but few do. Haslam’s tax rule seeks to ext…
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Trump's immigration order faces mounting legal questions

Trump’s immigration order faces mounting legal questions

The legal fight over President Donald Trump’s ban on refugees is likely to turn on questions of a president’s authority to control America’s borders and on whether the new immigration policy unconstitutionally discriminates against Muslims. Civil liberties advocates have challenged the order, which temporarily suspends immigration from seven countries and the United States’ broader refugee program. It has drawn nationwide protests since the order was issued on Friday. Federal judges in New York…
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Universities urging international students, faculty to avoid…

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami law student Niki Namezi was one of hundreds of students who packed into a lecture hall on Monday to listen to Muneer Ahamd, a Yale professor, speak about President Donald Trump’s executive order that calls for a travel ban directed at seven Muslim-majority nations. The order has caused confusion as some remain unclear as to how it affects U.S. green card holders.  Officials have said that green card holders who are returning to the U.S. wil…
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Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks

Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks

In a First Amendment clash over a law barring offensive trademarks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday raised doubts about a government program that favors some forms of speech but rejects others that might disparage certain groups. The justices heard arguments in a dispute involving an Asian-American band called the Slants that was denied a trademark because the U.S. Patent and Trademark office said the name is offensive to Asians. Justice Elena Kagan reflected the concerns of several justices when she said government programs are not supposed to make a distinction based on viewpoint. “The point is that I can say good things about something, but I can’t say bad things about something,” she said. “And I would have thought that that was a fairly classic case of viewpoint discrimination.” The Oregon-based band says the 70-year-old law violates free-speech rights. A federal appeals court had ruled that the law is unconstitutional, but the government appealed. A victory for the band would be welcome news for the Washington Redskins, embroiled in their own legal fight over the team’s name. The trademark office canceled the football team’s lucrative trademarks in 2014 after finding the word “Redskins” is disparaging to Native Americans. But the justices also seemed concerned that imposing absolutely no limits on trademark names might go too far. At issue is a law that prohibits registration of marks that “may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.” A trademark confers certain legal benefits, including the power to sue competitors that infringe upon the trademark. Slants founder Simon Tam says his goal was to reclaim a derisive slur and transform it into a badge of ethnic pride. But the trademark office said a term can be disparaging even when used in a positive light. A federal appeals court sided with the band, ruling that the law violates the First Amendment. The Obama administration wants the high court to overturn that ruling. Justice Department lawyer Malcolm Stewart told the justices that the law does not restrict speech because the band is still free to use the name even without trademark protection. Stewart said the government was concerned about allowing trademarks for racial slurs, religious insults and the “vilest racial epithets” that distract consumers and hinder commerce. Justice Stephen Breyer wasn’t impressed, saying he could think of “perhaps 50,000 examples of instances where the space the trademark provides is used for very distracting messages.” “What business does Congress have picking out this one, but letting all the other distractions exist?” Breyer asked. Justice Anthony Kennedy compared the trademark program to copyrights, noting that the government can’t bar disparaging copyrights. “We have a culture in which we have tee shirts and logos and rock bands and so forth that are expressing a point of view,” Kennedy said. “They are using the market to express views.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the law wasn’t being enforced consistently, noting that the term “Heeb” was approved in one trademark application, but not in another. The term is considered offensive to Jews. John Connell, attorney for the Slants’ founder, said the First Amendment should allow trademark approval of virtually any expression without limits. But some justices seemed to think his argument went too far. The trademark law, for example, places restrictions on words that are libelous or cause confusion in the marketplace. “You want us to say that trademark law is just like a public park” where people can say whatever they want, Kennedy told Connell. “Good-bye. That’s it. That’s your argument.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wondered about libelous trademarks. What if someone tried to register “Trump is a thief” before the president-elect became a public figure, she asked. Connell said that should be allowed. “That makes no sense,” Sotomayor said. Breyer noted that the Slants are free to use their name in all kinds of ways, just not in the trademark itself. “This is not a general expression program,” Breyer said. “It stops nobody from saying anything.” Like the Slants, the Redskins say their name is meant to honor American Indians. But the team has spent years fighting legal challenges from Native American groups that say it’s a racial slur. A federal judge upheld the trademark office’s cancellation of the name and the team is appealing. The matter is on hold pending the outcome of the Slants case. A ruling in that case is expected by the end of June.
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School voucher program survives teacher union’s attempt to kill it

Florida’s teachers union struck out Wednesday in its latest effort to dismantle a tax credit scholarship program as the state’s Supreme Court rejected the union’s appeal for legal standing to challenge the voucher-like program that finances students from low-performing schools who want to attend private schools. The Florida Education Association and other plaintiffs, including the NAACP, allege the scholarships are unconstitutional because the program diverts money that would otherwise go…
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Grant to Miami Firm Will Fund Legal Program at Middle School

Miami law firm Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel was awarded a $100,000 grant to help fund a mock courtroom and a legal curriculum at Brownsville Middle …
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Enough: Negotiate a settlement with the 9/11 masterminds

As the surviving spouse of a 9/11 murder victim, Sareve Dukat, I want closure. I was an observer at the Guantánamo military commission pretrial hearings of the five defendants in the 9/11 hijackings and mass murder litigation in February 2015. Having listened to the litany of legal maneuvering, and having followed the proceedings for almost two years since I was there, the posturing continues ad nauseam. The proceedings are elaborate performances that have little to do with guilt or innocence….
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Justices raise doubts over law barring offensive trademarks

In a First Amendment clash over a law barring offensive trademarks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday raised doubts about a government program that favors some forms of speech but rejects others that might disparage certain groups. The justices heard arguments in a dispute involving an Asian-American band called the Slants that was denied a trademark because the U.S. Patent and Trademark office said the name is offensive to Asians. Justice Elena Kagan reflected the concerns of several justices when she said government programs are not supposed to make a distinction based on viewpoint. “The point is that I can say good things about something, but I can’t say bad things about something,” she said. “And I would have thought that that was a fairly classic case of viewpoint discrimination.” The Oregon-based band says the 70-year-old law violates free-speech rights. A federal appeals court had ruled that the law is unconstitutional, but the government appealed. A victory for the band would be welcome news for the Washington Redskins, embroiled in their own legal fight over the team’s name. The trademark office canceled the football team’s lucrative trademarks in 2014 after finding the word “Redskins” is disparaging to Native Americans. But the justices also seemed concerned that imposing absolutely no limits on trademark names might go too far. At issue is a law that prohibits registration of marks that “may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.” A trademark confers certain legal benefits, including the power to sue competitors that infringe upon the trademark. Slants founder Simon Tam says his goal was to reclaim a derisive slur and transform it into a badge of ethnic pride. But the trademark office said a term can be disparaging even when used in a positive light. A federal appeals court sided with the band, ruling that the law violates the First Amendment. The Obama administration wants the high court to overturn that ruling. Justice Department lawyer Malcolm Stewart told the justices that the law does not restrict speech because the band is still free to use the name even without trademark protection. Stewart said the government was concerned about allowing trademarks for racial slurs, religious insults and the “vilest racial epithets” that distract consumers and hinder commerce. Justice Stephen Breyer wasn’t impressed, saying he could think of “perhaps 50,000 examples of instances where the space the trademark provides is used for very distracting messages.” “What business does Congress have picking out this one, but letting all the other distractions exist?” Breyer asked. Justice Anthony Kennedy compared the trademark program to copyrights, noting that the government can’t bar disparaging copyrights. “We have a culture in which we have tee shirts and logos and rock bands and so forth that are expressing a point of view,” Kennedy said. “They are using the market to express views.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the law wasn’t being enforced consistently, noting that the term “Heeb” was approved in one trademark application, but not in another. The term is considered offensive to Jews. John Connell, attorney for the Slants’ founder, said the First Amendment should allow trademark approval of virtually any expression without limits. But some justices seemed to think his argument went too far. The trademark law, for example, places restrictions on words that are libelous or cause confusion in the marketplace. “You want us to say that trademark law is just like a public park” where people can say whatever they want, Kennedy told Connell. “Good-bye. That’s it. That’s your argument.” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wondered about libelous trademarks. What if someone tried to register “Trump is a thief” before the president-elect became a public figure, she asked. Connell said that should be allowed. “That makes no sense,” Sotomayor said. Breyer noted that the Slants are free to use their name in all kinds of ways, just not in the trademark itself. “This is not a general expression program,” Breyer said. “It stops nobody from saying anything.” Like the Slants, the Redskins say their name is meant to honor American Indians. But the team has spent years fighting legal challenges from Native American groups that say it’s a racial slur. A federal judge upheld the trademark office’s cancellation of the name and the team is appealing. The matter is on hold pending the outcome of the Slants case. A ruling in that case is expected by the end of June.
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US/Cuba Interior Ministry Sign Law Enforcement Deal

US/Cuba Interior Ministry Sign Law Enforcement Deal

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter HAVANA (CBSmiami/AP) — Despite objections by Republicans who feel that the U.S. should limit its dealings with the regime of Cuban leader Raul Castro, the Obama administration and Cuba’s Interior Ministry have agreed to share information on international criminal activity such as terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering. The State Department signed the memorandum of understanding Monday with the Cuban Interior Ministry, which is responsib…
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Bikers Race Through Streets For “Wheels Up, Guns Down” Amid Crackdown

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Motorcycles, ATVs, and dirt bikes flooded the streets and highways of South Florida Monday afternoon and night, performing reckless wheelies and weaving in and out of traffic. The annual Martin Luther King Day “Wheels Up, Guns Down” motorized madness saw people hurt and killed. Motorcyclists could be seen speeding through the streets of Miami around 2:3o p.m.  They made their way up I-95 through Miami, and west into Opa …
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Knights of Malta insist ouster over condom scandal was legal

The head of the embattled Knights of Malta is seeking to discredit a Vatican investigation into the removal of a top official over a condom scandal, insisting that he followed the rules in the dismissal. In the latest development in the remarkable showdown between the ancient Catholic lay order and the Holy See, Fra’ Matthew Festing explained and defended his actions in a Jan. 14 letter to the Knights’ membership. “Suffice it to say, whilst I was trying to enjoy a peaceful Advent and Chris…
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Report: Airport Officials Detain Cubans with Legal Visas in ‘Wet Foot/Dry Foot’ Chaos

“These Cuban travelers have tourism visas. They are being detained or deported,” Ramón Saúl Sánchez, the head of Miami’s Democracy Movement advocacy group, told Miami’s El Nuevo Herald over the weekend. “Those being detained within the airport include people of advanced age, including one blind man, many of them ill,” he added. He also said those detained told him they were told they would be forced into a detention center for weeks. Luis Felipe Rojas, th…
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US, Cuban Interior Ministry sign law-enforcement deal

The Obama administration and Cuba’s Interior Ministry have agreed to share information on international criminal activity such as terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering despite Republican objections to U.S. law-enforcement cooperation with President Raul Castro’s government. The State Department signed the memorandum of understanding Monday with the Cuban Interior Ministry, which is responsible for internal security in Cuba, including crackdowns on political dissidents. The signing i…
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