California shields public sector unions from Supreme Court ruling

Photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin Associated Press file photo, 2016, as reported by the Fresno Bee.

California has found itself in a legal standoff against the federal government and Trump administration over a variety of issues, but one could affect union workers who want to decline union membership.

“California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that aims to give public employee unions legal cover from potentially expensive lawsuits demanding that they repay certain fees to workers that the Supreme Court in June determined were unconstitutional,” reports The Fresno Bee.

“The law, which takes effect immediately, says unions and public agencies cannot be held liable for fees that unions collected before the Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME on June 27 of this year.”

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision ended a 41-year precedent that allowed public sector unions to collect “fair share” fees from workers who declined to join a labor organization but were still represented, according to the newspaper.

Iowa high court raises due process concerns over traffic cams

Photo Credit: By Ctjf83, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL, from Wikimedia Commons

The Iowa Supreme Court has raised concerns about the way cities administer traffic cams, noting that tickets represent municipal fines which require court proceedings, not simply administrative action.

“The point is that the ticket is not just a ticket against your car in the traffic cam picture, it’s a ticket against the driver, as a person. And people, unlike cars, are entitled to due process and a chance to be heard,” notes a blog.

The blog, which cites a Des Moines Register article, points out judicial concerns over due process.

“The court did not make any rulings on whether traffic cams are legal or not,” notes the blog. “But rather, the court said the city’s current traffic cam ticket process is unjust. The notices that car owners receive advise the drivers of their right to appeal the traffic cam ticket, but then use language describing the ticket as a ‘judgment’ and a ‘final administrative decision’ that can result in collection efforts and legal action, even though the case has not gone through the due process of the court system.”

Courts Monitor Publisher Believes Kavanaugh Accuser

Sara Corcoran is correspondent, contributing editor, and founding publisher of the National Courts Monitor & California Courts Monitor.

Based in part on the fact they attended the same Washington, D.C. area high school, Courts Monitor Publisher Sara Corcoran explains why she believes the woman accusing the U.S. Supreme Court nominee of a sexual attack. She posted her story at the Daily Caller website which you can find here.

American Bar Association jumps into immigrant-family fray


ABA President Hilarie Bass posted a short video asking America’s lawyers to help reunite immigrant families at the border reported the ABA Journal earlier this summer.

The American Bar Association Journal is promoting a web page that helps lawyers to volunteer, donate or advocate for detained and separated immigrant families.

The web page, immigrationjustice, was promoted by ABA President Hilarie Bass, who posted a video “asking America’s lawyers to help reunite immigrant families at the border,” the ABA Journal reported this summer.

In the video, Bass talks about what she saw during her late June trip to south Texas, where she met with immigrant mothers detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center near Harlingen. Some of those women hadn’t seen their children in six weeks, Bass said; some had talked to their children on the phone, but knew the children were far away,” the ABA Journal reported.

“But what really disturbed Bass, she said, was that all of them would give up their asylum claims and return to the violence they’re fleeing if it meant their children would be returned.”

Same-sex partner wins legal standing after girl’s death

A same-sex partner won legal standing to sue for legal distress despite the lack of a state-recognized relationship.

“A woman whose same-sex partner’s biological daughter was killed in a traffic accident can seek damages for emotional distress even though she and the other woman weren’t married or in a civil union at the time, an appeals court ruled,” according to an Associated Press report published in U.S. News and World Report.

In the Aug. 17 ruling, Valerie Benning was given legal standing, reversing the findings of a lower court that found she wasn’t familiar enough with the girl.

“The 2-year-old girl was killed in 2009 when a firetruck and a pickup truck collided while she was waiting with her family to cross a street in Trenton to see a ‘Disney on Ice’ show at the facility now known as CURE Insurance Arena,” U.S. News notes.

Benning had been romantically involved with the girl’s mother for more than a year before the accident, according to the report.