News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Judge admonishes state AG for ignored voting order; court upholds law school's $2.6M settlement

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Judge admonishes Tennessee attorney general’s office for ignoring absentee voting order

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle chastised attorneys from the Tennessee attorney general’s office Thursday for not following the temporary injunction that she issued last week to allow state voters who were concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic to vote by mail. Lyle had said those voters could check a box confirming they were disabled, ill or hospitalized or could not get to the polls—reasons already on the absentee request form—but instead, the state modified the form to add COVID-19. Lyle asked the state to fix the form by Friday afternoon. (The Associated Press, Courthouse News Service, the Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Appeals court upholds Charlotte School of Law’s $2.6M class settlement

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Richmond, Virginia, affirmed Thursday the district court’s approval of the Charlotte School of Law’s $2.6 million class action settlement to resolve claims that it misrepresented its American Bar Association accreditation issues to students and prospective students. In the unpublished decision, Judge Rossie Alston Jr. disagreed with a group of objecting class members that argued that the district court abused its discretion in its approval of the limited fund settlement. They also argued that the limited fund wasn’t maxed out and that defendants benefited from the settlement since they were able to keep their businesses. (Bloomberg Law, the June 11 opinion)

7th Circuit prevents Trump administration from enforcing ‘public charge’ rule in Illinois

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago upheld Wednesday a decision preventing the Trump administration from enforcing its “public charge” rule, which seeks to prevent immigrants from entering the country or receiving green cards or visas if they need public benefits, food stamps or housing assistance. In the 2-1 decision, the court ruled in favor of Cook County, Illinois. (Bloomberg Law, Courthouse News Service, Law360, the June 10 opinion)

DC Circuit rejects lawsuit seeking worker protections during pandemic

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has rejected claims from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations—the country’s largest federation of labor unions—that the Trump administration has not protected workers who risked exposure to COVID-19. In an unsigned, two-page order, a three-judge panel said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issue an emergency temporary standard if it finds “employees are exposed to grave danger,” but because of the “unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the regulatory tools that the OSHA has at its disposal to ensure that employers are maintaining hazard-free work environments, the OSHA reasonably determined that an ETS is not necessary at this time.” The AFL-CIO had argued that it was necessary to implement new standards, such as social distancing requirements and access to testing, especially as grocery store and meat packing employees were deemed to be essential during the pandemic. (Courthouse News Service, Law360, the June 11 order)

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