The governor of North Dakota signed a controversial bill on April 16 that prohibits abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The United States Supreme Court determined in Roe v. Wade that had a woman had the right to a legal abortion until as late as 24 weeks, the age of viability, while the North Dakota bill used the age at which a baby can feel pain.
Other recent laws the North Dakota governor has signed include a law that bans abortions when a baby’s heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks. The state also banned abortions based on genetic defects or genetic selection. In addition, doctors who perform abortions must be admitted to hospitals. The new laws mean that North Dakota places more restrictions on abortion than any other state. Next up for North Dakota is a bill that would ban abortion in the state and define the start of life at conception. Voters will probably vote on the measure in November 2014.
The state currently has one abortion clinic, and pro-choice supporters insist that the goal of the new laws is to shut down the clinic. They claim the laws are unconstitutional and promise to challenge them.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and The Center for Reproductive Rights joined together to fight the new abortion restrictions in North Dakota and in Arkansas. One representative essentially argued that abortion restrictions earlier than 12 weeks could endanger a woman’s health.1
Many people thought that the 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade settled the abortion issue once and for all. However, pro-life activists have raised their voices in an outcry against what they believe are lax abortion laws. The recent trial of Kermit Gosnell, who is accused of murdering babies after botched abortions, has only strengthened their position as they insist that abortions are deadly to mothers and babies alike.2 They add that a lack of regulation and financial and political pressures have resulted in reduced oversight of clinics for women in poverty who have little, if any, recourse to pay for birth injuries in the aftermath of a failed abortion.
Laws in North Dakota and Arkansas could eventually mean a trip back to the land’s highest court as abortion foes might contend that new scientific research affects the issue. Earlier fetus viability, improved ultrasounds, and technological advances in determining birth defects could all play a significant role if the court decides to readdress the issue.
As the Supreme Court considered the case for gay marriage at the end of March, most experts agree that the while national laws might not change in 2013, it’s just a matter of time until the court legalizes gay marriage. In the meantime, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as between a man and woman, is expected to be overturned on the grounds that the states need to make marriage-related decisions.
At issue are federal benefits for gays and lesbians. Gay marriage is now legal in 10 states and Washington, D.C. and continues to battle forward in the rest of the nation. While one argument against gay marriage addressed procreation, that objection was quickly overruled due to infertile couples or those who are too old to conceive. One justice expressed concerns that the newness of same-sex marriage means the courts is not ready to hear that matter yet. A second justice added that supporters of gay marriage demonstrated inconsistency when they say that children of same-sex couples are doing well but want legal recognition to help their self-esteem.1
The case in question surrounds the relationship of a lesbian couple after one of the parties died. Her partner needed to pay inheritance taxes of more than $360,000 because they were not legally married. Married couples do not pay inheritance taxes.2 The woman is fighting for the right to receive the inheritance granted to her without paying excessive taxation.
Most Americans believe that the implications nationally for the rights of homosexual couples will specifically impact about 25 percent of the country. However, according to a study quoted in Psychology today, slightly less than four percent of adults in the nation self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This translates to about nine million people across the nation.3
Although this figure might be somewhat lower than what was previously suggested, studies further show that most Americans personally know someone who self-identifies as LGBT. 3 This brings the issue closer to home for even some conservatives as they wrestle with long-held traditions and convictions in the face of a family member or friend who might be denied spending their life with a loved one. One poll conducted by CBS and the New York Times in 2012 indicated that 38 percent of Americans were in favor of same-sex marriages while an additional 24 percent supported civil unions. Although one-third of the nation did not want to offer them any recognition, the numbers for those supporting gay marriage continue to increase.3
However, the so-called “slippery slope” of the redefinition of traditional marriage might make some justices nervous. They may hesitate to challenge such a long-standing history in the nation and very well could wash their hands of the decision by giving every state the right to make their own choice on the matter.
In Missouri v. McNeeley in Case No. 11-1425, the accused man was stopped by a police officer for speeding and weaving across lands of traffic. He refused to take a breath test, so the police arrested him and transported him to local hospital to have his blood drawn without a search warrant. The blood test registered over the legal limit, but he requested that the results be suppressed because his Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the blood draw.
The officer claimed that an emergency existed as the alcohol was dissipating from his system. However, the trial court agreed that an emergency did not exist and suppressed the evidence. The case advanced to the State Supreme Court, and they also affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the suspect’s rights had been violated.
On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower courts and affirmed that the police do not automatically have the right to ask for a warrant for blood tests in all DUI cases. The urgency of drawing blood only applies in certain situations, such as if the driver is injured and can’t provide consent.
In a case that has implications for citizens across the nation, the U.S Supreme Court has upheld the Fourth Amendment rights of suspected drunk drivers. As a result of this ruling, law enforcement personnel across the nation will need to be careful when drawing blood from individuals who are stopped for DUI. Without extenuating circumstances, such as an injury, the evidence will be suppressed, and the case might be dismissed.
In addition, private individuals need to be aware of their rights when they are stopped for impaired driving. However, in many states, failure to submit to a breath test if a law enforcement officer requests one can result in separate charges and the suspension of a person’s driver’s license even if they are not impaired. 2 3 The case also carries implications for criminal defense attorneys who will need to brush up on the legal implications for clients who face drunk driving charged. Prosecuting attorneys will want to be sure that law enforcement personnel followed proper procedures during a DUI arrest.
Disclaimer: The content provided here has not been revised in any way or analyzed by Phoenix truck attorney firm Goldberg & Osborne. Subject matter was penned by an independent creator. Goldberg & Osborne assumes no legal responsibility and is making this content accessible for informative considerations only.
Samantha Reckis was only seven years old when she took Children's Motrin
with ibuprofen and suffered blindness, temporary short-term
memory loss, 20% lung capacity, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, a very rare
but severe side effect that caused the loss of 90% of her skin.
Now at 16, Reckis has been granted $63 million in the suite against Johnson &
Johnson for the lack of warning on the labels. She had taken Motrin previously before the incident with little reaction, but on November 23rd,
following a fever, symptoms began showing.
Johnson & Johnson debated the claims, alleging that Motrin
is "labeled appropriately" and when used as directed is "a safe and
effective treatment option for minor aches, pains and fever."
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) paid $60 million in about 700
Avandia lawsuits over side effects associated with the diabetes drug so far.However, thousands of cases against GSK
remain over its drug Avandia.These
cases allege that GSK failed to adequately warn the plaintiffs about the risk
of heart attacks, heart failure and other fatal injuries by taking the drug.This settlement, reached about a year ago, was
one of the first Avandia settlements.
As a result of the negative press about the drug, Avandia's
sales have plummeted.Some experts claim
that Avandia has caused between 60,000 and 200,000 heart attacks and deaths
from the time between 1999 and 2006.The
risks became known in May 2007 when a trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.The published article suggested that the drug
increased the risk of a heart attack by 43%.
The average Avandia plaintiff can expect to receive
about $86,000.And, with pressure
mounting on GSK to settle cases, victims can be sure that they will receive a
payment with the help of a proper and skilled attorney.
In 2007, an 8-year-old girl was severely injured in
a backover accident on a farm.The girl's
father was using the farm owner's utility tractor to mow.The girl came from behind her father and got
caught in the blades of the mower.Her
father had pulled the mower back at the same time she came up from behind him.As a result, one of her legs had to be
amputated later that day.
The manufacturer of the lawnmower argued that the
lawn tractor was intended for commercial use only; however, this lawnmower is
routinely used to mow school yards and anywhere you expect to see kids.Thus, the prosecution argued that the
manufacturer should have had better safety precautions and labels on the
item.The plaintiffs won a settlement
just a year later.
The government's liability is capped at $150,000
per individual and $600,000 per incident under a 1971 government immunity
statute.However, if I were to crash
into my neighbor's car or accidentally kill someone, I would have to pay monetary
damages to help my neighbor or would face criminal charges.However, the government is not liable in the
same manner.For example, recently the
Colorado State Forest Service was blamed for the destruction of 27 structures
and three deaths in a recent controlled burn that went awry.However, its liability under this archaic law
is restricted to the above mentioned numbers.
This Colorado fire started as a controlled burn on
March 22, 2012.However, the fire soon reignited
in 80 mph winds on March 26.As a result,
the fire spread across more than 4,000 acres and caused $11.3 million in
property damage.To further the damage,
firefighting efforts were hampered by a series of communication mishaps and a
delay in ordering an evacuation.For
example, many residents did not receive emergency phone calls, including one of
the people who died.And, surprisingly,
the Sheriff department found no criminal violations related to the
Homeowners are justifiably furious that the Forest
Service chose to set the fire during one of the driest Marches on record.This fire resulted in 900 homes being
evacuated and more than 700 firefighters being called into action.The legislature in Colorado and around the
nation should raise the liability cap for plaintiffs to be able to recoup
damages from the government's negligence or mistakes.For example, one of the nine claimants lost
2.5 miles of power distribution lines in the fire and has already spent
$700,000 to repair them, even before paying mounting overtime compensation for
restoring electric service to customers in the area.
While this law is intended to protect governments
from frivolous lawsuits, the law needs to be reviewed and updated to keep pace
with at a minimum inflation.After all,
the state and local governments are collecting more in taxes as individuals
earn more and home values increase.Furthermore, this would ensure that the government is liable and held
accountable for its own mistakes and negligence.
Twenty-one mothers recently filed a lawsuit claiming
that their children were born with a birth defect as a result of taking the
antidepressant drug Zoloft.Zoloft is
manufactured Pfizer.Recently, many
antidepressant prescriptions have become the subject of many birth defect
lawsuits.These suits have included, but
are not limited to, severe birth defects and include fetal death.
The recent trend has been to downplay the potential
side effects which results in many consumers not being fully informed.Consumers have the right to know all of the
risks before they start taking drug, especially if there is a probably it will
impact another life.The plaintiffs were
not properly communicated to about the harmful potential side effects and, thus,
have filed suit.The plaintiffs hope to recoup
some monetary damage for the medical expenses incurred, and the pain and
suffering their baby will now experience.
The family of an 87-year old woman who claimed to
be victimized by intentional nursing home abuse has released a video showcasing
the abuse.The woman was paralyzed and,
as a result, lived at the nursing home, the defendant, until her death a year
ago.The victim's family was shocked
when they learned about the abuse that she endured the last couple of months of
her life.The family became suspicious
after noticing bruises.So, they hid a
video camera in her room.As a result,
one person was charged; however, the family has a video that shows more than
one employee mistreating their loved one.
The family complained to the nursing home officials, but nothing happened.The family called state officials to get an
attempt of accountability on the part of the nursing home, but nothing happened.The video the family has shown shows at least
one nursing home staff physically and emotionally abusing their loved one.At one point in the video a worker says, "Lady,
why don't you die."Furthermore, the
video shows an employee hitting the woman for no reason and removing her oxygen
mask without asking
As a result, the family has filed a nursing home
neglect lawsuit against the nursing home for its abusive care.The video footage will obviously play a significant
part in the trial.