US Legal Issues

New details emerge in hearing for three charged in murder of Ahmaud Arbery

By Matthew MacEgan, 5 June 2020

The judge in the Arbery case found probable cause against all three defendants and declared that all of their cases would move forward to trial.

After more than a week of nationwide protests, new charges announced against George Floyd’s murderers

By Jacob Crosse, 4 June 2020

Attorney General Keith Ellison tempered any expectations of justice as thousands continued to defy police and military repression in marches across the country

US Federal Bureau of Prisons implements full lockdown amid mass protests across the country

By Sam Dalton, 4 June 2020

Amidst a worsening COVID-19 outbreak and protests over police violence, fears of brewing rebellions lead to the rapid lockdown of federal prisons this week.

Disgraced former UAW President Gary Jones pleads guilty to corruption charges

By Tom Hall, 4 June 2020

Jones’ guilty plea brings the UAW corruption scandal to a new stage.

Attorney Lee Merritt speaks on conspiracy to cover-up Ahmaud Arbery’s murder

By Matthew MacEgan, 29 May 2020

Merritt spoke to the WSWS Wednesday about developments in the Arbery case and what has been exposed about the efforts of the police and prosecutors to whitewash the killing.

Canadian court rules extradition trial of top Huawei executive can proceed

By Roger Jordan, 28 May 2020

Yesterday’s ruling strengthens Washington and Ottawa in their virulent anti-China campaign, which has been ratcheted up still further with mendacious claims that Beijing is responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.

Detroit literacy case enters legal quagmire

By J. Cooper, 23 May 2020

In a highly unusual and partisan move, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has decided to rehear the case that has been settled between the plaintiffs and the state of Michigan.

NY Governor Cuomo shields nursing homes from prosecutions related to 5,600 COVID-19 deaths

By Erik Schreiber, 22 May 2020

The Democratic governor simultaneously praised his administration’s response to the pandemic and asserted that “nobody” should be held accountable for the tremendous number of needless deaths.

After the New York Times’ critique: Former NBC “Today” show host Matt Lauer takes Ronan Farrow to task

By David Walsh, 22 May 2020

Lauer was abruptly fired in late 2017 following complaints by an NBC employee, with whom he was having an affair, about his alleged sexual misbehavior.

Almost no US prisoners have been released since the beginning of the pandemic

By Sam Dalton, 21 May 2020

Despite highly publicized executive orders, only a handful of inmates have been released from jails and prisons across the US even as 100,000 inmates are projected to die from COVID-19.

Missouri executes 64-year-old man convicted on flimsy evidence

By Warren Duzak, 21 May 2020

Walter Barton was executed Tuesday by lethal injection despite new evidence that had made jurors question his murder conviction.

US courts revoke emergency protections in coronavirus pandemic

By Trévon Austin, 19 May 2020

Over the past week, the US Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court have issued a series of antidemocratic decisions that place countless lives at risk and increase the hardships faced by workers in the coronavirus pandemic.

Striking sanitation workers in New Orleans replaced by prison laborers

By Aaron Murch, 13 May 2020

A private waste management company in New Orleans has used inmates to replace striking workers demanding hazard pay and safer working conditions.

The killing of Ahmaud Arbery

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 12 May 2020

The killing of Arbery by a former police officer and public investigator must be seen in the context of the unending wave of police killings in the US, which claim more than 1,000 lives every year.

US appeals court rules literacy is “a fundamental right” in Detroit case

By J. Cooper, 1 May 2020

The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is being hailed as a major victory. The working class deserves far more.

“Back to work” campaign extends to 21 US states as working-class opposition grows

By Kevin Reed, 30 April 2020

Democratic and Republican governors across the country are moving forward with back-to-work initiatives regardless of the deadly dangers to workers.

Six-year statute of limitations elapses with no criminal indictments by Flint Water Prosecution Team

By James Brewer, 28 April 2020

The six-year statute of limitations has passed for filing criminal charges against officials responsible for the Flint water disaster that poisoned a city of 100,000.

Chelsea Manning released from jail after grand jury is dismissed by US federal court

By Kevin Reed, 13 March 2020

Manning, who had been in prison for a year for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury empaneled as part of the conspiracy against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, was released following her attempted suicide on Wednesday.

Federal appeals court rules Congress cannot enforce White House subpoena

By John Burton, 4 March 2020

The DC Circuit ruling, if it stands, is expected to affect a number of other congressional inquiries, including ongoing House efforts to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

US federal appeals court rules that private technology conglomerates are not bound by First Amendment

By Kevin Reed, 2 March 2020

A federal appeals court in California upheld the dismissal of a 2017 lawsuit brought by the right-wing video publisher PragerU based on claims that YouTube was biased and was violating First Amendment freedoms.

New York Times posts anti-Semitic caricature of Harvey Weinstein

By David North and Andre Damon, 26 February 2020

The illustration, which has multiple characteristics associated with anti-Semitic depictions of Jewish people by the Nazis, strikingly resembles an image published in October 1936 in the Nazi propaganda magazine Der Stürmer.

The New York Times gloats over the destruction of “the Monster” Weinstein

By Eric London, 26 February 2020

Weinstein’s conviction has established the “breakthrough” principle that a criminal conviction can be secured without reliable and verifiable evidence. The working class and poor will suffer the consequences.

The show trial of Julian Assange begins

By James Cogan, 25 February 2020

The first day of the British court hearing yesterday to determine if WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange will be extradited to the United States left no doubt that what is taking place is a legal travesty that threatens both Assange’s life and fundamental democratic rights.

Real estate broker fees remain in place in New York City after judge issues restraining order

By Erik Schreiber and Fred Mazelis, 24 February 2020

The latest maneuvers over supposed pro-tenant reforms reveal the impossibility of winning decent affordable housing through support for the big business Democratic Party.

New York City police in open revolt against Mayor de Blasio

By Philip Guelpa, 13 February 2020

Two shooting incidents by a single individual against New York officers have been used as a pretext to conduct a vicious, right-wing campaign against democratic rights.

Justice Department sues New Jersey and Washington state county over “sanctuary” policies

By Erik Schreiber, 13 February 2020

The lawsuits are a new stage in President Trump’s campaign of anti-immigrant bigotry. In their public responses to the lawsuits, Democratic officials from New Jersey and Washington state revealed their own willingness to trade away immigrants’ rights.

Accuser Jessica Mann’s testimony in the Weinstein trial: A Journey to the End of the Night

By David Walsh, 7 February 2020

In the course of three days of lurid testimony describing the warped, emotionally pathological and mutually destructive relationship between Weinstein and his accuser Jessica Mann, the trial degenerated into a degrading and horrifying spectacle.

Staff, students and freedom of expression at Nashville art school threatened in takeover by religious university

By Warren Duzak, 6 February 2020

Watkins College of Art, long known for its artistic freedom, is being absorbed by Belmont University, where art and the teaching of art are censored.

Pennsylvania cancer patient sentenced to 10 months in prison for shoplifting $109.63 in groceries

By Kate Randall, 4 February 2020

Ashley Menser, 36, and her family were hoping that the fact that she was being treated for cancer would persuade the judge to either delay or defer her sentencing. They were wrong.

US Supreme Court approves public charge rule directed against legal immigrants

By Jill Lux and Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 29 January 2020

The highly contested rule, which was announced last August, altered existing immigration law to allow the administration to deny visas to legal immigrants who it claims would rely on the government’s assistance.

Eleven inmates dead in a month of violence at Mississippi state prisons

By Aaron Murch, 27 January 2020

The majority of deaths have come at the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, known as Parchman Farm.

The New York Times attempts to discredit defense as Harvey Weinstein trial begins

By Tom Carter, 23 January 2020

Weinstein has every right to confront his accusers—and yes, attempt to discredit them.

After two crashes that killed 346 people

Fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg gets $80.7 million on exit from Boeing

By Bryan Dyne, 13 January 2020

The aerospace giant allocated only $50 million to compensate the 346 families who lost loved ones in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes, $144,500 for each life lost.

Last Week for Mehring Books Holiday Sale

Agents: The FBI and GPU Infiltration of the Trotskyist Movement by Eric London – How Leon Trotsky’s Assassination was prepared

By Mehring Books, 30 December 2019

The assassination of Leon Trotsky in 1940 by the Stalinist secret police was perpetrated by a network of agents infiltrated into the Fourth International.

Last week of half-price sale! Available for $8.48 through January 5.

Mississippi death row inmate released on bail after being tried six times for the same crime

By Matthew Taylor, 19 December 2019

Curtis Flowers still faces the possibility of a seventh trial and is subject to electronic monitoring as part of his bail conditions.

ACLU intervenes in police lawsuit against Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson

By Fred Mazelis, 13 December 2019

The US Supreme Court is being asked to hear an appeal in a case seeking to hold Mckesson liable for injuries caused during a protest after a police killing in Louisiana.

The Reiss Center at NYU’s Law School: A think tank for the national security establishment and the Democratic Party

Part 2: The Reiss Center’s role in the impeachment crisis and anti-Russia campaign

the New York University IYSSE, 11 December 2019

The Reiss Center embodies the convergence of the interests of finance capital, the Democratic Party, and the military and intelligence apparatus.

The Reiss Center at NYU’s Law School: A think tank for the national security establishment and the Democratic Party

Part 1: Obama’s national security apparatus in exile

the New York University IYSSE, 10 December 2019

The Reiss Center embodies the convergence of the interests of finance capital, the Democratic Party and the military and intelligence apparatus.

Roger Stone conviction affirms he lied about having connections with WikiLeaks

By Kevin Reed, 16 November 2019

The conviction of Roger Stone on all seven federal offenses shows, contrary to the fabrications in the corporate media, that he lied about having a relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

US Supreme Court hears oral arguments on Trump’s decision to end DACA

By Ed Hightower, 14 November 2019

The right-wing bloc appeared ready to serve up 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth to the Trump administration’s fascistic deportation machine.

Federal court says secret US terrorism watchlist is unconstitutional

By Kevin Reed, 10 September 2019

A ruling on September 4 in the US Court for the Eastern District of Virginia said that the Terrorist Screening Database violates the due process and equal protection rights of US citizens.

Courts back Trump administration as ICE continues to force-feed immigrants

By Adam McLean, 3 September 2019

Force-feeding typically can causes excruciating pain, is dangerous when performed on unwilling participants, and is recognized by international doctors’ associations as a form of torture.

Autoworkers react to slap-on-the wrist sentencing of former UAW VP

By Shannon Jones, 14 August 2019

Workers contrasted the lenient treatment handed out to Norwood Jewell with the brutal conditions they face every day in the factories compounded by the ever-present threat of layoffs.

Trump imposes new class-based immigration restrictions

By Eric London, 13 August 2019

The draconian regulation change means immigrants will be denied permanent residency if they have a low credit score, for example.

Judge lets bribe-taking UAW bureaucrat Norwood Jewell off with a slap on the wrist

By Shannon Jones, 6 August 2019

The former head of the union’s Fiat Chrysler department was sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security prison for his role in the illegal bribery scheme.

Media silent on dismissal of DNC suit against Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 August 2019

Having trumpeted the slander that Assange is a “Russian agent” for the past three years, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other corporate outlets have blacked out a court decision refuting their lies.

The 2008 music vault fire

Universal Music Group coverup continues in response to artists’ class-action lawsuit

By Kevin Reed, 30 July 2019

The social and legal fallout from the June 2008 music vault fire in Hollywood, which destroyed an invaluable popular music archive at Universal Studios and which Universal Music Group (UMG) covered up for years, is ongoing.

Supreme Court approves construction of Trump’s border wall

By Eric London, 27 July 2019

The ruling is a political victory for Trump and a blow to the separation of powers, dramatically strengthening the power of the executive branch.

Chelsea Manning’s lawyer refutes conspiracy allegation against Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 25 July 2019

“I don’t think Chelsea was played at all,” Nancy Hollander told Australian television.

American injustice: Trump and cronies protect a murderous US Navy SEAL

By Jacob Crosse, 6 July 2019

In the months leading up to Edward Gallagher’s acquittal, several members of his defense team were revealed to have close ties to the White House.

Outrage over manslaughter charge facing Alabama woman who miscarried after shooting

By Fred Mazelis, 3 July 2019

The case of Marshae Jones is part of the escalating attacks on abortion rights and the criminalization of the poor.

Trump national security team revives demand for “backdoor” access to encryption

By Kevin Reed, 3 July 2019

A Politico report has revealed that key National Security Council members have debated whether to ask Congress to pass laws that would make end-to-end encryption technologies illegal.

Washington Post’s Richard Cohen comes to the defense of Linda Fairstein, overseer of the Central Park Five prosecution

By Kate Randall, 3 July 2019

Cohen gushed over Colin Powell’s infamous February 4, 2003 presentation of lies at the UN that formed the justification for the Iraq War.

US Supreme Court refuses to hear Guantanamo detainee’s habeas corpus appeal

By Trévon Austin, 14 June 2019

The court’s refusal to hear the case of a man who has been imprisoned and tortured for nearly two decades without ever being convicted of a crime corresponds to the inexorable lurch by the entire political establishment towards dictatorship and barbarism.

Mistrial in case against “No More Deaths” volunteer charged with aiding immigrants

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 13 June 2019

Scott Warren was arrested for providing food, water and shelter to two undocumented immigrants.

Trump asserts new privilege claim as House committee passes contempt resolution

By Patrick Martin, 13 June 2019

The twin actions Wednesday concern the Trump administration’s efforts to rig the 2020 census so as to undercount areas with large immigrant populations.

Minneapolis police officer sentenced to over 12 years in prison for murder of Justine Damond

By Anthony Bertolt, 13 June 2019

A month-long trial in April resulted in Noor being found guilty of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Thousands rally across the US to defend abortion rights

By our reporters, 22 May 2019

The number of demonstrations reflect the broad popular support for the right of women to choose and in defense of democratic rights more generally.

Protesters oppose US extradition proceedings against Julian Assange

By Robert Stevens, 3 May 2019

The British government and the judiciary are doing everything possible to facilitate the US capture of the journalist who has been found guilty of nothing more than a bail offence.

The manufactured case of Long Beach “terrorist” Marc Steven Domingo

By Rafael Azul, 3 May 2019

The arrest of the Afghan war veteran has the characteristics of an entrapment operation by the FBI and other police agencies.

Massachusetts judge and court officer charged with helping immigrant evade ICE officer

By Kevin Martinez, 27 April 2019

Newton District Court Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and former trial court officer, Wesley MacGregor both face up to 20 years if found guilty of obstructing ICE.

In 3 A.M. ruling, Supreme Court allows Alabama execution to proceed

By Dan Conway, 13 April 2019

For the second time in as many weeks, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the execution of a death row inmate can proceed despite claims that the method of execution, lethal injection, will cause intense pain and suffering.

Outrage grows over leaked government database targeting journalists, activists at US-Mexico border

By Kevin Martinez, 29 March 2019

Congressional committees are now seeking information on repression of journalists and civil rights activists by the Trump administration.

“Progressive” Philadelphia District Attorney exposed by appeal of Mumia Abu-Jamal ruling

By Fred Mazelis, 29 March 2019

Larry Krasner, one of the Democrats recently hailed by the pseudo-left, has demonstrated the role of the Democratic Party and those fraudulent “socialists” who support it.

Massive police presence for trial of cop in murder of Antwon Rose

By Samuel Davidson, 21 March 2019

A massive show of police force is being staged for the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, who killed 17-year-old Woodland High School honor student Antwon Rose last year, shooting him three times in the back.

Trump administration bars US-born woman from re-entering the country

By Patrick Martin, 26 February 2019

The decision, based on Hoda Muthana’s past association with ISIS, is the first attempt to deprive someone of her citizenship on the grounds of “terrorism.”

Trump’s state of emergency

A step towards presidential dictatorship

By Patrick Martin, 16 February 2019

No American president has so flagrantly usurped the constitutional prerogative of Congress to decide how public funds are to be spent.

Federal judge issues injunction against Trump administration refugee order

By Matthew Taylor, 6 October 2018

The four countries cited in the lawsuit represent nearly 300,000 of the 437,000 refugees who are currently receiving TPS in the United States.

West Virginia lower House impeaches entire state Supreme Court

By Clement Daly, 21 August 2018

The Republican Party is using corruption charges as a pretext to remove all the justices and pack the court, previously under Democratic Party control.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh backed US militarism in his appeals court rulings

By John Burton, 14 July 2018

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has a long record expanding US war powers during his 12 years as a DC Circuit judge.

Hearing on FBI role in 2016 election erupts in vicious conflict between right-wing politicians

By Patrick Martin, 13 July 2018

While Republicans sought to cross-examine former FBI official Peter Strzok about text messages expressing hostility to Trump, Democrats denounced the hearing as a “favor to Putin.”

Brett Kavanaugh: A reliably reactionary jurist

By Ed Hightower, 13 July 2018

Trump’s Supreme Court nominee boasts a record of reaction both as an attorney and as a judge

US judge rules literacy is “not a right”

By Phyllis Steele, 11 July 2018

A Detroit District Court judge has dismissed a suit charging Michigan officials with systematically defunding and mismanaging schools.

Mutiny on their knees: The Democratic Party’s phony opposition to the Kavanaugh nomination

By Patrick Martin, 11 July 2018

Despite public posturing, Senate Democrats have no intention of conducting any serious struggle against the confirmation of reactionary federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Trump chooses second ultra-right Supreme Court justice

By Patrick Martin, 10 July 2018

Brett Kavanaugh is a reactionary in the mold of Trump’s first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Federal judge denies Trump administration request for extension to reunite migrant families

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 9 July 2018

The corporate media has effectively dropped coverage of the 3,000 children languishing in immigration detention facilities across the country.

Trump administration rescinds right of detained immigrants to in-person court appearances in New York City

By Guillaume Garnier, 5 July 2018

ICE has stopped allowing detained immigrants in its Manhattan facility to appear in person at court hearings.

Justice Anthony Kennedy announces retirement from Supreme Court

By Ed Hightower and Eric London, 28 June 2018

The retirement of the “swing vote” justice gives Trump the opportunity to shift the court to the far-right.

US Supreme Court sides with anti-abortion fanatics who operate fake health centers

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2018

Yesterday’s decision is yet another victory for Christian fundamentalists and the campaign to use “freedom of religion” to undermine the separation of church and state, legalize discrimination and obstruct access to health care.

Supreme Court narrowly protects privacy of cellphone location data

By Ed Hightower, 26 June 2018

The high court came within a single vote of authorizing virtually unlimited police utilization of cellphone location data.

Judge in Stanford sexual assault case recalled from office following law-and-order campaign

By Patrick Martin, 7 June 2018

There is nothing remotely progressive in the campaign to recall judge Aaron Persky, which was centered on demands for harsher sentencing of those convicted of sexual assault.

A day of reaction at the US Supreme Court

By Eric London, 5 June 2018

In two separate decisions, the US Supreme Court set back rights for immigrants, the right to abortion, and protections for gay and lesbian couples.

US Supreme Court eliminates workers’ right to collectively sue corporations

By Eric London, 23 May 2018

The ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis will result in the transfer of billions of dollars from the working class to the oligarchy that controls the government and the courts.

US Supreme Court grants police wide immunity when using excessive force

By Trévon Austin, 5 April 2018

The court ruled on Monday that an Arizona police officer who shot a woman from the other side of a fence could not be sued on claims that he used excessive force.

The lawless frontier of the #MeToo campaign

By Richard Hoffman, 7 March 2018

Recent calls by the New York Times for complaints and exposures of “gray-zone sex” experiences are based on the abandonment of centuries-old legal principles.

Court quashes subpoena of reporter who uncovered Chicago police murder coverup

By George Marlowe, 27 December 2017

An anti-press subpoena against independent journalist Jamie Kalven would have forced him to disclose his confidential sources.

US Supreme Court rejects appeal by gay woman in employment discrimination case

By Ed Hightower, 14 December 2017

The high court’s inaction means that employers in most states can openly discriminate against homosexuals without consequences under federal law.

US federal prosecutors rely on ultra-right propagandist group’s recordings in trial of inauguration day protesters

By Nick Barrickman, 2 December 2017

The federal government’s use of material from Project Veritas in its case against anti-Trump demonstrators further signifies the Trump administration’s reliance on far-right forces.

California man wrongfully convicted freed after nearly 40 years

By Trévon Austin, 25 November 2017

Richard Coley was exonerated of the killing of his ex-girlfriend and her four-year-old son in Simi Valley based on modern DNA testing technology.

LAPD arrests after Trump election exposed as political repression

By John Burton, 7 November 2017

Los Angeles police arrested hundreds in the post-election protests, but presented only a handful of cases to prosecutors.

Guantanamo Bay military judge arrests military defense lawyer

By Alan Gilman, 6 November 2017

The al-Nashiri case underscores the mockery being made of the Bill of Rights through the Military Commissions hearings at Guantanamo Bay.

Review of Tennessee’s bail bond system exposes inequalities in US justice system

By Warren Duzak, 25 October 2017

At a recent public meeting, the Metro Nashville Public Defender reviewed the arcane practice of bail bonding and its impact on working class and poor defendants.

Judge quashes lawsuit by Sanders supporters against DNC

By a reporter, 30 August 2017

The civil suit charged the Democratic National Committee and its then-chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with rigging the contest for the party’s presidential nomination.

Baltimore: More videos released showing police officers “manufacturing evidence”

By Adam Soroka, 15 August 2017

The footage came just a week after a previous video showed an officer planting a bag of pills under a pile of garbage in an alley as two other officers looked on.

US Court of Appeals throws out Blackwater murder conviction

By Matthew MacEgan, 5 August 2017

A US appeals court threw out the first-degree murder conviction of one of the four former Blackwater security guards who massacred 14 unarmed Iraqis in September 2007.

US court denies damage claim for American citizen wrongfully held for more than three years by ICE

By Nick Barrickman, 4 August 2017

Davino Watson was denied payment for damages on the grounds that the statute of limitations had passed while he was still being wrongfully detained.

Unanimous Supreme Court reinstates anti-Muslim travel ban

By Tom Carter, 27 June 2017

Donald Trump’s presidential decree attacking Muslims, which was drafted by his fascistic advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, will be allowed to go into effect.

Supreme Court clears Bush officials for illegal detention of Muslims

By Alan Gilman, 22 June 2017

The protracted legal proceeding concerned mass illegal detentions of immigrants in the New York City area, mainly Muslims, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Justice Department appoints special counsel to investigate Trump-Russia claims

By Andre Damon, 18 May 2017

The appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate Trump’s alleged ties to Russia marks a new stage in the factional battle raging in Washington.

Gorsuch restores ultra-right majority on US Supreme Court

By Patrick Martin, 11 April 2017

The new justice was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in on Monday.