Law

Unions
5:08 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

What The U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Home Health Workers Means For Wash.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling on home health care workers in Illinois in the case of Harris v. Quinn could have an effect on the people who work in home care here in Washington state.

The high court ruled that home health aides in Illinois, who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, cannot be required to pay union dues or fees, even though other public employees are.

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
3:49 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Wash. State Task Force Starts Work On New Drone Regulations

In this undated photo provided by AeroVironment, a man hand-launches a Puma drone aricraft.
AeroVironment AP Photo

Imagine looking out your window to see a drone hovering outside. That happened earlier this month to a partially-dressed Seattle women who was startled and outraged.

That incident came up Monday as a Washington state task force convened for the first time to develop privacy rules for drones — something Oregon and Idaho have already done. The task force quickly narrowed its focus to use of drones by government agencies.

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Disability Rights
5:00 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Deaf Student Claims Medical School In Yakima Denied Him Access

Zachary Featherstone poses with his wife and daughter.
Courtesy of Zachary Featherstone.

A man who was admitted to the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, only to be told it couldn't make special accommodations for his disability, is suing the school claiming discrimination. 

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Supreme Court
11:05 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Abortion Seekers Still Protected At NW Clinics After Supreme Court Ruling

Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho CEO Karl Eastlund stands in the parking lot of the Spokane clinic.
Jessica Robinson

Abortion services providers say the Supreme Court’s ruling on a 35-foot “buffer zones”around Massachusetts clinics won’t have much effect in the Northwest.

Neither Washington, Oregon nor Idaho has the kind of law that the high court deemed unconstitutional. Clinics in the region rely on other measures aimed at protesters.

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Supreme Court
6:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Yakima Labor Dispute Leads To U.S. High Court's Presidential Powers Ruling

File image
UpstateNYer Flickr

In a noteworthy decision issued Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the president's power to make recess appointments when the Senate is not in session. 

The unanimous decision held that three appointments President Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 were invalid because the Senate was not technically in recess. The ruling stemmed from a labor dispute in Yakima, Washington.

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Supreme Court
9:34 am
Wed June 25, 2014

High Court Says Police Need A Warrant For Most Cellphone Searches

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:32 am

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that unless police have a warrant, they generally cannot search data on a cellphone seized from someone who has been arrested.

The decision is seen as a sweeping win for privacy advocates.

"Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. "With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans 'the privacies of life.'

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Constitutional Rights
4:22 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Federal Judge In Portland Orders Changes To No-Fly List

FILE - This May 11, 2012 file photo shows Portland Imam Mohamed Sheikh Abdirahman Kariye.
Rick Bowmer AP Photo

A federal judge in Portland on Tuesday ordered the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to come up with new rules for the government's no-fly list. The court found travelers labeled as potential terrorists had been deprived of their constitutional rights to due process.

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Campus Shooting
3:20 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Insanity Defense Possible In Accused SPU Shooter's Case

FILE - Shooting suspect Aaron Ybarra is led to a court hearing at a King County Jail courtroom Friday, June 6, 2014, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

The man charged with killing one student and seriously wounding two others on the campus of Seattle Pacific University on June 5 has pleaded not guilty.

On Monday attorneys for Aaron Rey Ybarra, 26, filed a notice of intent to pursue a not guilty by reason of insanity defense. The move doesn't mean they will go that route, just that they may use an insanity defense.

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Senior Thesis
5:00 am
Fri June 20, 2014

What One Former U.S. Attorney Knows Now About Making Her Case

Kate Pflaumer being sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Western Washington in 1993.
Provided by Kate Pflaumer

Editor's Note: “Senior Thesis” is a special week-long series that brings together venerable veterans in various fields with university students hoping to forge a career in the same field.

At first glance, you might think a former U.S. attorney and a man who once sued the government for spying on him wouldn’t agree on much.

But Kate Pflaumer, U.S. attorney for western Washington during the Clinton administration, and Philip Chinn, a recent graduate of Seattle University School of Law, share a passion for trial work and more.

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Marijuana Laws
3:22 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

How One Young Girl Could Change Idaho’s Strict Marijuana Laws

Clare, Alexis and Micheal Carey.
Adam Cotterell

When 9-year-old Alexis Carey gets home from school, her mom helps her into her favorite bean bag chair. Clare Carey kneels down to remove her daughter’s foot braces, which she needs to walk. 

“She’s in them all day, so when she gets home from school, we just kind of give her a break,” Clare said.

Alexis can’t talk, but she’s quick to smile. Parents Clare and Michael Carey say their daughter is a happy kid, but can’t talk or master potty-training.

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Amanda Knox
11:14 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Knox Defense Turns To Italy's Last Resort Court

File image
AP Photo

Amanda Knox's lawyers have formally asked Italy's court of last resort to review the U.S. student's appeals court conviction for the 2007 murder of her British roommate.

Defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga said the paperwork was submitted last Thursday to the Rome-based Court of Cassation.

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Human Rights
11:51 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Rep. Smith Pushes For Release of Renton Woman Being Held In Mexican Prison

Grisel Rodriguez, left, and Jose Avila, right, pose for a photo, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, in their apartment in Renton, Wash. They are holding a photo of Avila with his wife, Nestora Salgado, who has been detained since she was arrested Aug. 21, 2013.
Ted S. Warren AP Photo

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, says the United States should be doing more to free a Renton woman being held in a Mexican prison. Nestora Salgado was arrested last August in the state of Guerrero, Mexico after helping to organize a local militia of indigenous people — something allowed under Mexican law.

Appearing alongside Salgado’s daughter and husband at a news conference in Seattle, Smith said he’s done what he can to make Secretary of State John Kerry and the Obama administration aware of Nestora Salgado’s situation in Mexico.

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Adoption Law
10:59 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Idaho Woman's Fight For Foster Daughter Reveals A System Of Difficult Choices

Andrea Butler of Rathdrum, Idaho, stands in the room Dee had in her home for the four and a half years Butler fostered her.
Jessica Robinson

Adoptions are usually private affairs, sealed forever in court documents and known only to the families involved. But a recent decision by Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare exploded into the public sphere.

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Resentencing Law
5:12 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Washington Juvenile Killers Could Get Second Chance At Release

FILE - In this April 9, 2010 file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
Evan Vucci AP Photo

Nearly 30 juvenile killers currently serving life sentences without the possibility of parole in Washington could be eligible for release in the future, thanks to a new state law that took effect this month.

The law was passed in response to a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that automatic sentences of life without parole for juvenile killers are unconstitutional. In response, the Washington state Legislature this year passed a law that requires new, individualized sentences for these aggravated murderers.

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Three-Strikes Law
4:40 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Another Three-Strikes Offender In Wash. State Wins Clemency Recommendation

Washington’s Clemency Board has recommended the release of another three-strikes offender serving life without parole. The 3-to-0 vote Friday followed testimony from King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg who supported the petition for mercy.

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