US Legal Issues

Epstein assistant Ghislaine Maxwell requests $5 million bail

By Kevin Reed, 11 July 2020

Whatever the outcome of Maxwell’s arraignment on Tuesday, more revelations about the activities and relationships of Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante should be anticipated.

Supreme Court rules against Trump on releasing tax returns, but allows delay

By John Burton, 10 July 2020

While Trump failed in his effort to assert absolute presidential immunity, the court rulings will push back any release of his financial documents until after the election.

Michigan court rules that SEP must gather signatures despite pandemic

By Joseph Kishore—SEP candidate for US president, 10 July 2020

The district court’s decision is not a serious legal ruling grounded in jurisprudence or reasoned analysis. It is a political decision aimed at barring socialists from the ballot.

US Supreme Court decisions attack separation of church and state and workers’ rights

By Ed Hightower, 9 July 2020

The court’s assault on workers takes the form of an assault on secularism.

Federal judge backs Democrats, rules against SEP challenge to Michigan ballot access requirements during pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 9 July 2020

A Republican-appointed federal judge sided with Michigan Democrats on Wednesday and ruled against the Socialist Equality Party in its lawsuit to block the state’s unconstitutional rules for ballot access in the 2020 presidential elections.

Supreme Court rules Electoral College members must follow state vote in presidential elections

By Alan Gilman, 7 July 2020

The 9-0 ruling was driven by mounting fears that the outcome of future presidential elections—including the 2020 election—will be seen as illegitimate and undemocratic.

An assault on separation of church and state as well as public education

US Supreme Court rules in favor of religious schools

By John Burton and Ed Hightower, 3 July 2020

Undermining the wall between church and state, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot deny funding to religious schools, sweeping aside dozens of state constitutional provisions enacted to protect public education.

SEP presidential candidates Kishore and Santa Cruz file federal lawsuit challenging ballot access restrictions in California

By Norissa Santa Cruz—SEP Vice Presidential Candidate, 2 July 2020

The Socialist Equality Party’s candidates argued in court filings Tuesday that the state’s requirement that the candidates gather 200,000 voter signatures is impossible to meet during the pandemic and a violation of basic democratic rights.

New US indictment of Julian Assange not served in UK courts

By Thomas Scripps, 30 June 2020

In yet another Kafkaesque turn, UK legal proceedings are continuing on the basis of an indictment which has been replaced and therefore has no legal force in the US.

US Supreme Court upholds abortion access, eliminates executive watchdog and opens federal death chambers

By John Burton, 30 June 2020

On Monday, the US Supreme Court issued a significant ruling protecting the right to abortion, but also strengthened the unitary executive and cleared the way for the first federal executions in 17 years.

US Supreme Court rejects environmental groups’ appeal to halt border wall construction

By Jacob Crosse, 30 June 2020

The appeal was rejected without comment by the justices.

As pandemic rages, Trump administration calls on Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 27 June 2020

An overturn of the Affordable Care Act would wipe out health care coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.

New York City police commissioner defends vehicular assault on protesters

By Erik Schreiber, 27 June 2020

Secure in the knowledge that city and state officials will support him, Commissioner Dermot Shea testified that officers who drove into a crowd of protesters last month did not violate department policy on the use of force.

US Supreme Court rules recent asylum seekers have no right to habeas corpus or due process

By Eric London, 26 June 2020

As in Dred Scott v. Sandford, the Supreme Court made the most sweeping anti-democratic ruling possible.

In letter to the Lancet, doctors condemn torture of Assange and demand his release

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 June 2020

The doctors note that since they last wrote to the prestigious medical journal in February, the abuse of the WikiLeaks founder’s rights has only intensified.

Ahmaud Arbery’s killers indicted on murder charges in Georgia

By Matthew MacEgan, 26 June 2020

A Georgia grand jury indicted all three men with nine counts each, including malice murder and four counts of felony murder.

Detroit nurses’ lawsuit exposes horrific conditions at Sinai-Grace Hospital as COVID-19 deaths spiked

By Kevin Reed, 25 June 2020

Four nurses who worked at Sinai-Grace Hospital have filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Tenet corporation that operates the facility where dozens of people died from COVID-19 due to management’s cost-cutting.

The fight to put the SEP on the ballot continues as Illinois court denies challenge to relaxed ballot access rules

By Kristina Betinis, 23 June 2020

An appeals court denied a challenge to an April ruling that the pandemic and social distancing presented a “nearly insurmountable hurdle” to the in-person collection of tens of thousands of signatures.

Socialist Equality Party challenges undemocratic ballot access laws in Michigan

By Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz—SEP candidates for president and vice president, 20 June 2020

The lawsuit is part of the SEP’s fight against an undemocratic electoral system that is designed to prevent any opposition to the two parties of the ruling class, the Democrats and Republicans.

Supreme Court blocks Trump administration’s plan to “immediately end” DACA

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 19 June 2020

A 5-4 majority cited the administration’s failure to provide a “reasoned explanation” as the basis for Trump’s decision to rescind an executive order issued by Obama in 2012.

Supreme Court rules that employers cannot fire workers because of sexual orientation or self-identity

Denies review on cases regarding qualified immunity for police

By John Burton, 16 June 2020

A 6–3 majority ruled that the federal civil rights in employment statute prohibits employers from terminating workers because of sexual orientation or gender self-identification.

Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich reviews life, crimes and death of financier

By Kevin Reed, 16 June 2020

The Netflix series paints a picture of the life and times of the late billionaire hedge fund manager and convicted sex offender in the style of a true-crime documentary.

140 Trump admin sanctions ICC officials

15 June 2020

Inmate dies after being pepper sprayed by guards at Brooklyn federal detention center

By Sam Dalton, 5 June 2020

Jamel Floyd was declared dead shortly after guards responded to an incident in his cell and subdued him with a noxious chemical agent.

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.