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Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on whether and to what extent class members' injuries and standing are relevant to class certification in TransUnion v. Ramirez. The complaint in the district court alleged that TransUnion violated requirements imposed on credit reporting agencies (CRAs) by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in failing to provide consumers with accurate and complete information and a summary of consumer rights.

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Litigation has skyrocketed in recent years over workers’ attempts to avoid mandatory arbitration of their employment disputes, resulting in a legal landscape that will remain muddled absent intervention by the nation’s top court.

Federal district and circuit courts since 2019 have issued more rulings on whether plaintiffs are transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce—and thus are exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act—than they did over the preceding 17 years, according to a Bloomberg Law analysis.

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A federal appeals court has just provided some much-needed relief to businesses facing a barrage of website accessibility lawsuits alleging that their sites do not comply with the nation’s main disability discrimination statute. These lawsuits typically involve a prospective plaintiff, or their counsel, merely accessing a company’s website and testing various screen reading software, filing suit if any portion of the website is not compatible with any of the assistive technologies. In the April 7 Gil v. Winn-Dixie decision, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to these lawsuits by holding that a website is not a place of public accommodation subject to the

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President Joe Biden soon is expected to announce his first judicial nominations, and much attention is focused on the potential elevation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Donald Trump focused quickly on numerous appellate vacancies in reshaping the courts with younger conservatives, something Biden is unlikely to undo. But trial courts, where Jackson currently sits, are where Biden can change the composition of the federal judiciary right now.

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On February 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”), the United States Department of Health and Human Services (the “HHS”), and the United States of America (collectively the “Government”) appealed a federal court’s holding that Congress exceeded its authority when it imposed a national eviction moratorium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas so held in Terkel v. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1

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What's more, the importance of balancing responsibilities and rights is exactly why our Constitution enumerates specific rights. The Framers sought to ensure that these rights would not be obliterated by the kinds of "responsibilities" that too many majorities have imposed upon minorities throughout history.

Other Democrats have suggested the CLDA is overly broad. They emphasize the definition of "civil liberties" in the bill refers to "any guarantee against… an imposition, intrusion, fine, punishment, or penalty." But this reading is incomplete. The rest of the definition makes clear that it only includes guarantees provided by "the New Hampshire bill of rights [or] the United States Constitution" under binding law.

If Democrats think protecting all civil liberties is excessively broad, they must believe there are certain rights that a governor must be able to suspend. But which rights are these?

Look over the Bill of Rights and decide for yourself: which rights are essential in times of emergency and which should we deem expendable? For example, should we protect freedom of speech, but allow future governors to suspend the right to "public trial, by an impartial jury?"

And don't forget about the New Hampshire Constitution. Should we protect the Article 22 right to "Liberty of the press," but let governors suspend the requirement that "All elections are to be free"? Critics of HB 440 have not told us which rights should be off-limits to suspension and which rights are optional.

Less than two decades ago, a large faction of Democrats stood with libertarians in defending civil liberties. Now that Democrats have an increasingly firm grip on the federal government, this faction has fallen conveniently silent. Last week's vote is an important reminder that—even at the state level—many Democrats are rapidly becoming reflexive and brazen supporters of authoritarian power.

State Rep. Matthew Simon, who gave a floor speech in favor of the CLDA, called upon the House to think about the future. "We don't know what the future holds, or what kind of person will wield emergency powers," he said. "I ask that you shore up our constitutional defenses during a state of emergency so that the responsibility for any potential future abuses will not rest upon our shoulders."

The CLDA is now before the New Hampshire Senate. Call your state Senator and ask him or her to support HB 440 as passed by the House.

Ian Huyett is the General Counsel and Director of Policy at Cornerstone, a Christian advocacy group in New Hampshire.


This story was originally published by the NH Journal, an online news publication dedicated to providing fair, unbiased reporting on, and analysis of, political news of interest to New Hampshire. For more stories from the NH Journal, visit NHJournal.com.

Original Link:

https://patch.com/new-hampshire/londonderry/huyett-most-nh-house-dems-voted-allow-suspending-constitutional-rights

Since 1871 the Civil Rights Act has held state and local officials — including police officers — legally liable for damages if their actions violate a citizen’s constitutional rights.

That’s until the Supreme Court punched a huge hole in the law, making it now nearly impossible to hold police officers accountable — even for acts that clearly violate the rights of citizens. Such actions multiplied massively under the war on drugs.

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