A district court judge who blocked the implementation of an Alabama abortion law last year announced Monday that a trial will be held on the merits of the law.
Judge Myron Thompson gave an 86-page decision explaining that an Alabama law, if enacted, might lead to the closure of some or all of the state's five abortion clinics.
"If the court finds that the statute was motivated by a purpose of protecting fetal life, then the statute had the unconstitutional purpose of creating a substantial obstacle," wrote Thompson. more >>
A Christian student has filed a lawsuit against a Virginia academic institution over allegations that he was prohibited from preaching on campus.
Brought before the Eastern District of Virginia Newport News Division on March 13, Christian Parks alleges that TNCC stopped him from preaching at an on-campus plaza area.
A Kansas man charged with murdering an older man and keeping his head in 2011 pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. His trial is expected to start on June 23 and last nearly 12 weeks.
James Paul Harris, 29, is charged with the premeditated first-degree murder of James Gerety, who was killed in the spring of 2011. Harris allegedly told a former girlfriend that he used a guitar string to sever Gerety's head and kept it in a bag to talk with it. He disposed of the rest of the body. A Topeka, Kansas. officer also testified that Harris said he needed the head for part of a voodoo ritual. It was later found.
Harris and his court-appointed attorney, James Campbell, previously appeared before Osage County Magistrate Judge Taylor Wine in order to request the right to a speedy trial. Harris wanted to get on with the trial rather than wait any longer. more >>
Matthew and Grace Huang, an American couple from Los Angeles, were sentenced in Qatar Thursday to three years in prison for allegedly killing their 8-year-old adopted daughter, Gloria. Supporters say the Huangs have been wrongly accused.
"We have just been wrongfully convicted and we feel as if we are being kidnapped by the Qatar judicial system. This verdict is wrong and appears to be nothing more than an effort to save face," Matthew Huang said, according to FreeMattandGrace.com, a website that supports the Huangs.
"The prosecutor accused us of trafficking our legal adopted children with the intent of selling their organs. That is how ridiculous this is .... So we are calling on the United States President Obama to call the Head of State in Qatar and explain to him why American families adopt high-needs children. more >>
A county commissioner in Carroll County, Md., disobeyed a judge's recent injunction on Thursday when she opened an official budget meeting with a sectarian prayer, saying she'd rather go to jail than give up her First Amendment rights to freedom of religion.
Carroll County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier opened Thursday's budget meeting by referencing the recent injunction granted by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr., who earlier this week ruled that Carroll County commissioners are prohibited from using "the name of a specific deity associated with any specific faith or belief" during pre-meeting prayers. Quarles said in his ruling that the commission may now only say non-sectarian prayers.
The injunction was granted as several Carroll County residents, along with the American Humanist Association, proceed with a civil lawsuit against the county for its pre-meeting sectarian prayers, arguing that they are official "government speech" and therefore a violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause. more >>
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday that the federal government will recognize the 300 same-sex marriages performed in Michigan following the recent ruling that struck down the state ban on gay marriage. The announcement comes shortly after state Gov. Rick Snyder said the same-sex nuptials would not be recognized at a state level.
Holder said in a statement posted on the Department of Justice website that he will be recognizing the marriages performed last weekend in the state, adding that these married same-sex couples will be eligible for federal benefits.
The move follows a similar decision made in January, when the Obama administration said it would recognize same-sex marriages performed in Utah from Dec. 20 to Jan. 6, before a stay was granted in a court ruling that struck down the state's gay marriage ban. more >>