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Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says
The two slaves, a father and daughter, were stripped to the waist and positioned for frontal and side views. Then, like subjects in contemporary mug shots, their pictures were taken, as part of a racist study arguing that black people were an inferior race.

Little did they know that 169 years later, they would be at the center of a dispute over who should own the fruits of American slavery.

On Wednesday, Tamara Lanier, 54, filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts saying that she is a direct descendant of the pair, who were identified by their first names, Renty and Delia, and that the valuable photographs — commissioned by a professor at Harvard and now stored in a museum on campus — are hers.

The images, Ms. Lanier said, are records of her personal family history, not cultural artifacts to be kept by an institution.

“These were our bedtime stories,” Ms. Lanier’s older daughter, Shonrael, said.

The case renews focus on the role that the country’s oldest universities played in slavery, and also comes amid a growing debate over whether the descendants of the enslaved are entitled to reparations — and what those reparations might look like.

“It is unprecedented in terms of legal theory and reclaiming property that was wrongfully taken,” Benjamin Crump, one of Ms. Lanier’s lawyers, said. “Renty’s descendants may be the first descendants of slave ancestors to be able to get their property rights.”

Jonathan Swain, a spokesman for Harvard, did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the lawsuit.
legal  history  slavery  humanrights  civilrights  culture  lawsuit  copyright 
3 days ago by jtyost2
Lawsuit as unvaccinated teen banned by US school in outbreak - BBC News
An unvaccinated Kentucky teenager is suing after his Catholic school excluded him amid a chickenpox outbreak that has sickened at least 32 pupils.

Jerome Kunkel, 18, has not contracted the virus, but he has been banned by Our Lady of the Sacred Heart/Assumption Academy in Walton.

His lawsuit argues the vaccine is "immoral, illegal and sinful" and his rights have been violated.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department banned unvaccinated pupils on 14 March.

The notification said that due to the outbreak of chickenpox, students who have not been vaccinated or are already immune to the infection must stay home "until 21 days after the onset of rash for the last ill student or staff member".
vaccine  health  stupid  lawsuit  legal  religion  freedomofreligion  kentucky  usa 
4 days ago by jtyost2
West Virginia Sues Bishop and Diocese Over Sex Abuse, Citing Consumer Protection
The West Virginia attorney general filed a lawsuit against a retired top bishop and the state’s only Catholic diocese on Tuesday, saying that they “knowingly employed pedophiles.”

The civil suit also alleges that the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, who was recently restricted from ministry, “failed to conduct adequate background checks” for employees of Catholic camps and schools, and that they did not disclose “the inherent danger to parents who purchased its services for their children.”

The lawsuit claims that the diocese and the bishop violated the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, an unusual approach in pursuing the Catholic Church over sexual abuse and misconduct. Criminal prosecutions of individual abuse cases have often been hampered by statutes of limitation, but the West Virginia lawsuit is a civil action, and is directed at the church’s handling of the problem. At least 16 attorneys general have started investigations into the Catholic Church since last summer.
WestVirginia  legal  religion  catholic  scandal  SexAbuse  lawsuit  safety  from instapaper
4 days ago by jtyost2
Doing More to Protect Against Discrimination in Housing, Employment and Credit Advertising | Facebook Newsroom
Our policies already prohibit advertisers from using our tools to discriminate. We’ve removed thousands of categories from targeting related to protected classes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. But we can do better.

We believe that the changes we’re announcing today as part of our settlements with the NFHA, ACLU, CWA and other groups will better protect people on Facebook:

Anyone who wants to run housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.
Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall. Multicultural affinity targeting will continue to be unavailable for these ads. Additionally, any detailed targeting option describing or appearing to relate to protected classes will also be unavailable.
We’re building a tool so you can search for and view all current housing ads in the US targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.
legal  lawsuit  facebook  business  advertising  discrimination  housing  employment  economics  civilrights  humanrights  from instapaper
4 days ago by jtyost2
Facebook agrees to overhaul targeted advertising system for job, housing and loan ads after discrimination complaints
Facebook on Tuesday agreed to overhaul its lucrative targeted advertising system to settle accusations that landlords, lenders and employers use the platform to…
facebook  advertising  business  legal  housing  employment  discrimination  lawsuit  civilrights  humanrights  from instapaper
4 days ago by jtyost2
A Jury Will Decide if a GA School District Banned Yoga to Appease Christians
In 2006, Bonnie Cole, a practicing Christian, became the Assistant Principal at Bullard Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia. In 2014, she and other teachers began introducing children to yoga exercises that involved breathing and stretching and meditation in order to help kids reduce their stress and relax.

It seemed to work. The school reported a 33% decrease in disruptive behavior and policy violations following the introduction of those yoga sessions.
religion  politics  education  legal  lawsuit  freedomofreligion 
5 days ago by jtyost2
US court: Sandy Hook victims' families can sue Remington - BBC News
A Connecticut court has ruled that families of schoolchildren killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting can sue American gun-maker Remington.

In a 5-4 vote, the US state's Supreme Court said the lawsuit could proceed on the basis of state consumer protection laws.

The gun was used by Adam Lanza, who killed 27 people, including 20 elementary school students.

The ruling is a rare legal defeat for an arms firm in a mass shooting case.

The lawsuit, by relatives of nine victims and one survivor, points to the "militaristic" marketing of Remington's AR-15 rifle.
Connecticut  legal  lawsuit  business  SandyHook  guncontrol 
7 days ago by jtyost2
Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman sued for $500bn in college cheating scam - BBC News
A US mother has filed a $500bn (£375bn) lawsuit against the people charged in a university admissions scandal, claiming her son was unfairly denied placement.

Jennifer Kay Toy cited the "despicable actions" of the alleged conspirators as the reason her child was not admitted to some universities he had applied to.

A separate class action suit brought by current students has been filed against the universities named by US officials.

The students say a "warped and rigged" admission scandal cost them money.

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among the 33 parents charged with conspiring to bribe, cheat on tests and fake credentials to get their students into elite universities.

On Thursday, Ms Loughlin was officially dropped from the Hallmark Channel, a television network she has worked with since at least 2010.
lawsuit  college  education  stupid  legal  FelicityHuffman  LoriLoughlin 
7 days ago by jtyost2
Ex-VW Chief Knew of Diesel Scheme Years Earlier Than He Admitted, S.E.C. Says
The top securities agency in the United States has accused Volkswagen of undertaking a “massive fraud” and lying to investors, the latest in an ongoing diesel emissions scandal that has beleaguered the German carmaker.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said late Thursday that it was suing Volkswagen and Martin Winterkorn, its former chief executive, in a case related to a decade-long scheme undertaken by one of the world’s biggest carmakers to fudge its diesel emissions testing.

The agency is seeking to bar Mr. Winterkorn from being an executive director of any publicly listed company in the United States. It is also seeking to recover what it called “ill-gotten gains” from Volkswagen. Federal prosecutors criminally charged Mr. Winterkorn in 2018 with conspiring to hide the emissions cheating, elevating the scandal at the automaker to the very top of its management.
Volkswagen  sec  legal  lawsuit  business  ethics  pollution  automotive  fraud 
8 days ago by jtyost2
Congress Has a Breaking Point. This Week, Trump Might Have Found It.
The rejection of Mr. Trump’s national emergency declaration could also give ammunition to a half-dozen legal cases challenging the president’s exercise of that power under the 1976 National Emergencies Act, said Jack L. Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush.

“Some judges may count that as evidence of congressional intent,” Mr. Goldsmith said, though he added that he disagrees with that view.

Dror Ladin, a staff lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Congress’s action would help convince federal judges that the president was acting illegally to fund his wall.

“This vote reinforces that the president has no right to that money,” Mr. Ladin said.

But as a political matter, Mr. Trump could use the congressional votes to his advantage on the 2020 campaign trail, portraying himself once again as the outsider candidate battling an unpopular Congress and the establishment in Washington.

Congress has for decades been what Ross K. Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University, calls a “constitutional weakling” — excessively deferential to the president. But there have been moments in history where the legislative branch seeks to assert its power and relevance, particularly with respect to the military and foreign engagement.

That happened in the 1970s with the passage of the War Powers Act, which gave Congress the ability to compel the removal of military forces absent a formal declaration of war. Congress exerted its authority in 1991 and again in 2002, when it authorized the president to use military force in the run-up to both wars in Iraq.

In 2005, amid a public uproar over the torture of detainees, Congress tightened antitorture laws to ban the infliction of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” on prisoners — including those held overseas by the C.I.A. — over the objections of President Bush.

Now the fight over wall funding may incite yet another round of congressional muscle-flexing. A number of Republicans are pushing legislation to claw back the powers that Congress gave the president in the National Emergencies Act, which Mr. Trump invoked to declare an emergency along the southwestern border.

“The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee.
congress  politics  usa  immigration  legal  military  government  democracy  DonaldTrump  republicans  democrats  lawsuit  from instapaper
8 days ago by jtyost2
Senate Rejects Trump’s Border Emergency Declaration, Setting Up First Veto
The Senate on Thursday easily voted to overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwestern border, delivering a bipartisan rebuke to what lawmakers in both parties deemed executive overreach by a president determined to build his border wall over Congress’s objections.

The 59-41 vote on the House-passed measures set up the first veto of Mr. Trump’s presidency. It was not overwhelming enough to override Mr. Trump’s promised veto, but Congress has now voted to block a presidential emergency declaration for the first time — and on one of the core promises that animated Mr. Trump’s political rise, the vow to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

In an attempt to limit defections ahead of the vote, Mr. Trump had sought to frame the vote publicly as not only a declaration of support for his border security policies but a sign of personal loyalty.

“It’s pure and simple: it’s a vote for border security, it’s a vote for no crime,” Mr. Trump told reporters ahead of the vote, which he declared on Twitter to be “a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime and the Open Border Democrats!”

But he could not overcome concerns among Republican senators about the legality of redirecting $3.6 billion from military construction projects toward the border wall even after Congress explicitly rejected the funding request.

“I believe the use of emergency powers in this circumstance violates the Constitution,” said Senator Jerry Moran, Republican of Kansas, in a statement written on lined paper. “This continues our country down the path of all powerful executive — something those who wrote the Constitution were fearful of.”

Ultimately, about a dozen Republicans joined Senate Democrats in supporting the House-passed resolution of disapproval: Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Mr. Moran.

The vote marks an explicit rebuke of Mr. Trump’s effort to end-run the constitutional power of the purse given to Congress, and although supporters will not be able to overcome a veto, the action could bolster a number of lawsuits contesting the emergency declaration as a flagrant violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers.
legal  government  politics  senate  congress  HouseOfRepresentatives  republicans  democrats  DonaldTrump  immigration  lawsuit  from instapaper
9 days ago by jtyost2
Sandy Hook Massacre: Remington and Other Gun Companies Lose Major Ruling Over Liability
The Connecticut Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the firearms industry on Thursday, clearing the way for a lawsuit to move forward against the companies that manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used by the gunman in the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The ruling allows the lawsuit brought by victims’ relatives to go to trial, which could force gun companies to turn over internal communications that they have fiercely fought to keep private and provide a revealing — and possibly damaging — glimpse into how the industry operates.

The decision represents a significant development in the long-running battle between gun control advocates and the gun lobby.

The ruling validates the novel strategy lawyers for the victims’ families used as they sought to find a route around the vast protections in federal law that guard gun companies from litigation when their products are used to commit a crime.

The victims’ relatives had faced long odds as they argued that the gun companies bore some responsibility for the horrific attack.

The lawsuit argued that the AR-15-style Bushmaster used in the 2012 attack had been marketed as a weapon of war, invoking the violence of combat and using slogans like “Consider your man card reissued.”

Such messages reflected, according to the lawsuit, a deliberate effort to appeal to troubled young men like Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who charged into the elementary school and killed 26 people, including 20 first graders, in a spray of gunfire. The attack traumatized the nation and made Newtown, Conn., the small town where it happened, a rallying point in the broader debate over gun violence.

The high stakes posed by the case stirred a vigorous response from both sides that only intensified after recurring episodes of deadly mass violence that followed the Newtown attack.

Among those who lobbied in support of the lawsuit were gun violence prevention groups, emergency doctors who treated patients wounded by assault rifle fire and a statewide association of school superintendents.

Many gun-rights groups also raised their concerns, including the National Rifle Association, which contended in its brief that allowing the case to move ahead stood to “eviscerate” the gun companies’ legal protections.
guncontrol  legal  lawsuit  politics  nra  Connecticut  from instapaper
9 days ago by jtyost2

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