News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: DC protesters sue over park ouster; 21 federal courthouses damaged

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DC protesters sue over their ouster from Lafayette Square

Protesters and Black Lives Matter D.C. allege in a lawsuit that their ouster from Lafayette Square on June 1 violated their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly and their Fourth Amendment right of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. The suit claims that the protesters were not asked to leave before law enforcement attacked them without provocation with tear gas and pepper spray. Among the defendants are President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr. The lawsuit was filed by several civil rights groups and the law firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. (, Bloomberg Law, press releases here and here, the June 4 lawsuit)

21 federal courthouses damaged amid protests

Twenty-one federal courthouses in 15 states and the District of Columbia were damaged amid protests over the death of George Floyd, according to Donald Washington, director of the U.S. Marshals Service. Washington revealed that the number at a press conference Thursday. (Law360)

States sue over Title IX final rule on sexual misconduct

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit challenging a final Title IX rule giving more due process rights to college students accused of sexual misconduct. The suit says the new rule narrows the definition of sexual harassment and gives fewer protections to accusers. New York has filed a separate lawsuit that also challenges the rule. (Courthouse News Service, the multistate lawsuit, press release, the New York lawsuit)

5th Circuit blocks mail-in ballot expansion in Texas

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans has blocked a federal judge’s injunction that would have allowed any Texan to vote by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an opinion by Judge Jerry Smith, the appeals court said the trial court order expanding mail-in voting “will be remembered more for audacity than legal reasoning.” The 5th Circuit decision follows a Texas Supreme Court decision in late May holding that lack of immunity to the novel coronavirus is not a physical disability that allows voters to vote by mail. Texas is among a handful of states that require voters younger than 65 to have a reason for mail-in voting. (Courthouse News Service, the Texas Tribune)

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