U.S. Attorney General Wants To Prosecute First-Time Border Crossers

On Friday, Jeff Sessions — who is the U.S. Attorney General — said that he wants to prosecute those who cross the U.S. border illegally.

Sessions further said that he was ordering U.S. attorneys who function in states on the Mexican border — which includes Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico — to give priority to cases that involve first-offenders. He did this, he says, in response to the fact that illegal border crossings have risen sharply lately, to the level they were during the presidency of Barack Obama.

Also on Friday, President Trump signed a memorandum that will put an end to a policy that is commonly known as “catch and release.” This policy lets undocumented immigrants be released from detention while they wait for a court hearing on their immigration status. During the 2016 presidential campaign, then candidate Donald Trump promised to end the policy. Though it has remained in effect mainly because there is a current shortage of detention space to house immigrants. In the memo, the president called on both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to compose a list of military facilities that could be used to house undocumented immigrants awaiting hearings.

This week, the president additionally called for the deployment of the National Guard on the Mexican border, to help protect it. He did this, he said, because he has so far been unable to procure sufficient funding for the building of a wall along the border as he promised during the presidential campaign. In response to the memo, Jim Mattis — who is the U.S. Defense Secretary — signed another memo that will deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops along the border. The memo, though, made a point of stating that these troops will not be engaged in law enforcement, nor will they be allowed to engage immigrants at all.

Next week, around 150 National Guards troops from Arizona will be sent to the Mexican border, as per an order by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Also sending troops to the border this week will be Texas, which will send around 250 of them.

Over the years, the United States on a number of occasions has sent military forces to the Mexican border.

Hawaii Legalizes Aid in Dying with Newly Passed Bill

The governor of Hawaii just passed a law allowing doctors to give life-ending drugs to patients diagnosed with a terminal illness who have six months or less to live. Governor David Ige, signed HB 2739 which is known as the Our Choice, Our Care Act on Thursday, April 5th, 2018.

The bill is very restrictive and leaves little room for interpretation to ensure that the practice isn’t abused. It requires two doctors to confirm that the patient has less than six months left to live. The patient is also required to administer the medication to themselves, and a mental health provider needs to attest to the patient’s mental capacity. Doctors are required to give patients a full explanation of all end-of-life options available to them. The bill makes it a criminal offense for anyone who attempts to coerce a patient into getting the drugs or interfering with an existing prescription for a patient.

In a press release, Governor Ige gave his opinion on the matter saying that he felt the bill was safe because there were safeguards implemented as well. He also said it’s time for residents of Hawaii who struggle with tough end-of-life choices to handle with grace, dignity and peace.

The Department of Health in Hawaii will utilize an advisory committee as they implement changes to the current law. The issue of whether someone has the right to die has been a touchy subject in the United States recently. New York’s highest court ruled against allowing physician assisted suicide in September of 2017, and earlier in the same year, the House committee rejected the Death with Dignity Act proposed in Washington D.C. Montana’s legislature introduced a law that allows the courts to charge physicians who engage in physician assisted suicide with homicide. This is in conflict with the current law that does allow life-ending options. The Nevada Senate passed a bill that would allow physician aid-in-dying.

Trump To Deploy the National Guard to the Mexican Border

President Trump announced that he is deploying the National Guard along the border of Mexico. To make this happen, he has directed the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to work with state governors.

The president called the situation along the border urgent. Trump wants to deploy the National Guard there so as to prevent immigrants from illegally crossing the border. He said that the troops are needed there until more of the border wall can be constructed.

In the aftermath of the president taking office, the numbers of immigrants illegally crossing the Mexican border fell. Many believe that this was because they were afraid of the actions of the new administration. But now, with the amount of crossings beginning to rise once more, the president believes that deploying the National Guard is necessary.

Kirstjen Nielsen, who is the Director of Homeland Security, said that her department has witnessed coming across the border a high level of gang and other criminal activity, as well as illegal drugs and illegal immigration. She further said that all this activity threatens American cities and families. She also believes that it threatens the rule of law.

Many experts believe that the rise in illegal crossings can be attributed mostly to single mothers with small children, and children traveling by themselves, who are coming to this country from Central America to escape dangerous gangs. These gangs have taken over entire neighborhoods in places such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The president wants the National Guard placed along the border to deter these people and make it harder for them to cross the border. He also wants to make it more difficult for immigrants to request asylum.

In spite of the recent increases of immigrants crossing the Mexican border, crossings right now are believed to be at the lowest level in almost 50 years. The ACLU responded to the deployment by saying that the president is trying to make a crisis out of something that actually does not exist.

This is not the first time in recent years that an American president has deployed the National Guard along the Mexican border to curb illegal immigration. Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama did the same when they were president.

Iowa Court Rules Dangerous Dog Ordinance is Too Vague

Pinky is a mixed-breed dog was lives in the city of Des Moines, Iowa. One day, Pinky was mistakenly let into the front yard by a family friend. Pinky spotted the neighbor’s cat, and proceeded to grab the cat in her mouth.

The cat was not killed, but it required over 36 staples to close its wounds. The cat’s owner called animal control who took Pinky into custody.

The city of Des Moines has a dangerous animal law. According to this law, any animal that had a propensity to viciousness and had attacked another animal to the point that the other animal or person suffered a laceration, fracture or needed surgery was deemed a dangerous animal.

This designation fit what happened in the incident between Pinky and cat. Pinky was ordered to be euthanized. However, Pinky’s new owner, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, filed suit to block the city’s order.

The case made its way to the Iowa Court of Appeals which has ruled by a 3-2 margin that the dangerous animal ordinance in the city of Des Moines is too vague rendering it unconstitutional. Pinky has won a reprieve.

The court found the law to be vague in a number of different areas. The justices had problems with the term “vicious tendencies”. The majority felt that this was not defined, and they felt that one incident may not be enough to state that an animal had vicious tendencies when the dog had been gentle in the past.

One justice stated that the law was too vague because it might classify a cat as a dangerous animal for practicing natural behavior. The justice gave the example of a cat killing or maiming a wild bird.

The justices in the majority made it clear that in order for a dangerous animal law to be enforceable in the city of Des Moines, the city would have to be more detailed in the law. The court also suggested that one person should not be able to determine if an animal was vicious.

 

 

 

 

Prosecutor Reportedly Had Intimate Relationship With Alleged Detective Rapist

There are allegations that a married 34-year-old Kings County prosecutor with two children has been having an affair with a 33-year-old former NYPD detective who stands accused of raping an 18-year-old woman while she was handcuffed in the back of a police van on September 15, 2017. That prosecutor has now been referred for investigation for possible violations the rules of professional conduct for lawyers licensed in the State of New York. She had been a prosecutor for less than a year before her relationship with the former detective came to light. The relationship was discovered during a search of the cell phone records of one of the teen’s alleged assailants.

Like his former partner, the detective who was allegedly involved with the prosecutor is the subject of a 50 count indictment. The two men stand accused of taking the teenager into custody in Calvert Vaux Park for allegedly being in illegal possession of prescription medication. According to Newsweek, the teen was forced to perform a sexual act on one of the detectives while the other watched from the van’s rear view mirror while driving. The second detective then allegedly raped her. The phone calls between the prosecutor and former detective began before the alleged rape, but they continued after the September 15, 2017 date. The prosecutor is said to have known the second detective socially. A spokesman for the Office of the District Attorney stated that the married prosecutor and mother of two “had no involvement in or access to the investigation or prosecution of the two detectives.” Both of the former detectives claim that the sex with the teen was consensual, but they both resigned.

The attorney for the teen said that he intends to use the former detective’s affair with the prosecutor in a federal civil rights suit that both former detectives and the City of New York are defendants in. He asserted that it’s completely relevant to the civil rights lawsuit as it goes to the credibility of one or both of the former detectives. That lawsuit remains pending.

US Supreme Court Denies Release Of Anti-Abortion Videos

Between the years of 2014 and 2015, an anti-abortion group called the Center for Medical Progress’ founder, David Daleiden among others, infiltrated annual meetings of the National Abortion Federation and recorded his findings. They did so by posing as business executives looking to purchase fetal tissue. Because the National Abortion Federation represents Planned Parenthood’s affiliates, they responded to these findings by claiming the videos were “heavily edited to leave a false impression of wrongdoing.”

The National Abortion Federation ended up suing David Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and a former board member Troy Newman in an attempt to put a halt to the spread of these videos. They left the fate of their public opinion in the hands of the court system. This case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and the Supreme Court sided with the National Abortion Federation.

The anti-abortionist videos will not be able to be released legally. “Legally” is the key word, as Daleiden and two of his attorneys were held in contempt of court for illegally publishing this blocked content online. David Daleiden and one of his associates, Sandra Merritt, were charged with filming Planned Parenthood employees without obtaining their verbal or written consent.

The effects of what Daleiden and his associates did can be traced to actual murder. In November of 2015, a man shot and killed three people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. When he was arrested, the man cited Daleiden’s findings, claiming that Planned Parenthood was selling baby body parts. The first amendment protects free speech but not a call to action. Daleiden’s accusations of Planned Parenthood were so strong that they are not even protected by the Supreme Court. These claims led to action; this action being the murder of three innocent lives in Colorado.

There are several confidentiality agreements put in place to protect the abortion providers’ identities and safety. This was interpreted to not be in violation of the first amendment because the defendants (Daleiden, the Center for Medical Progress, and others) were acting as “citizen journalists in an undercover investigation”. Whether you agree or disagree with the ruling, the big question remains: is the safety of alleged wrongdoers more important than the right to accuse them of wrongdoing?

For more information on this case, click the link below!

  1. com/article/us-usa-court-abortion/supreme-court-rejects-appeal-to-release-anti-abortion-activists-videos-idUSKCN1H918T

 

Explosion of ADA Cases Triggers Fight against Profiteering

One blind New York resident has had over 40 Americans with Disabilities Act cases filed between January and February 2018. Attorneys filed these cases against financial giants such as First Central Savings Bank and East West Bancorp, complaining that a visually impaired person’s civil rights are compromised by the lack of access to business websites. However, some are concerned that attorneys are clogging the legal system with frivolous lawsuits for profit, not for the sake of helping the visually impaired secure their civil rights.

In one of the complaints which was filed in January, the plaintiff’s attorneys Joseph Mizrahi and Jeffrey and Dana Gottlieb describe how visually impaired or blind individuals can usually access websites by utilizing screen-access software. However, the website’s content must be rendered in text format. The lawyers contend that the World Wide Web Consortium, a leading internet standards community, has instituted website access protocols for the visually impaired and blind.
Mizrahi asserts that his firm is committed to helping clients fight for their civil rights. He hopes that the defendants will work to make websites accessible to all. However, Jeffrey Gottlieb hypothesizes that many businesses do not comply because they lack expertise with web access software. Furthermore, Gottlieb notes that the legal dilemmas of web access are new and not often considered by companies.

As with many other noble causes, the issue of web access for the visually impaired is vulnerable to abuse by money-hungry lawyers. To curtail unnecessary lawsuits, the federal House of Representatives passed the ADA Education and Reform Act in February. Advocates for the visually impaired worry that the bill would impede lawsuits aimed to protect the rights of the disabled. On the other hand, some experts feel that the legal system needs stronger safeguards to deal with increasing ADA-related disputes.

Tom Stebbins, the executive director of Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, believes that “ADA lawsuit mills” are abusing the ADA to increase revenue instead of website access. Stebbins laments that businesses and organizations of all sizes are being targeted with no prior notice of possible website access barriers. He is concerned that the House bill does not deal with the proliferation of website-related suits.

Stebbins is calling on the U. S. Department of Justice and courts to impose tougher restrictions. He asserts that the Justice Department should be analyzing and interpreting laws while judges and bar associations should be scrutinizing and punishing exploitative attorneys that attempt to profit from the website access issue.
Unfortunately, this is yet to take place.

Lohan Loses Appeal in Suit Against Game Maker

On Thursday, New York State’s Court of Appeals rejected an appeal made by actress Lindsay Lohan, who had accused the developer of Grand Theft Auto 5 of having violated her privacy by including characters in the game that resembled her. The court, in its decision, denied Lohan’s claim that the characters resembled her.

In a 6-0 vote, New York’s highest court declared that the game characters created by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. were nothing more than cultural comments, and therefore the company did not owe Lohan any damages.

None of the parties involved in the dispute issued a statement or would comment in response to the ruling. This includes Lohan herself, her attorney Frank Delle Donne or representatives of Take-Two Interactive.

Lohan, who is 31 years old, starred in The Parent Trap made in 1998, and in Mean Girls, which was filmed in 2004. Though she has since had difficulties finding acting roles, largely due to legal and other issues. In the lawsuit, she complained about a number of the characters in the game, which she believes look and sound like her. This includes a character named Lacey Jones, who — while escaping from reporters — calls herself a famous actress/singer. Other game characters that Lohan insists look like her include a blonde woman that police frisk and one who wears a red bikini while taking a selfie.

Eugene Fahey, who was a judge in the case, said that a computer image or an avatar could in effect constitute a portrait, which could support Lohan’s claims of having had her privacy violated, as per New York State civil rights law. But, in his decision, Fahey stated that the characters in Grand Theft Auto 5 depicted a generic woman in her twenties, and that there was no suggestion in the game that these characters were in fact Lohan.

In a separate ruling, the same court dismissed similar claims made by Karen Gravano against Take-Two Interactive. Gravano, who is the star of a reality TV show called Mob Wives, claimed that one of the game characters resembled her, too.

The Grand Theft Auto series of video games has been wildly successful. It has so far sold in excess of 275 million copies.

Brother of Seth Rich Files Lawsuit Relating to DNC Hacking Incident

While the police are still investigating the death of Democratic National Committee (DNC) employee Seth Rich that occurred in the summer of 2016, speculation that his death was related to the releasing of thousands of DNC emails has continued. This has lead Rich’s brother Aaron to file a lawsuit.

This past week, Rich filed a suit against Ed Butowsky, who is a Dallas financial advisor who had a central role in the early reporting of the case. Rich has also sued a prominent conservative conspiracy theorist, as well as the Washington Times. His lawsuit contends that the three propogated unsubstantiated claims that Aaron Rich was involved in the leaking of emails to WikiLeaks, which then publicly disseminated the material. National security and intelligence officials in the United States — both under President Obama and President Trump — have concluded that hackers working for the Russian government were solely responsible for the hacking of DNC emails.

According to wbgo.org, the lawsuit filed against the three is the third such suit relating to the circumstances of Seth Rich’s death. In May of last year, Fox News made claims about how Seth Rich’s death was related to the emails. Fox retracted these claims a week later, but the parents of Seth Rich still sued the network earlier this year. Butowsky, who sometimes contributes to Fox News, allegedly provided information that was the basis of the story, according to a third lawsuit that was filed against Fox in August of last year.

Aaron Rich’s lawsuit refers to public statements Butowsky has made, as well as statements made by a conservative conspiracy theorist named Matt Couch and his company, America First Media. These statements, according to the lawsuit, insinuated that Aaron Rich helped provide the stolen emails to WikiLeaks and did so in exchange for financial compensation.

Donald Trump, when he was a candidate for president, applauded WikiLeaks for publishing the DNC emails, which showed discord within the organization.

Michael Gottlieb, who is an attorney for Aaron Rich, says that his client wants to clean his good name. He further says that the accusations against him are not based in reality and have been completely made up. According to the lawsuit, Aaron Rich is a defense contractor who holds a secrurity clearance. The suit contends that the accusations made against him were no different than accusing him of treason.

Sessions Refuses To Appoint Another Special Counsel

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions indicated that he would not appoint a second special counsel, to investigate charges of improper actions by menbers of the Justice Department and the FBI in relation to the presidential campaign. At least not for the time being.

In a letter to Republican legislators, Sessions said that, instead of appointing a special counsel to look into the matter, he had requested a senoir prosecutor to investigate the issue.

Republican lawmakers in Washington in the past few weeks have been calling for a special counsel to look into what they believe were wrongdoings by members of the Justice Department and the FBI between 2016 and 2017. Among those calling for a special counsel are the chairmans of both the House and Senate judiciary committees.

In the 4-page letter Sessions told lawmakers that appointing a special counsel was reserved for investigating extraordinary matters, and that the allegations currently being made do not meet that condition. Though he did not rule out the possibility of appointing a special counsel in the future if something changes. For right now, Sessions has asked John W. Huber, who is the U.S. attorney for Utah, to look into the matter.

Sessions says that he is very confident that Huber will review the claims and make a complete and full, and a thoroughly objecive judgement on the matter, which is consistent with both the facts in the case and the law. The Attorney General went on to say that he will receive periodic updates from Huber relating to the issue, and that Huber will recommend to Sessions whether any additional resources are needed and whether the appointing of a special counsel is necessary.

Huber is a senior prosecutor that has enjoyed bipartisan support. President Obama nominated him for U.S. attorney for Utah in 2015, and President Trump nominated him for the same position in 2017. Both times the Senate confirmed him. Huber will be investigating the issue in coordination with Michael E. Horowitz, who is the Inspector General at the Justice Department.

Separately, on Wednesday Horowitz announced that he was reviewing whether his department and the FBI violated the law when they requested surveillance of Carter Page, who was an official in President Trump’s presidential campaign.

Republicans welcomed news of the review.

 

 

Federal Court Overturns Drug Patent Verdict

On Wednesday, a U.S. federal judge overturned a verdict previously handed down by a jury, which required Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to pay British drug company GlaxoSmithKline PLC. in excess of $235 million because of patent infringement relating to a blood pressure drug called Coreg.

Leonard Stark, who is a U.S. district judge in Wilmington, Delaware, stated that the facts in the case did not support the jury’s verdict. In June of last year, the jury determined that Teva — which sells a generic version of Coreg — led to doctors infringing the patent of GlaxoSmithKline. According to The Telegraph, the jury subsequently awarded GlaxoSmithKline $234.1 million, to make up for the loss of profits. It further gave the company another $1.4 million for royalty payments owed them, and it rejected the argument that Teva had made that GlaxoSmithKline’s patent was invalid. Judge Stark did not overturn that part of the decision.

In response to the ruling, GlaxoSmithKline issued a statement that expressed disappointment with Judge Stark’s decision. They further said that they were exploring their options as it relates to the case.

Teva did not issue a comment about the ruling.

In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved carvedilol, which is a generic version of Coreg that Teva manufactures. But GlaxoSmithKline argued that Teva’s FDA application did not include using the drug for the treatment of chronic heart failure, which they insist was under patent. They further argued that, starting in 2011, Teva began marketing carvedilol specifically as a treatment for chronic heart failure.

But Judge Stark did not agree with the company’s argument. He said that the evidence presented in the case did not show that Teva’s actions directly led to doctors infringing GlaxoSmithKline’s patent. He said that there could have been other factors that led doctors to infringe GlaxoSmithKline’s patent. He then concluded by saying that — if GlaxoSmithKline could not prove causation — the ruling of the jury could not stand.

The case was filed under GlaxoSmithKline LLC. et al v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., U.S. District Court, District of Delaware, No. 14-cv-00878.

Another Texas Execution this Week

A San Antonio man who had just turned 38 was executed earlier this week in Texas in connection with the murder of a 29-year-old Lubbock woman who had been stuffed naked into a new suitcase that had been purchased at a local Walmart. CBS News reports that both surveillance videos and an investigation into the debit card used to purchase the suitcase were traced back to the convicted murderer. Rosendo Rodriguez, III purchased the suitcase, and a barcode label that was sewn into the suitcase traced the purchase back to him. Workers at a Lubbock landfill found the suitcase and the victim’s body parts stuffed inside. She may have been jammed into the suitcase when she was still alive. At the time, Rodriguez had been in Lubbock for training as a Marine reservist. The victim was 10 weeks pregnant.

Rodriguez also confessed to the sexual assault and murder of a 16-year-old girl. Her mummified remains were found in another suitcase in the same Lubbock landfill about a year earlier. Rodriguez was subsequently labeled the “suitcase killer.” He was described by the Lubbock County District Attorney as “very cold-blooded and very calculated.” Rodriguez was the fourth convict in Texas to be executed in 2018. He was the seventh in the United States. A spokesman for the Office of the Texas Attorney General remarked that the final appeal of Rodriguez was a “last ditch effort.” Rodriguez purported that he killed his last victim in self-defense after having consensual sex in a hotel room where she pulled a knife on him. Regardless of the fact that the evidence in the case showed about 50 blunt force trauma wounds to the victim, Rodriguez persisted in his defense.

In the penalty phase of the case, five women testified as to Rodriguez raping them, and jurors also heard about his confession to murdering the 16-year-old who he encountered in an online chat room. Rodriguez died defiantly with his last words consisting of a seven minute statement proclaiming his innocence. He was pronounced dead 22 minutes after being administered a powerful sedative known as pentobarbital. The U.S. Supreme Court denied his final appeal shortly before he was executed.

 

Lawyer Who Showed Up to Disciplinary Hearing Drunk Gets Disbarred

Call it liquid courage or call it a last resort, drinking alcohol before appearing at a state bar disciplinary hearing is probably a bad idea. Kansas attorney Justin Holstin didn’t get the memo. When he appeared under the influence at a bar disciplinary hearing, bar officials asked him to take an alcohol test. Those tests revealed that he was over the legal limit with a blood alcohol level of a .18 and a .20.

The Kansas State Bar didn’t find it funny, and they disbarred the lawyer. Holstin didn’t fight the suspension. At the time of the bar hearing in February 2018, Holstin faced accusations that he misused client property. Bar officials said that Holstin’s actions reflected on his fitness to practice law.

When bar officials suspected that Holstin was under the influence, they made arrangements for alcohol testing. Holstin agreed to take the test. At one point, the lawyer said that he tested positive because of drinking the night before. At another point, he tried to blame it on drinking while watching the Super Bowl. He later admitted that he exercised poor judgment.

Holstin isn’t the first attorney to show up for a hearing under the influence of alcohol. Nevada attorney Vo Joseph Caramango forced a mistrial in his client’s criminal case when he arrived at court to try the case while intoxicated. Caramango told the judge that he was in an accident on the way to court. He went on to tell the judge that the other driver ran without calling the police. He said that he had to find a friend to give him a ride to court.

When Caramango’s stories didn’t make sense, the judge asked him to take a breathalyzer test. He initially refused. Caramango finally took the test several hours after the time initially scheduled for the case. Caramango also complained of physical ailments but said he was willing to try the case hurt. The judge said that was unacceptable for Caramango’s client. The judge also questioned why Caramango chose not to call the police after the accident. The judge wondered out loud if it was because of Caramango’s intoxication.

Many states run assistance programs for lawyers who have substance abuse issues. The services often provide a referral for counseling and other treatment programs for lawyers. In some states, even suspended attorneys can take advantage of the programs. Many state programs include a helpline to speak with a person who can make a referral.

Supreme Court Rejects Bailout Challenge

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a former CEO of AIG International, who argued that the federal government had illegally bailed out the insurance company during the 2008 financial crisis, and had done so at the detriment of shareholders.

The ruling by the court leaves in place a Washington, DC federal appeals court ruling in 2017 that decided that former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and his Starr International Co. did not have a right to legally challenge the government bailout. This was because they said that only AIG itself had the right to challenge the bailout, and they chose not to do so.

Greenberg, who is 92 years old, ran AIG for almost 40 years before being removed from his position in March of 2005. In September 2008, the federal government rescued the insurance giant to keep it from going bankrupt. The company had lost vast sums of money insuring poor-quality mortgage securities.

David Boies, who is a lawyer representing Starr International Co., issued a statement that expressed disappointment with the ruling. He said that they had proved that the government went beyond its authority when it took over AIG and used it to rescue others companies that were engaged in riskier behavior, which they did at the detriment of AIG’s shareholders.

In 2011, Starr International Co. — which is an investment and insurance company with a large stake in AIG — sued the federal government. It alleged that the government improperly received a nearly 80% share of AIG, for a $85 billion loan that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York gave the company. Because of this, they claimed that the rights of shareholders were diminished, which violates the constitutional right of due process. They sought from the federal government $40 billion in damages.

Initially, a lower court had ruled in favor of Starr International Co. But at the same time it refused to award them damages. This was because they asserted that, without the government loan, the stock would not have had any value. They further asserted that the bailout actually helped Starr International Co.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned that ruling, which led to the Supreme Court appeal.

7 More States Move to End Pink Taxes

Thousands of personal care items are free from sales taxes in many states. These products include shampoo and lip balm, and even Viagra. But feminine hygiene products have been noticeably missing in all but 9 states. 7 more states, though, are moving to eliminate the taxes.

Of the 7 states that have introduced legislation to eliminate the so-called pink tax, three of them have done so this year, including Virginia, Arizona and Nebraska.

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, who is the author of Periods Gone Public, says that pink taxes discriminate against more than half the population, and that they are just one example of how women pay a premium for many products. She has teamed up with a lawyer named Laura Strausfeld to form Period Equity, which is an organization that supports legislation across the country to end pink taxes. It also takes on legal cases.

Recently, the organization worked with celebrity Amber Rose on a public service advertisement that was featured on YouTube. In the ad, Rose chastises the fact that, in 36 states, feminine hygiene products are essentially considered a luxury.

Of the states that have gotten rid of pink taxes — New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut — four of them — Connecticut, New York, Florida and Illinois — have done so in the last few years.

One company is also trying to raise awareness of the issue. Boxed, which is an online shopping business, has come up with an initiative it calls #RethinkPink. As part of the initiative, the company offers discounts on feminine hygiene products to offset the pink taxes.

Nitasha Mehta, who is the head of vendor marketing for Boxed, lobbies states across the country to change the laws, and she has testified in support of bills aiming to end pink taxes. She says that she sees a trend starting to occur.

Brigid Kelly, who is a Democratic state legislator in Ohio, has been steadily moving a bill through the Republican controlled legislature that would eliminate pink taxes. She says that she is pleased that they are doing something practical to make hygiene products more accessible to women in her community.

Though similar bills have failed elsewhere. The state of California passed a bill that would have eliminated pink taxes, but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed it because he said that it would cost the state too much revenue.

Ref: https://www.npr.org/2018/03/25/564580736/more-states-move-to-end-tampon-tax-that-s-seen-as-discriminating-against-women