Courts

Lawsuit: State Vaccination Program Should Prioritize Seniors

An 87-year-old Idaho man filed the suit, seeking to force the state to alter its Covid-19 vaccination program.

New Hampshire Sued Over Treatment of Foster Youth with Mental Health Issues

Civil and children’s rights groups allege that the state has been negligent in its treatment of older foster youth and those with mental health issues.

Magistrate Judges Took Bribes, Stole Money and Mishandled Cases. South Carolina Officials Now Want Reform.

South Carolina lawmakers are eyeing reforms to strengthen oversight of magistrate judges after ProPublica and The Post and Courier found some had been appointed and reappointed despite ethical and professional lapses.

Would Judges Sentence Fewer People to Prison if Local Governments Had to Pay for Their Prison Stays?

In a case where counties had to bear the cost of incarceration, local prosecutors and judges dismissed more cases. For one researcher, this raised a key question: If local governments had to pay for prison sentences, would incarceration rates decrease?

Republican AGs Sue Google, Alleging Uncompetitive Conduct With Online Ads

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Vegas city council green-lights expansion of Elon Musk-backed tunnel project … City’s plan to spend relief funds on golf course upgrade draws backlash … Santa who visited with kids tests positive for Covid.

Michigan Lawmakers to Do Away with Automatic License Suspensions

Legislators approved a bill that will stop the suspensions of driver's licenses for most unpaid fines and fees.

How a Spreadsheet Could Change the Criminal Justice System

COMMENTARY | A lack of data instills trial-court judges with enormous, largely unrestrained sentencing power.

Lawsuit Claims Remote Learning is Driving Inequities for California K-12 Students

The suit, brought by families and advocacy groups, argues that kids have lacked technology and faced other problems as the coronavirus keeps them from classrooms.

Three Alternatives to the Usual Strategies for Collecting Fines and Fees

A report from the Fines and Fees Justice Center lays out alternatives for cities looking to make collection practices more equitable and efficient.

New York Court Officials Complete Rare Review of Cases Handled by Judge Forced Into Retirement by Dementia

A review of dozens of Judge ShawnDya Simpson’s cases found the decisions to be rational, a disappointment for a man whose claims of innocence had been one of the judge’s last cases.

GOP Lawsuits Restrain Governors’ COVID-19 Actions

In most states, judges have tossed out the lawsuits or sided with governors.

OxyContin Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges in Opioid Lawsuit

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Iowa misspent $21 million in coronavirus relief funds, audit finds ... California city will launch a pilot program to guarantee income for some residents ... Georgia voters may not know who funded campaigns before casting ballots.

Eleven States Join DOJ in Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Police in Colorado take off-road vehicles to homeless encampment to provide vaccines and Covid tests … Can city recoup cancelled RNC costs? … Colleges require flu shots.

Federal Judge Rejects Work Requirement Changes in Food Stamp Program

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., had filed a lawsuit challenging the USDA's changes to food assistance, which would have cut 700,000 adults from the program.

Texas Can Limit Counties to a Single Ballot Drop-off Location, Appeals Court Rules

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that Texas can mandate only one drop-off location for absentee ballots in each county, reversing a lower court ruling on Gov. Greg Abbott's order earlier this month.

A Warning From Michigan

COMMENTARY | The state previews how far Republican judges will go to obstruct Democrats in office.

Maine Hires Lawyers With Criminal Records to Defend Its Poorest Residents

Maine is the only state in the country with no public defender system. Instead, legal services for the poor are left to private attorneys, who face disproportionately high amounts of discipline, and an office that doesn’t supervise them.

In One State, Advocacy Groups Sue Over New Limit on the Number of Ballot Drop-Off Locations

Texas recently changed its election rules, limiting the number of drop-off sites in which voters can deposit their absentee ballots to one per county.

Conservatives Are Challenging Private Grants to Help Local Officials Run Elections

An initiative backed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is giving grants to local election offices that face funding shortages as a result of the pandemic. Conservative groups in several states have sued, saying the efforts are meant to boost the Democratic vote.