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Supreme Court Declines to Review Ninth Circuit Court Decision Applying Federal Reserved Water Rights Doctrine to Groundwater

Description: This report discusses the case of "Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Coachella Valley Water District" relating to groundwater water rights on federal lands. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case in July 2017.
Date: December 21, 2017
Creator: Wyatt, Alexandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Application of the "One Central Reason: Standard in Asylum and Withholding of Removal Cases

Description: This report discusses asylum and withholding of removal immigration cases, and the application of the "one central reason" rule which dictates that asylum claimants demonstrate that an approved persecution grounds is one of the central reason they are claiming asylum. The same standard has been used in withholding of removal claim cases but a recent ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court stated that the "one central reason" rule does not apply to withholding of removal cases creating a split in opinion among courts.
Date: December 18, 2017
Creator: Smith, Hillel R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Procurement Law and Natural Disasters

Description: This report discusses the federal procurement laws regarding federal agencies hiring contractors for disaster recovery work and the encouragement to use local contractors for the work to help the local economy recover.
Date: December 14, 2017
Creator: Carpenter, David H. & Lunder, Ericka K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Suing Subway: When Does a Class Action Settlement Benefit Only the Lawyers

Description: This report explores the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's "Subway" ruling which rejected a proposed settlement of a class-action suit brought against Subway for falsely advertising the length of their sandwiches; the settlement required them to inspect sandwich lengths and pay the plaintiff's attorney fees, but it only benefited the lawyers and not consumers. The report discusses the case's broader significance to class action litigation, tort reform, and consumer rights.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Lewis, Kevin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Military Commission Challenges-Al Bahlul and Al-Nashiri

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's rejection of cases submitted by two detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman al Bahlul & Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri) challenging the current military commission system under the Military Commissions Act (MCA). It discusses the merits of the cases, the various legal proceedings regarding them, and case law related to the issue.
Date: December 12, 2017
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part 1)

Description: First part of a report discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council," concerning whether requiring non-union member employees is constitutional. It provides general background on an earlier case regarding the issue "Abood v. Detroit Board of Education" and the case law leading up to "Janus."
Date: December 4, 2017
Creator: Killion, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Sector Union Dues: Grappling with Fixed Stars and Stare Decisis (Part 2)

Description: Second part of a report discussing the upcoming Supreme Court case of "Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council," concerning whether requiring non-union member employees is constitutional. It begins with a brief summary of the parties' arguments, highlights some key statements from the prior decisions of Justice Gorsuch (who is likely to be a critical voice), and finally explores the potential implications of the decision.
Date: December 4, 2017
Creator: Killion, Victoria L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes to "Too Big to Fail" Treasury Recommends Revisions to Dodd-Frank SIFI Designation Process for Non-Banks (Part 1)

Description: First part of a report discussing the Treasury Department's recent report recommending revisions to the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC's) process for designating non-bank financial institutions as "systematically important financial institutions (SIFI's) also known as "Too Big to Fail" institutions. This part provides general background on the SIFI designation process
Date: December 1, 2017
Creator: Sykes, Jay B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Changes to "Too Big to Fail" Treasury Recommends Revisions to Dodd-Frank SIFI Designation Process for Non-Banks (Part 2)

Description: Second part of a report discussing the Treasury Department's recent report recommending revisions to the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC's) process for designating non-bank financial institutions as "systematically important financial institutions (SIFI's) also known as "Too Big to Fail" institutions. This part discusses the legal debate over the designation process, the Treasury Department's recommended changes for the process, and how those changes may affect the Senate's consideration of the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (which would repeal FSOC's authority to designate non-banks as SIFIs altogether).
Date: December 1, 2017
Creator: Sykes, Jay B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Killing Endangered Species: What's Reasonable Self-Defense?

Description: This report discusses the case of "United States v. Wallen" in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; it concerns a man who killed a grizzly bear cub in violation of the Endangered Species Act and claimed self-defense. It outlines the court ruling that the man enjoys a complete defense if he "actually, even if unreasonably, believe[s] his actions were necessary to protect himself or others" and discusses the implications of the decision.
Date: November 29, 2017
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Who's the Boss at the CFPB?

Description: This report discusses an ongoing dispute over who the new acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is following the resignation of the past director on Nov. 24., 2017. President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as the acting director, but the past director had already appointed Leandra English who has filed a lawsuit and asked for a temporary restraining order preventing Mulvaney from performing the duties of director. This report outlines the merits of the case and the President's power to fill vacancies under the Vacancies Act.
Date: November 28, 2017
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C. & Cole, Jared P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Government's Plenary Immigration Power Collides with the Constitutional Right to an Abortion (Part 1)

Description: This report is the first in a two-part series discussing "Garza v. Hargan", a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit involving a detained unaccompanied alien minor and the right to terminate a pregnancy. The facts of the case and a discussion of the court's decision and whether the Health and Human Services Department policy regarding abortions unduly burdens a woman's right to an abortion is discussed.
Date: November 27, 2017
Creator: Smith, Hillel R. & Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Government's Plenary Immigration Power Collides with the Constitutional Right to an Abortion (Part 2)

Description: This report is the secondt in a two-part series discussing "Garza v. Hargan", a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit involving a detained unaccompanied alien minor and the right to terminate a pregnancy. Debate among judges regarding the right of an unaccompanied alien minor to have an abortion when the minor was detained at the border and technically never formally entered the United States are discussed.
Date: November 27, 2017
Creator: Smith, Hillel R. & Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fibbing to Get a Lawyer: Circuits Split on Punishment

Description: This report discusses differing views held by U.S. appellate courts regarding whether lying about one's assets to pre-trial service personnel in order to get a court-appointed lawyer can be used as a justification to increase the sentence of the offender.
Date: November 27, 2017
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Joint Employment and the Save Local Business Act

Description: This report discusses the proposed "Save Local Business Act" in the House and its provisions and implications for employers and employees in businesses where unions exist. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) broadening of the definition of what constituted a joint employer in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California led to resist by some in the business community and the "Save Local Business Act" seeks to restore the former more narrow definition of joint employers.
Date: November 15, 2017
Creator: Shimabukuro, Jon O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies as "Any Court" Under the Gun Control Act?

Description: This report discusses the requirements under the Gun Control Act of 1968 that prohibit persons convicted of felony crimes and misdemeanor domestic violence from buying or possessing firearms and what courts are covered under the phrase "any court' in the legislation.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Peck, Sarah Herman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Latest Chapter in Insider Trading Law: Major Circuit Decision Expands Scope of Liability for Trading on a "Tip"

Description: This report discusses a recent court decision regarding insider trading laws and the liability of someone who acts on a tip that consists of inside information that they should have known was obtained or shared illegally. Background on the case, relevant case law, and implications of the decision are discussed.
Date: November 14, 2017
Creator: Vanatko, Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Proposes to Repeal the Clean Power Plan

Description: This report discuses the EPA proposal in October 2017 to repeal the "Clean Power Plan" due to their determination after review of the rule that it exceeded their statutory authority to implement it. Steps in the process of repealing the rule, the outcome of the current court case regarding the rule, and possible replacement rules regarding Carbon dioxide emissions and power plants.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Tsang, Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Two-Sided Credit Card Markets: The Supreme Court Takes Up Novel Antitrust Issue

Description: This report discusses the case of "Ohio v. American Express" which the Supreme Court has accepted for hearing which poses the question of how federal antitrust law should treat two-sided markets which are platforms in which two distinct user groups operate in an interdependent way. The case challenges anti-steering clauses in American Express contract agreements with merchants that prevent the merchants from promoting the use of other credit cards. The case has the potential to change the way vendors accept card payments across the country--but the case also provides the Supreme Court with the opportunity to guide the lower courts that are increasingly confronting antitrust issues concerning two-sided markets. As a result, the American Express case raises several issues for Congress that could implicate its legislative and oversight roles with respect to the financial services industry and, more generally, the regulation of two-sided markets.
Date: November 13, 2017
Creator: Smith, Austin D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Second Amendment Right to Sell Firearms? The Ninth Circuit, Sitting En Banc, Weighs In

Description: This report discusses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) decision in "Teixeira v. County of Alameda" which reversed the original court decision which held that Second Amendment rights applied to commercial firearm sellers. The course of the case and decision and implications of the ruling are also discussed.
Date: November 2, 2017
Creator: Peck, Sarah Herman
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Out of Office: Vacancies, Acting Officers, and Day 301

Description: This report discusses the provisions of the Vacancies Act and the upcoming expiration of the time limit for temporary staff to to perform the duties of advice and consent staff positions that are still unfilled. Legal effects of letting the Vacancies Act take effect are also discussed.
Date: November 1, 2017
Creator: Brannon, Valerie C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department