Weekly News Roundup — Week of 4/4

Supreme Court upholds the principle of “One Person, One Vote”

As reported by Ari Berman in the Nation, the Supreme Court in Evenwel v. Abbott, unanimously rejected a challenge to require states to redraw legislative boundaries based on the total number of eligible voters, not on total population. As quoted in the New York Times, Justice Ginsberg emphasized that the decision was fair and equitable as “nonvoters have an important stake in many policy debates.” The court’s decision is available on the Supreme Court website.

 

No charges for officers involved in Jamar Clark shooting

As reported in The Atlantic, Mike Freeman, the prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minnesota, announced last Wednesday that his office would not seek charges against the officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark in November. Witnesses of the shooting claimed that Clark was handcuffed at the time of the shooting, but Freeman’s report disputed those claims.

 

An unexpected win for public-sector unions

As discussed in the New York Times, the Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association ended in a 4-4 split decision last Tuesday, meaning that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling for public-sector unions will be upheld. The court heard oral argument in the case in January, and prior to Justice Scalia’s death, many expected that the court would decide against the union 5-4. The one-line per curiam decision is available on the Supreme Court website.

 

Apple-FBI battle draws to a close

According to the New York Times, the conflict between Apple and the FBI ended last Monday when the FBI issued a statement saying that it had found a way to unlock an iPhone that belonged to one of the San Bernadino shooters without the company’s help. As a result, the FBI dropped the case in which they were demanding Apple’s assistance. The FBI’s statement was also published by the New York Times.

 

Police Department overhaul in Newark

According to the Atlantic, the city of Newark, New Jersey and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement last week that would overhaul the city’s police department after a 2014 Justice Department report alleging a number of civil rights and civil liberties violations. Among other things, the city will change its search and seizure policies, require that officers wear body cameras, and create a civilian oversight committee.

 

DOJ to investigate voting rights in Arizona

According to Sophia Tesfaye at Salon, the Department of Justice has opened an investigation in Maricopa County, Arizona, after some voters waited in five-hour lines and others were turned away from the polls during the state’s primary elections on March 22nd. Between 2012 and 2016, the county cut the number of polling precincts from 600 to just 60.

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Katie is a 2L at HLS from Providence, Rhode Island. She is especially interested in employment/labor law, access to civil legal services, and the civil rights of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Before coming to law school, she worked on civil rights issues at a small public interest law firm in Boston, and then at a legal aid office in Fall River, MA.

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