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Apr 5, 2013

White House fights Catholic Church subpoena on birth control

WASHINGTON, April 5 (Reuters) – The Obama administration has
gone to court to try to block a subpoena from the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of New York seeking White House documents about the
government’s requirement of insurance coverage for birth
control.

The subpoena requesting documents from President Barack
Obama and his senior advisers would be burdensome to fulfill,
the administration said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia.

Mar 27, 2013

Supreme Court reconvenes for second gay marriage case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the second day running, the Supreme Court convened on Wednesday to tackle the issue of gay marriage, this time to hear arguments over a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Almost two hours of oral argument will be heard by the court on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The nine justices heard arguments on Tuesday on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court wary of broad gay marriage ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court justices signalled a reluctance on Tuesday to rule broadly on the fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians, suggesting a potentially anti-climactic outcome in the first of two related cases before the high court.

As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed an hour and 20 minutes of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage, without indicating a clear path forward by the end of the session.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. justices wary of broad ruling endorsing gay marriage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled on Tuesday that they are reluctant to embrace a broad ruling finding a fundamental right to marriage for gays and lesbians across the United States.

As sign-waving demonstrators massed outside, the court completed more than an hour of oral argument on whether to let stand a California ban on same-sex marriage without indicating a clear path forward.

Mar 26, 2013

Supreme court raises doubts on California marriage case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on the delicate and divisive issue of gay marriage, Chief Justice John Roberts expressed doubt that California opponents of gay marriage had a right to be heard in federal court.

U.S. citizens in general do not have a right to sue to enforce laws they favor. Roberts pressed lawyer Charles Cooper, who represents gay marriage opponents, on why his clients are any different as they seek to enforce California’s gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8.

Mar 22, 2013

Civil rights complaints lead to new Mississippi school policies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Mississippi school district agreed on Friday to change how it disciplines students after civil rights lawyers found its black students were more likely to be suspended than whites, even when accused of similar code violations.

The agreement shows the Justice Department taking an aggressive approach to discipline in local schools when it believes civil rights are in jeopardy.

Mar 22, 2013

Medical device maker Cytori loses approval fight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appeals court ruled on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration acted correctly when it denied fast-track approval of two stem cell-related medical devices made by Cytori Therapeutics Inc.

The FDA had reasonable evidence to find that the devices were not substantially equivalent to devices already on the market, according to the unanimous ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Mar 20, 2013

U.S. charges Saudi in al Qaeda plots against Americans abroad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A grand jury has indicted a Saudi-born man accused of being an al Qaeda operative who from 2002 to 2005 conspired to attack American soldiers in Afghanistan and U.S. diplomats in Nigeria.

The indictment against Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Adam Harun, also known as “Spin Ghul,” was unsealed on Wednesday in District Court in Brooklyn, New York.

Mar 20, 2013

Government changes course on graphic cigarette warnings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government has dropped its push for cigarette labels to carry images of diseased lungs and other graphic health warnings, and will craft new anti-smoking ads that do not run afoul of free speech rights.

In a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner last Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Food and Drug Administration would go back to the drawing board to develop the ads, as required by legislation passed by Congress in 2009.

Mar 20, 2013

U.S. government changes course on graphic cigarette warnings

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has
dropped its push for cigarette labels to carry images of
diseased lungs and other graphic health warnings, and will craft
new anti-smoking ads that do not run afoul of free speech
rights.

In a letter to Republican House Speaker John Boehner last
Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Food and Drug
Administration would go back to the drawing board to develop the
ads, as required by legislation passed by Congress in 2009.