Arizona Senate Rejects Contraception Bill

AZCentral:  The Arizona Senate on Wednesday voted down a controversial bill to allow employers and insurance companies to opt out of covering contraception for religious reasons. 

The bill failed in the Senate on a 13-17 vote, but House Bill 2625 is not dead. Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, who championed the measure in that chamber, said she will bring it back for a revote this session. 

The bill has drawn nationwide attention in recent weeks, and the measure has spawned much confusion over what it actually would do. An amended version considered Wednesday by the Senate aimed to clear up some of the confusion.

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By |March 28th, 2012|Arizona Law, Arizona Legislation|0 Comments

Obamacare Arguments: Day 2

ABA Journal:  The U.S. Supreme Court will hold two hours of arguments today on the constitutional questions in the health care case.

The issue is whether Congress had the authority to require most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, according to the New York Times, and the Washington Post.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. says Congress was authorized to act under the commerce clause, which allows regulation of economic activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Uninsured Americans are unable to pay for $43 billion in health care each year, essentially transferring the costs to other Americans, he argues.

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By |March 27th, 2012|Obamacare|0 Comments

How to Handle the Coming Dividend Tax Hike

Smart Money:  “Unless Congress takes action, the top tax rate for the highest earners on most dividends, currently 15%, is set to jump to a whopping 43.4% next year. That is a maximum income-tax rate of 39.6% — since dividends ll once again be taxed as regular income — plus a 3.8% tax on investment income as part of the health-care overhaul passed in 2009.”

By |March 27th, 2012|Tax Law|0 Comments

Arizona Hospitals Experiencing Fallout from Nurses Wages

Arizona Republic:  “Arizona hospitals last decade struggled to find enough nurses to fill shifts in critical hospital operations, prompting some hospitals to turn to temporary or traveling nurses to ensure enough medical help for patients.

While the nursing market has largely stabilized in recent years as colleges graduate more nurses, hospitals are still grappling with one impact of the nursing shortage — legal fallout from allegations that a hospital industry group fixed wages for temporary and traveling nurses.

More than two dozen Arizona hospital systems agreed to pay nearly $22 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged a nursing registry controlled by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association suppressed wages paid to temporary or traveling nurses.”

By |March 27th, 2012|Arizona Litigation|0 Comments

Bank of America Starts Foreclosure Rental Program

Associated Press:  “Bank of America has launched a pilot program that will let some homeowners at risk of foreclosure become renters and stay in their homes.  Fewer than 1,000 borrowers in Arizona, Nevada and New York will be enrolled in the test program, which began this week. Those selected will transfer the title of their homes back to Bank of America and have their mortgage debt forgiven.  The homeowners can rent the homes for up to three years at or below their area’s market rental rate.”

By |March 27th, 2012|General|0 Comments

Exclusive interview with Dharun Ravi, the Man Convicted of 15 Crimes After the Suicide of His Gay Roomate Tyler Clementi  “Dharun Ravi’s face is drawn and thin. The stress of the last year and a half has wrung him out. His eyes are perpetually sad, not the eyes of a very bright 20-year-old young man who should have a promising future. He is sitting on a plush maroon sofa in his parents’ living room, free on bail but still a prisoner in public opinion. He has been convicted of a hate crime for spying on Tyler Clementi, who jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after the episode.”

By |March 27th, 2012|Current Events|0 Comments

SCOTUS Appears Ready to Decide Health Care Case Now Not Later

ABA Journal:  U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared likely to move on to the constitutional issues in the challenge to the Obama administration’s health care law as they considered arguments this morning that the case was brought too soon.

An appointed lawyer, Robert Long of Covington & Burling, had argued that the case could not be heard until 2015, when taxpayers who fail to buy health insurance will be required to pay a penalty. He argued the penalty was a tax under an 1867 law that bars courts from considering tax challenges before the tax is collected.

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By |March 26th, 2012|Obamacare|0 Comments

Obamacare Arguments: Day 1

ABA Journal:  The U.S. Supreme Court begins three days of arguments today on the Obama administration’s health care law by considering whether the case was brought too soon.

The law requires Americans to have health insurance by 2014 or to pay a penalty on April 2015 tax returns. The question for the justices today is whether the penalty is a tax and, if so, whether an 1867 federal law called the Anti-Injunction Act bars courts from hearing a challenge until the tax is paid. The New York Times, the Washington Post and report on the issue.

Former Solicitor General Paul Clement, who represents states challenging the law, said in remarks earlier this month that he feels sorry for people who camp out to see today’s arguments, Bloomberg News reported at the time. “I think of that as a kind of practical joke that the court is playing on the public,” Clement said. “Some people are going to stand out all [Sunday] night trying to get a seat for the health care argument, and they’re going to hear all this discussion about this Anti-Injunction Act—about the most boring jurisdictional stuff one can imagine.”

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By |March 26th, 2012|Obamacare|0 Comments

Can Potential Employers Ask For Your Facebook Password?

ABA Journal:  Citing “a distressing increase in reports of employers or others seeking to gain inappropriate access to people’s Facebook profiles,” Facebook’s chief privacy officer warned in a Friday post on the social network’s website that the company could “initiate legal action” against employers who do so.

The comment by Erin Egan suggested that information obtained in this manner could put employers at risk of a discrimination suit, reports Reuters.

Her comment follows news last week that lawmakers in at least two states, Illinois and Maryland, are considering possible legislation to prohibit employers from pressuring job applicants to provide their Facebook passwords. Lawmakers in California and Massachusetts also are mulling such legislation, the Associated Press reports.

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By |March 26th, 2012|Privacy, Social Media Law|0 Comments

Judge Tosses Suit Against NY Law School

ABA Journal:  A state court judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by nine New York Law School graduates against their alma mater.

Although the plaintiffs contend they were somehow misled by published NYLS employment data into believing that their post-graduation job prospects were better than they are, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Melvin L. Schweitzer said in his opinion today that the school’s employment data wasn’t misleading and college graduates have only themselves to blame if they didn’t fully research the issue before paying annual tuition that now totals $47,800 per year.

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By |March 23rd, 2012|Law School Reality|0 Comments