A Lawsuit against Monarch Airlines

A report released to news outlets in Britain by British trade union Unite says that the union is drafting a lawsuit on behalf of the Monarch employees who lost their jobs when the firm was declared bankrupt. According to the report by the Union, close to 1,800 workers have been affected by the process. This means that the employees are redundant. The firm sank to administration on Monday and attributed its trouble to the weakening of the pound, competition from established airlines and rising insurgency and terrorist attacks in its key markets. 90 percent of the company’s workforce is currently without a job. As a result, the union through its lawyers say that they are seeking a legal remedy in the form of employment tribunal proceeding. On its part, the organization feels that the company failed in consulting the employees about the redundancy issues. At the same time, the union and its lawyers say that the employees had not been served with the necessary legal notice. Also, most of these employees have not received the statutory pay. The union later released a statement where it said that it was doing all it can to assist former employs to acquire new jobs.

Its national officer Oliver Richardson said that they were also offering free legal advice to the affected workers. Also, they were involved with a number of employees as they try to seek compensation that was due. Experts say that there is a claim in regards to the way that the airline went into administration. This is further strengthened by the inactivity of the British government. Entering administration means that the company ceased to operate. This case is similar to another one in Germany where the government had to bail in and rescue Air Berlin. The Germany Company fell into administration and opened an opportunity for the company to find new investors. However, before the British Monarch collapsed, it has been revealed by the British Department of Transport that it did not ask for a bailout. The spokesman for the department said that the company went into administration talks directly. A spokeswoman for the company said that the company was in the process of selling most of its major assets. This includes equipment and its plant, prepaid fuel and even slots that the airline had in airports. At the same time, the Civil Aviation Authority said that it had sorted a quarter of the 110,000 customers affected by flight cancellations.

Justice Department Seeks Expansion of Firearms Purchase Tracing

With the events of Las Vegas still fresh in legislators’ minds, the question of how best to legally approach the issue of firearms has grown to an increasingly relevant topic of national discourse. It is typical for the conversation to center around blanket legal bans of firearm types, limiting quantities of ammunition to prevent stockpiling, and other measures targeted at the purchaser. While these steps have the power to control arms distribution at the transaction level, the government’s approach hopes to expand well beyond that and, after a recent announcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, it appears the Justice Department will be taking a larger and more complex role in tracking and cataloging firearms after purchase.

Under the new measures, which are essentially an updated and more robust version of 2001’s Project Safe Neighborhoods, Attorney General Sessions plans to involve attorneys more deeply in the process of tracing firearms and tracking crime statistics. Attorneys will not only be vested with more responsibility but, according to Sessions, they will be under more scrutiny to produce measurable results.

The backbone of these new gun safety measures, as far as the investigative process is concerned, is the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, a system which enables law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels to link firearms used in crimes to their purchase history. Previously, requests for this information took about six business days to process. With this new push for result, law enforcement can expect to receive information regarding the weapon’s retail purchase history in as little as 24 hours.

As far as legal professionals are concerned, Sessions will invest a group of 40 new or present prosecutors across a total of 20 U.S. Attorney offices to focus on reducing violent crime through the reinvigorated Project Safe Neighborhoods, though it’s unclear which jurisdictions will be receiving this increased level of focus. Likewise, Sessions has not yet elaborated upon what metrics will be used to measure success or across what time frame they hope to achieve them.

That said, the Department of Justice (DOJ) did state that once assigned, the attorneys and their associated departments would be expected to provide more accurate statistics regarding violent crime. Likewise, the DOJ hopes that adding attorneys to the mix will offer a sort of midway point for local and federal law enforcement authorities to communicate and coordinate their efforts. Crimes of this nature often result in difficult questions of jurisdictional authority, but the more robust justice offices could provide an effective middle ground.

Lawsuits Filed Against the Trump Administration

Lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in Maryland and New York to challenge the revised travel ban by President Trump last month. The lawsuits have been filed by a group of Muslim and Iranian –American advocates. The new travel ban restricts citizens of eight nations from entering the United States including Iran. According to the ban, citizens from Yemen, Syria, Somalia, North Korea, Libya, Iran, and Chad would not be allowed to enter the United States. While the ban goes into effect on 18th this month, it also restricts government officials from Venezuela from accessing the United States. This applies even to their children and relatives. One of the lawsuits has been filed on behalf of the Iranian Alliance Across Borders. The lawsuit also represents other individuals and says that banning citizens on religious grounds goes against the constitution. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Maryland on Monday evening. The lawsuit also argues that Iranians and people from Muslim nations have to familiarize with the changing laws from month to month. They claim that the obsessive behavior by the president to harass Muslims should stop. A legal counsel representing the National Iranian American Council known as Shayan Modarres says that this erosion of fundamental values in America needs to stop.

The other lawsuit had been filed earlier on behalf of the Brenna Center for Justice at New York University. This lawsuit, however, was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. This is a lawsuit that is targeting the State Department. The lawsuit wants the defendant to submit to the Freedom of Information Act. As a result, the department should submit the documents that were produced by the Department of Homeland Security to the White House. These are documents that explain how the decision to ban citizens from these nations was arrived at. According to political experts and close aids to the president, the new ban was arrived after a lengthy process that involved a detailed analysis of the security situation of every country. The process was also based on whether these nations were willing to share intelligence with the United States. This ban is the third by the Trump administration from preventing immigrants from accessing the US through its airports. The first lawsuit argues that adding two more non-Muslim nations to the list is a ploy to make people forget that these bans are targeting Muslims only.

Lawyer for OJ Simpson Loses Case for Attorney Reinstatement

F. Lee Bailey may have played a key part in helping OJ Simpson secure his acquittal for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, but that’s not enough to convince officials for the State Bar of Maine to approve his bid to practice law in the state. Despite his high-profile and notable legal career, the State Bar of Maine says that Bailey isn’t fit to practice law in the state. Bailey played a key part in the defense of O.J. Simpson including cross-examination of key witnesses.

Bailey’s storied legal career began in 1961 when he represented a man charged with murder. Bailey had less than one year of practice experience at the time, but he successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court just a few years later. Ultimately, the man was never convicted for the crime.

Unfortunately for Bailey, trouble came soon after. Florida officials revoked his license to practice law, and Massachusetts soon followed suit. Maine is the latest state to deny Bailey a bar card. He’s 81 years old but says he wishes he could practice law.

Bailey says that he thinks the judiciary resents him for his success in the O.J. Simpson case. He says he was just doing his job. The bar examiners of Maine say that Bailey blames others for his own misconduct and refuses to show remorse. They say that’s a problem when it comes to getting a bar license. They say what really happened is that Bailey refused to transfer stock that the government took from a client as part of a plea agreement. Bailey was found in contempt of court and spent 44 days in jail.

The State of Florida says that Bailey’s actions were enough to warrant disbarment for at least five years. They also say that he commingled client funds with his own assets and that he did things that amounted to a conflict of interest. They also say he wasn’t forthcoming when they asked for complete information.

Bailey passed the Maine bar exam in 2012. He asked for a license to practice. In a split decision, the board of law examiners said that they aren’t sure he has the necessary character and fitness to practice law. They don’t deny that Bailey has many supporters. They even admit that he has great legal advocacy skills. However, they think that Bailey’s past misdeeds are too much. Bailey won’t be practicing law in the Pine Tree State any time soon.

USA Supreme Court’s Attempt to Fix American Politics

The supreme court of the United States is the highest federal court in the United States of America. It was established under the Judiciary Act of 1789 in the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court building is located at One First Street, NE in Washington DC. The building was completed in 1935. The court is usually functional on weekdays. It is closed during public holidays and weekends. The Supreme Court mainly comprises of nine justices. They include one chief justice and eight associate justices. It is historically known for having one hundred and one associate justices.

The Supreme Court has no powers stipulated in the constitution. The federal judiciary divided the country into thirteen districts that were later organized into the Eastern, Middle, and Southern circuits. The USA Supreme Court is the highest judicial tribunal in the United States of America. The president usually appoints members of the USA Supreme Court. This is subject to the Senate’s approval. The Supreme Court judges are governed by the code of conduct stipulated in the constitution that aims at establishing and maintaining an independent judiciary.

Some rules and guides govern the Supreme Court. The court is open to all members of the public during oral arguments. Seating is limited and offered on a first come first seat basis. The court sessions are structured in two lines form on the plaza. One of them is for people attending an entire argument and another for individuals who wish to observe briefly. Infants and children are restricted from entering the courtroom. The court officials are required to act in fairness and justice when dealing with all matters of a political nature.

There are numerous reports about the American political system being rigged. The reports state that politicians should redraw geographical boundaries for their legislative seats in the states. They mainly do this to lure the citizens inhabiting a particular geographical area to vote for them, yet the political system solely lies at the heart of democracy. This act has posed a threat of corroding the relationship between the members of the judiciary in the supreme court of the United States of America. The Supreme Court has responded to the issue by setting up a court hearing session in an attempt to restore the American political landscape back to its original state by eradicating what is termed as a political gerrymander. Most citizens of the United States of America greatly support the Supreme Court’s decision because they do not condone this hilarious political behavior by some of their politicians.


Disney Worker Leaves Child in Hot Car: Police Make Arrest

One Disney World worker will have to answer to a jury of her peers after she left her toddler in a hot car. The worker left the 2 year old girl in her vehicle while she went to find her boss. She wanted to talk to the boss about taking vacation time. The woman is a housekeeper at Walt Disney World.

The incident took place at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. A coworker found the child inside the hot car. When the coworker found the child, she was trapped inside the locked vehicle. They found her at 1:05 p.m.

Even though the child was conscious, she was still sweating and crying. Law enforcement officers removed the child. The windows were cracked, but authorities found that the temperature inside the girl’s car seat was a sweltering 113.5 degrees. The 2 year old was strapped into her safety seat when authorities found her.

Relatives of the girl’s family say that the woman only wanted to leave the girl in the vehicle for no more than five minutes. She wanted to run inside and have a quick conversation with her boss about time off to care for the child. The girl was actually in the car for approximately 45 minutes.

The woman arrested isn’t the child’s mother. Instead, she’s a family friend. The child’s mother was in labor and needed childcare for the day. The woman went to her employer at the Disney resort in order to ask for the day off in order to care for the 2 year old.

The woman said that she didn’t mean for the child to be in any danger. She insists that she loves the child very much. The child went to Florida Hospital Celebration Health for medical care, and she is in stable condition. The woman was arrested and booked at the Orange County Jail. She posted a $1,000 bond to secure her release. For now, she’s on leave from her job at Walt Disney World.

There are a number of things that the arrested woman may face. She may face criminal charges under Florida law for child abuse or neglect. These charges can bring time in jail, fines and other penalties. In addition, the Florida Department of Child and Family Services can bring an investigation into the circumstances and assess the risks of future abuse and neglect to the child.

EEOC Sues Estee Lauder Over Parental Leave Policy

In August of this year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued the company, Estee Lauder, regarding its parental leave policy. The lawsuit was initiated in a Pennsylvania federal court. The basis of the suit alleges that the company’s current leave policy constitutes gender discrimination by distinguishing between fathers and mothers. The policy creates primary and secondary caregiver categories that allocate different time limits on leave. EEOC is arguing that the practices behind the seemingly gender-neutral categories actually result in additional leave time for mothers.

More on EEOC’s Case

EEOC points out that Estee Lauder’s parental leave policy benefits mothers more than fathers even at the secondary caregiver level. It is said that biological mothers qualify for a separate maternity leave policy that offers additional time off and a flexible work schedule following the leave. It is also alleged that fathers were explicitly told that they did not qualify for the additional maternity leave benefits. According to EEOC, fathers are currently limited to two weeks of paid leave, while mothers receive up to six weeks and a subsequent flexible schedule.

EEOC claims that these practices are in violation of federal laws regulating gender bias at places of employment. Federal law requires that both genders be paid or compensated at an equal rate.

Estee’s Lauder’s current leave policy was created in 2013. This case stems from a 2015 complaint from a stock room employee who requested six weeks leave and was offered two. Up until now, the company has not issued an official statement on the matter.

The Future of the Case

Some legal experts expect the case to fall in Estee Lauder’s favor. Many employers use the primary/secondary distinctions in their leave policies. If there is proof that the policy is being enforced on a consistent basis it will be difficult for EEOC to prove that a bias exists. Since litigation is a lengthy matter it wlil be a while until the court renders its own decision on the case.

Read More: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/633246/Discrimination+Disability+Sexual+Harassment/What+Does+the+EEOCs+Lawsuit+Against+Estee+Lauder+Mean+for+Parental+Leave+Policies

In New Delhi, Sometimes No Really Does Mean Yes

Here in the United States, society is still struggling to eliminate rape culture, but women in India now have it even worse. A New Delhi judge ruled that “a feeble ‘no'” isn’t necessarily the end of a sexual encounter. In this recent trial, the judge stated that a weak protest doesn’t always mean the victim wants the encounter to stop and that supposition led to an acquittal in a highly publicized trial.
Defense Suggests A Rape Never Took Place
India is facing a new legal quagmire in relation to the issue of sexual consent, following the decision handed down in the case of Bollywood filmmaker Mahmood Farooqui. The director, best known for Peepli Live, had previously been sentenced to seven years in prison for the rape of a female Columbia University student. The verdict came into question recently, as Farooqui’s lawyer pursued an appeal in the case.
The attorney argued there is a lack of evidence to support the conviction in a New Delhi court. Mahmood was alone with the victim in his home on the evening the alleged rape took place, argued the lawyer. He added that, if a sexual encounter did take place, it was only with the victim’s consent.
Mahmood Farooqui Deserves “The Benefit Of The Doubt”
The appeal process went well for the defense, as High Court Judge Ashutosh Kumar overturned the conviction and suggested Mahmood may not have acted inappropriately. The high court justice said the prosecution never truly proved that events happened as the victim stated and added that Farooqui had “no idea at all” that consent wasn’t given.During Kumar’s decision, he explained that, while one party in a sexual encounter may not be entirely willing or may feel hesitant about seeing it through, that’s not the same as withdrawing consent. He said where there is “assumed consent,” feelings of uncertainty cannot be considered a refusal.
“Such feeble hesitation can never be understood as a positive negation of any advances by the other partner.”
Further, Judge Kumar added that, especially in cases where the two parties kniw each other well, “a feeble ‘no’ may mean yes”. He said in his ruling that a more insistent refusal was needed to either refuse or withdraw consent.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the victim, responding to the ruling, said she verbally protested and continuously pushed away his advances. She previously stated in court that he pulled away her lingerie, even as she struggled to stay dressed. Ultimately, Farooqui overpowered her.
“Under those circumstances, it is therefore startling to hear this series of events recorded as a ‘feeble no,'” commented U.S. Supreme Court lawyer, Karuna Nundy.
Ms. Nundy helped reform India’s rape laws.

California Lawmakers Now Require Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns

According to a recent law by the state of California, presidential candidates who are looking to appear on the state election ballot must provide their tax returns. The bill was passed earlier in September and officially passed into law. With this new law, anyone that is looking to run for president will be required to furnish any information that proves their income. The state passed this law in an effort to ensure that all presidential candidates are being honest about their financial situation as well as proving that their sources of income are legitimate. This law will go into once it is approved by the state governor. Anybody that is looking to become the next American president will now have to provide their tax returns in order to run in the state beginning in the next election which is scheduled for the year 2020.

On September 15, Senate Bill 149 was passed despite objections based on the constitution according to the sources such as the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and the San Jose Mercury News. With this new law, anyone that intends to run for president will need to provide five years of tax returns if they wish to appear in any state election ballots. By providing tax returns, presidential candidates in California will have their returns shown online through a redacted version. California Governor Jerry Brown has until October 15 to sign or pass the bill. However, as of right now, it is uncertain what he will actually do about this new proposed law. When Brown ran for Governor, he released his tax returns in his first two campaigns for governor but didn’t when he ran in the 2010 and 2014 elections.

According to the constitution, anyone that is looking to become president of the United States needs to be a natural born citizen and be at least 35 years of age. With this new proposed law in California, a number of legal experts have questioned whether or not it is constitutional to require candidates to release their income information. In 1995, the Supreme Court made a decision under United States Term Limits v Thornton, that allowed states to impose requirements to get on ballots. However, states cannot impose qualifications that are in addition to the ones that are currently on the American constitution. If the new law in California is passed, it is very likely that a number of people and entities will file a lawsuit and otherwise challenge it.

Source: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/california_lawmakers_approve_bill_requiring_presidential_candidates_to_rele

Gotti Underboss Released from Prison

Former mafia underboss Sammy “The Bull” Gravano has been released from prison after being incarcerated for more than 17 years. He confessed to being involved in at least 19 murders, and he was a pivotal prosecution witness in convicting former Gambino family crime boss John Gotti pursuant to a multi-count indictment. Another 39 mobsters went down with Gotti. That’s not what put “The Bull” behind bars for 17 years though. While being under witness protection, Sammy got into the action again.

According to Reuters, with his cooperation, Gravano was the highest ranking mobster to testify against a boss. Before his conviction, Gotti was known as “the Teflon Don.” He’d been able to walk away from previous prosecutions, but as a result of Gravano’s cooperation and testimony, Gotti was convicted of numerous offenses in 1992 that included extortion and murder. “The Teflon Don” died in prison from cancer in 2002. In return for his cooperation, Gravano was only sentenced to five years in prison by pleading guilty to a racketeering charge.

Gravano served his five year sentence and entered the federal witness protection program. He was invisible and living under the name of Jimmy Moran until he became involved in an ecstasy ring that kept 50 people busy and brought in $500,000 a week. In 2001, he entered guilty pleas to both federal and state charges of criminal conspiracy to distribute the drug. He’s under supervised release for the rest of his life. Nobody knows if Gravano will be in the witness protection program again.

“The Bull” is fortunate to even be alive. Gotti’s brother, “One Eye” Peter Gotti, enlisted a team of hit men in retaliation for his brother’s conviction and imprisonment. The hit order was never carried out. Peter Gotti’s arrest for extortion and arranging for Gravano’s murder got in the way.

Gravano had originally been sentenced to 20 years on the drug conviction, but he served only a little more than 17 years of that time. It’s customary for federal prisoners to serve 85 percent of their sentence.


Prosecutors Recommend Two Years for Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner, 53 years old, entered a guilty plea with the Federal District Court in New York this past May. The charge was transferring obscene materials to a minor, a 15-year-old girl in this case. The charge usually carries a maximum 10 year sentence, but Weiner may not serve any time at all. Hoping to commit Anthony to prison, even briefly, prosecutors are now asking the court to consider a term of 21 to 27 months.
Anthony Weiner Found His Victim Online
As a former U.S. congressman and the spouse of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s former advisor, one might think Anthony was already under enough scrutiny, but that didn’t keep him from acting inappropriately online. Prosecutors reported in court that Weiner knowingly propositioned the minor girl online.
“Weiner, a grown man, a father, and a former lawmaker, willfully and knowingly asked a 15-year old girl to display her body and engage in sexually explicit conduct for him online.”
Weiner’s own lawyers say he is a “sick man,” but add that he’s aware of his actions and poor judgment. They say he has made extensive progress through therapy and believe probation is an adequate punishment in light of his recovery. Currently, Weiner is estranged from his wife, so it’s unknown if Huma will attend the sentencing phase of the trial.
Anthony Weiner Sent Lewd Messages
In establishing the case against Weiner, the government stated that the unnamed girl initiated contact with Anthony on Twitter. Moving forward, the two chatted on line about both innocent and intimate topics. Although Mr. Weiner knew the girl’s age, the conversation became more suggestive, as the two communicated over several social media platforms.
As they became better acquainted,the girl told Weiner several times that she was just 15 years old and that she had just gotten her learner’s permit. During these same chat sessions, Anthony asked the girl to get undressed for him. He also asked that she “touch herself” for him.
“I knew this was as morally wrong, as it was unlawful,” Weiner said at his guilty plea. “This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness. I had hit bottom.”
Prosecutors insist that a considerable prison term is required to serve justice. They believe Anthony Weiner lacks impulse control and needs the rehabilitation supplied by a prison term and they also suggest sending Weiner to be incarcerated would prove to be a powerful deterrent.

Texas Woman Jumps to Death in Face of Solicitation of Murder Charges

One Texas woman will never get her day in court after she jumped to her death. Valerie McDaniel was on a $50,000 bond for solicitation of murder at the time of her death. She allegedly conspired with her boyfriend to hire a hit man in order to murder her ex husband.

McDaniel and her ex husband, Marion “Mack” McDaniel, divorced after 17 years of marriage. The two agreed to share joint custody of their 9-year-old daughter. However, Valerie McDaniel was reportedly unhappy because of what she claimed was Marion McDaniel’s threats to take full custody of the child. McDaniel was also in a financial bind, because her divorce judgment required her to pay more than a million dollars to buy her ex husband out of the veterinary clinic that they shared.

McDaniel jumped to her death from her seventh-story balcony. She lived with her boyfriend in a two-bedroom condo in the upscale Houston neighborhood of Oak Park. McDaniel also had a beach house where she enjoyed weekend getaways and visits with friends.

Shortly after her divorce, McDaniel met Leon Jacob. Jacob had a criminal history. McDaniel’s friends describe Jacob as arrogant. They said that they got a bad feeling about Jacob from the start.

The plot first began when state officials charged Jacob with stalking an ex girlfriend. While Jacob awaited trial on the stalking charges, he decided to hire someone to murder his ex girlfriend. He paid a man named Zach with $5,000, watches and a laptop in exchange for carrying out the crime. Instead of doing the deed, Zach took the payment and ran. He later worked with the police in order to gather evidence to charge Jacob with solicitation.

That’s where the plot took an interesting twist. Jacob and McDaniel told undercover officers that they wanted to kill McDaniel’s ex husband too. McDaniel agreed to pay an extra $10,000 for the hit on her ex husband. Authorities then went to McDaniel and told her that her ex husband was found dead. In reality, the ex husband was around the corner, waiting to take custody of their child as McDaniel was arrested.

Although McDaniel will never face trial for her actions, Jacob sits in the Harris County Jail awaiting trial. The court denied him bond. They also refused to allow him out of jail to attend McDaniel’s funeral. Jacob denies the charges against him. He says that law enforcement entrapped him.

Equifax Faces Legal Blowback Over Data Breach

2017 has proven to be a rough year for consumer credit reporting giant Equifax. In March and then again in May, the company’s customer data was compromised, making the social security numbers, addresses, drivers license numbers, and other identifying data of 143 million U.S. citizens, along with as many as 44 million U.K citizens and another 100,000 Canadians available to an as-yet unknown criminal or group.

Equifax underwent a 13 percent drop in share price immediately following news of the scandal and numerous lawsuits have sprung up in response to their negligence. A case set to come from California law firm Geragos & Geragos poses the greatest financial threat to the company, as the firm indicated they would seek upwards of $70 billion in damages, a figure unprecedented in the U.S.’s history of class-action lawsuits.

More important, however, is the anticipated reaction of government agencies to Equifax’s clear negligence. The security breach was accomplished through a well-known and subsequently patched vulnerability in Apache Struts, a common piece of web application software. The patch was released on March 7th, well before May’s attack and data theft. Victims and commentators alike are awaiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to weigh in as Equifax’ precise business classification has raised questions over whether or not the government agency has the legal authority to penalize the company.

A CFPB investigation Equifax breach may be possible because they are not, strictly speaking, a financial company. Both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are already involved as Equifax is legally accountable to at least five laws that impact listed companies, including those that govern customer data use and fair treatment. The CFPB’s justification for action would hypothetically be 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was issued in response to 2008’s widespread financial crisis and sought to bring on widespread financial reforms to Wall Street, while also establishing new protections for consumers. Title X of the legislation established the CFPB and it would seem that Equifax’ missteps fall within the bureau’s purview. Specifically, Equifax’ actions may be classified as acts and practices deemed unfair, deceptive, or abusive (UDAAP) and thus qualify them for investigation according to the powers given to the CFPB by the Dodd-Frank Act.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the CFPB dealt with Equifax, as this January the bureau issued fines against the credit reporting company for allegedly misleading customers on both the cost and usefulness of credit score information. Given this history and the vague nature of the CFPB’s UDAAP powers, an investigation is possible, if not likely.

Special Counsel Seeks White House Documents

As reported 20 September under the headline Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President in The New York Times
, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has requested documents from the White House related to some of the most “scrutinized” actions taken by President Trump.

The Times reporter, Michael S. Schmidt, writes that Mueller has requested documents surrounding

● An Oval Office meeting with Russian officials (including Russian foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov and then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey I. Kislyak) in which Trump is reported to have said that firing James P. Comey as FBI Director “relieved ‘great pressure’ on him,”
● The circumstances surrounding the firing of Michael T. Flynn as Trump’s first national security advisor, and
● The White House’s initial responses to questions from The New York Times about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower set up by the President’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. which was eventually revealed was part of a search for derogatory information on Hillary Clinton.

Of the thirteen subjects in Mueller’s document request, four were related to Mr. Flynn and three were related to Comey’s firing.

Ty Cobb, the lawyer charged with providing materials related to the Russia investigation to the Special Counsel, said many of the requested documents will be handed over this week. He stated further that he couldn’t comment with any particularity to specific document requests or any conversations with Special Counsel Mueller, his staff, or his office.

Schmidt reported that no documents related to Trump’s personal finances or business dealings appear to have been part of the current document request. He left open the possibility, however, that those areas, which President Trump has said should be off limits, may be the subject of other document requests.

Mueller also requested all internal White House communications on several individuals involved in Trump’s presidential campaign, including Paul J. Manafort. Finally, the request sought communications about the President’s foreign policy team: Carter Paige, J.D. Gordon, Keith Kellogg, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares, and Joseph E. Smith.

ACLU Sues for Same Sex Adoptions

In Michigan, a private adoption agency can turn away same-sex couples that want to adopt. Under Michigan law, adoption agencies can rest on their religious beliefs in order to deny assistance to same-sex couples looking to adopt. But the ACLU has brought a lawsuit to change that.

The controversial law has been on the books since June, 2015. Sitting governor Rick Snyder signed the bill. Under the bill, each agency that facilitates adoptions can decide their own policies based on their religious beliefs. If those beliefs prohibit helping a same-sex couple with an adoption, the agency can refuse to help. However, as the law is right now, if an agency chooses to discriminate against a couple, they must refer the couple to another agency. If an agency declines to work with a couple and refers a couple to another agency, the second agency doesn’t have to be within any reasonable distance of the couple’s residence.

The ACLU says that’s not fair. They say that if a private agency accepts taxpayer dollars, they should lose their ability to pick and choose to help some but not others. Their purpose for bringing the lawsuit is to ask a court for a ruling that says these agencies are breaking the law each time they discriminate.

The ACLU says that the law in its current state prevents children from finding their forever families. They say that children should have as many options as possible. In a world where there are more children needing parents than there are willing adoptive parents, agencies shouldn’t be allowed to turn parents away because of their same-sex status, the ACLU says.

Supporters of the bill in its current state say that the U.S. Supreme Court takes their side. They say that the Hobby Lobby and Trinity Lutheran cases are in favor of the organization’s right to choose their own criteria for adoptions. They say that without these exceptions, there’s going to be a critical shortage of adoption agencies, and the family shortage is going to get worse.

Opponents say that there are too many children in foster care. They say that same-sex couples are significantly more likely to pursue adoption than opposite-sex couples. Supporters say that requiring faith-based agencies to assist same-sex couples with adoption isn’t necessarily going to increase the numbers of prospective adoptive couples. Michigan is one of a handful of states with religious exemptions for agencies that assist with adoptions.