lawsuits
September 19, 2019

A federal judge in Sacramento issued a temporary injunction on Thursday against California's new law that requires candidates for president and governor to release their tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot.

U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr. said a final ruling will be made in a few days. Since Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the law in July, five lawsuits have been filed, including one by President Trump. Under the law, any candidate for president or governor who wants to get on the statewide primary ballot must turn over to state officials their last five years of federal tax filings. Those documents are then made public, with personal financial information redacted.

Trump's attorneys say such a requirement violates his right to privacy. The president wants to appear on the March 2 primary ballot, but does not want to release any of his financial documents. Catherine Garcia

September 10, 2019

A week after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution designating the National Rifle Association a "domestic terrorist organization," the NRA fired back, filing a lawsuit against the city.

The NRA's attorney, William A. Brewer III, said on Monday this was an "assault on all advocacy organizations across the country." In the filing, the NRA claims San Francisco is blacklisting the organization, and asks the court to "instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree."

The resolution states that the NRA "spreads propaganda that misinforms and aims to deceive the public about the dangers of gun violence." Its author, Supervisor Catherine Stefani, said the NRA's lawsuit is "a desperate move by a very desperate organization." New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is investigating the NRA's financial dealings, which could put its status as a nonprofit at risk, and there's been intense scrutiny over NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre's extravagant expenses. Catherine Garcia

February 12, 2019

Three female Yale University students have filed a lawsuit against the school and nine of its fraternities, saying that the organizations have created a culture where sexual harassment is acceptable.

In a complaint filed in federal court in Connecticut, the women say that "female undergraduates risk sexual harassment and assault by attending fraternity events," where men "deny female students admission ... based on their appearance, verbally harass them, grind against them, grab them, and grope them." An attorney representing the fraternities called the accusations "baseless and unfounded."

One of the students, Ry Waker, told CBS News that fraternities "dominate the social culture at Yale" and "offer a vast network of privileges to their members. They offer connections, they offer help networking." Sororities don't have the same pull, they said, and as part of their suit, the women are asking that Yale fraternities start "fully integrating women." Catherine Garcia

July 5, 2018

A Sacramento-based federal judge has largely rejected the Trump administration's lawsuit to block three sanctuary state laws in California, Politico reports. Specifically, U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez refused the Justice Department's attempt to nullify a law that limits what immigration information local law enforcement can share with the feds, and preserved a law that guarantees California officials information about the jails holding immigration detainees in the state. In a small win for President Trump, Mendez did agree to block one part of a law that banned private employers from voluntarily cooperating with immigration officials and another that banned reverification of employees' work statuses.

Thursday's ruling "doesn't eliminate the possibility that the federal government could prevail in more aspects of the suit in the future," writes Politico, "but it leaves the administration without much of the immediate relief it wanted."

In March, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to "fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies," while California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called the suit "a stunt." Jeva Lange

May 1, 2018

Led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), seven states have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA, enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012, protects certain young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. The states challenging DACA — Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia — argue it is unconstitutional, with Paxton saying on Tuesday he has "argued for years that the executive branch lacks the power to unilaterally grant unlawfully present aliens lawful presence and work authorization."

Trump announced last year he wanted to end DACA, calling on Congress to come up with a permanent solution by March. Several federal judges have since blocked the Department of Homeland Security from ending the program, including one judge in Washington, D.C., who ruled last week that if the department was unable to come up with a new legal justification for halting DACA within 90 days, the Trump administration would have to start accepting new applications. Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2018

Roy Moore, the former judge who lost his Senate bid in Alabama late last year after several women accused him of sexual misconduct when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers, filed a lawsuit on Monday against three of those women.

The suit claims he was the target of a political conspiracy meant to derail his campaign, with additional counts of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and outrage. The suit also alleges that the defendants "have committed libel and slander against Judge Moore" and those statements "caused harm to the reputation of Judge Moore and also to his wife Kayla, lowered their standing in the community, and discouraged members of the community from associating with them." Moore has denied the allegations and said during a press conference on Monday he "never knew" the women who made the accusations.

The attorney for one of the defendants, Leigh Corfman, said Moore's claims have no merit and his client is "no longer a teenager and is not going to let Mr. Moore victimize her again." Last year, Corfman told The Washington Post that when she was 14 and Moore was 32, he undressed her and touched her over her underwear, while encouraging her to do the same to him. Catherine Garcia

March 15, 2018

An Alaska Airlines co-pilot has filed a lawsuit claiming that the airline is liable for a captain allegedly drugging and raping her while on a layover, and for failing to hold him accountable after she reported the incident.

Betty Pina, 39, joined Alaska Airlines in 2016, after serving as a decorated Army helicopter pilot. She told The Seattle Times that she had never met the veteran captain, identified as 50-year-old Paul Engelien, before she was teamed up with him last June. They meet for food and drinks in a lobby set up for airline employees in Minneapolis, and Pina said her wine tasted odd. Soon, she felt woozy, and somehow made it back to her room. When she woke up, she said, "everything was hazy. I remember seeing a figure, somebody pulling at my right ankle, and rolling over and trying to say 'No.' And then, I was out again."

Pina said when she woke up later, she was naked from the waist down and knew she had been assaulted. She did not call 911 because she was "worried about everything I've ever worked for," she said. "I'm not married, I don't have kids. My career has been my No. 1." She told The Seattle Times she later learned that a flight attendant saw Engelien with two glasses of wine and a woman who appeared to be in trouble, and a lawyer hired by Alaska to investigate her report told Pina that security footage shot inside a hotel elevator showed Engelien trying to forcibly kiss her.

Pina is "infuriated" that Engelien still works for the airline, and said she's afraid she may be forced to fly with him again. "My hope is that by me doing this, it may protect other women," she said. "How many other victims are out there? I may not be the first case, but I hope to be the last." Catherine Garcia

March 7, 2018

On Tuesday, the Trump administration sued to block three laws in California that were passed by the state legislature last year, claiming those laws obstruct federal immigration law and violate the Constitution's supremacy clause.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will speak in front of the California Peace Officers Association on Wednesday, and per excerpts of his remarks, he plans on saying the Justice Department and "Trump administration are going to fight these unjust, unfair, and unconstitutional policies that are imposed on you." The laws in question make it a crime for business owners to assist federal agents in finding and detaining undocumented workers; bar local law enforcement from notifying immigration agents when detainees are released; and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

In a statement, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called the suit "a stunt. At a time of unprecedented political turmoil, Jeff Sessions has come to California to further divide and polarize America. Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don't work here. SAD!!!" Catherine Garcia

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