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Weekly Briefs: Judge tosses challenge to 'Don't Say Gay' law; gun-makers win dismissal of Mexico suit

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Challenge to Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law gets tossed

A federal judge in Tallahassee, Florida, has tossed a challenge to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, which critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law. In a Sept. 29 order, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor of the Northern District of Florida said the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to sue. The law bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, and bans such instruction that is not age appropriate. (CBS News, WUSF, the Sept. 29 decision)

Judge tosses Mexico’s suit against gun-makers

A federal judge in Boston has dismissed Mexico’s lawsuit seeking damages from U.S. gun-makers for firearms trafficking that arms drug cartels. In a Sept. 30 decision, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV of the District of Massachusetts said federal law protects the gun-makers from liability for the unlawful use of their products. “While the court has considerable sympathy for the people of Mexico, and none whatsoever for those who traffic guns to Mexican criminal organizations, it is duty bound to follow the law,” Saylor wrote. (Reuters, the Associated Press, the Sept. 30 opinion)

Doctor pleads guilty in staged-accident scheme involving litigation funder

Sady Ribeiro, 72, a New York doctor, pleaded guilty Sept. 29 to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for performing unnecessary surgery on nearly 200 people to increase the value of fraudulent trip-and-fall lawsuits. Ribeiro is the second defendant to plead guilty. The first was Adrian Alexander, the owner of a litigation funding company who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud Aug. 30. Prosecutors allege that the fraudsters recruited homeless people and drug addicts to take part in staged trip-and-fall accidents and the surgeries that followed. The “patients” were typically paid between $1,000 and $1,500 after the surgeries. (Law360, Department of Justice press release)

5th Circuit says DACA program is unlawful, remands case

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans ruled Wednesday that an Obama administration program that deferred deportation for some immigrants violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an unreasonable interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the appeals court said. DACA defers deportation and grants work permits for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. Despite the decision on the program’s illegality, the appeals court nonetheless allowed current DACA recipients to be protected from deportation. But it did bar new DACA applications. The case now goes back to a district judge to rule on a new DACA regulation adopted by the Biden administration that is intended to fix legal flaws. The case is Texas v. United States. (Reuters, Courthouse News Service, the Washington Post, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld press release, the Oct. 5 decision)

D.C. Circuit judge dies at 86

Judge Laurence Silberman, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, died Sunday at age 86. He was recently in the news for calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the landmark libel ruling New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. The Wall Street Journal described Silberman as an influential conservative who shaped Second Amendment law and advocated for judicial restraint. (The Wall Street Journal via How Appealing, Reuters, the New York Times)

Pennsylvania chief justice dies at 74

Chief Justice Max Baer of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court died at his home Friday at age 74. Justice Debra Todd, who will become the next chief justice because of her longest continuous service on the court, described Baer as “a tireless champion for children” in a statement issued by the court. He was scheduled to retire at the end of the year. (The Associated Press, Pennsylvania Supreme Court press release,

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