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Federal appeals courts split on health care subsidies
1:03 PM ET, July 22
[JURIST] Two separate federal appeals court reached opposite conclusions Tuesday on subsidies for individuals who sign up for health insurance through the federal government's marketplace. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] that such subsidies are only available through state-run exchanges, currently operating in only 14 states and the District of Columbia. That ruling reversed a lower court decision [JURIST report] from January. In contrast, the US Court of Appeals for...... [full story]

HRW: FBI stings pushed people to terrorism
10:07 AM ET, July 22
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official websites] have targeted American Muslims in abusive sting operations based on ethnic and religious identity, pushing people into terrorism, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute [advocacy websites] reported [materials] Monday. The report examines [HRW report] 27 cases, following them from investigation through trial. "In some cases," according to HRW, "the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting...... [full story]

Obama signs order on LGBT job discrimination
9:07 AM ET, July 22
[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] on Monday signed an executive order [text; fact sheet] barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order also explicitly bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. The order does not include [USA Today report] a religious-based exception despite pressure from some religious leaders following the US Supreme Court [official website] decision [opinion, PDF] in the Hobby Lobby case [JURIST report] in June. It...... [full story]

Illinois governor signs bill expanding medical marijuana for seizures
2:31 PM ET, July 21
[JURIST] Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [official website] signed [press release] legislation [SB 2636 materials] Sunday that will allow adults and children suffering from seizures access to medical marijuana [JURIST backgrounder]. The bill amends the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act to allow children, with parental consent, to access medical marijuana for the same range of conditions currently available to adults. The bill also expands the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is available. Upon signing, Quinn said:This new law...... [full story]

Bahrain files suit to suspend main opposition group
11:30 AM ET, July 21
[JURIST] Bahrain's Ministry of Justice [official website, in Arabic] on Sunday filed a lawsuit seeking to suspend all activities of the main Shi'ite opposition group for three months. The move comes after leaders of the Al-Wefaq party [GU Berkley Center backgrounder] were charged recently with holding an illegal meeting [JURIST report] with a US diplomat from the State Department [official website]. The lawsuit, however, does not mention the meeting, but rather seeks to suspend the party [AP report] for violating...... [full story]

Federal appeals court postpones execution over drug secrecy
4:09 PM ET, July 20
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Saturday postponed [opinion, PDF] an Arizona death row inmate's execution until prison officials reveal details on the two-drug combination that will be used for the lethal injection. Joseph Wood's attorneys argued [AP report] that their client's First Amendment rights were violated by the prison officials withholding detailed information on the drugs used for his lethal injection. Wood requested the information following recent procedural issues with legal injections...... [full story]

Florida jury hands down $40 billion verdict against tobacco company
10:34 AM ET, July 20
[JURIST] A jury for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida [official website] on Friday handed down a verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. [corporate website], awarding the plaintiff $16.8 billion in compensatory damages, and $23.6 billion in punitive damages. The case, Cynthia Robinson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, was originally part of a larger class-action lawsuit for smoking-related injuries. However, the Florida Supreme Court [official website] ruled in Engle v. Liggett Group, Inc. [opinion] that the causation of smoking-related injuries...... [full story]

Supreme Court blocks Utah same-sex marriage recognition
10:53 AM ET, July 19
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday issued a stay [order, PDF] on the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in Utah pending final disposition of the appeal by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website]. Last week the appeals court denied Utah's request to block legal recognition of the marriages, and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes [official website] appealed [press release] the case to the US Supreme Court. The state's ban on same-sex marriages...... [full story]

Federal appeals court rules against Oklahoma same-sex marriage ban
1:38 PM ET, July 18
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] on Friday upheld [opinion, PDF] a ruling striking down Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma [official website] ruled [JURIST report] in January that the state's ban on same-sex marriage violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [text] to the US Constitution. The appeals court based its decision on a similar ruling last month in which...... [full story]

Florida judge strikes down same-sex marriage ban
11:46 AM ET, July 18
[JURIST] A judge in Florida's Monroe County ruled [opinion] Thursday that the state's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in favor of same-sex couples who had challenged the voter-approved ban after they were denied a marriage license by the Monroe County clerk. In his ruling, Garcia found that Florida's marriage laws violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment:This court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it...... [full story]

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