Election Law Blog: The 5th Circuit, issued an opinion holding that Texas's voter identification law, one of the strictest in the country, violates section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The bottom line is that the majority of the 5th Circuit has done what the panel opinion had originally held: there is a remand on the question whether Texas acted with a discriminatory purpose, but there is enough evidence of a discriminatory effect so as to render the Texas id law a Voting Rights Act violation. But, and this is a big but, the remedy is not going to be to strike the Texas voter id law as a whole, but instead to fashion some kind of relief that give people who have a reasonable impediment to getting an ID the chance to get one.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied relief Thursday to a Dominican man seeking to cancel his deportation over an attempted-arson conviction.
Jorge Luna Torres was a lawful permanent resident of the United States when a New York court convicted him in 1999 of third-degree attempted arson.
Though he served just one day in prison, U.S. immigration officials sought to deport Luna on the basis of this conviction seven years later.
A judge then found that Luna's conviction constituted an "aggravated felony," and denied him cancellation of removal. read more
On January 20, 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to the 45th president: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Donald Trump is utterly unqualified to keep this solemn pledge to our most fundamental law. We know this because in winning the nomination, Trump has already promised that he will knowingly break the law and violate the Constitution.
The fire that led to a deadly explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant three years ago was deliberate, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Wednesday. The blast devastated the Texas town of West in April 2013 and killed 15 people -- including 12 first responders. The plant exploded with such force it caused a magnitude-2.1 earthquake and left a crater 93 feet wide and 12 feet deep.
President Barack Obama on Friday announced new efforts to speed up development of so-called smart guns, the latest step in his final-year push to reduce gun violence. Obama also announced the administration is publishing a proposed rule that would ensure that federal mental health records held by the Social Security Administration are included in gun background check systems. Smart guns are weapons that use technological safety features designed to prevent accidental shootings, such as fingerprint activation that allows only designated users to fire the gun. The Obama administration is developing guidelines so that gun manufacturers understand how they can meet law enforcement agencies' needs for smart guns.