News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: SCOTUS nixes immigration arguments; decapitation defendant attacks her lawyer

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SCOTUS drops arguments in immigration case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday removed a case from its argument calendar in which 19 states sought to keep in place an immigrant expulsion policy. The policy, based on Title 42 of the U.S. Code, quickly expelled asylum seekers on the ground they could contribute to the spread of COVID-19. The court acted after the administration filed a brief telling the court the policy would be moot after the Biden administration ends the COVID public health emergency on May 11. (The New York Times, Law360, Reuters)

Murder defendant attacks lawyer in court

A woman accused of strangling, decapitating and dismembering a male friend in Green Bay, Wisconsin, attacked her lawyer in court on Tuesday. The defendant, 25-year-old Taylor Schabusiness, attacked lawyer Quinn Jolly after a judge agreed to delay her trial for a competency review by the defense. A sheriff’s officer intervened and tackled the woman. (The Associated Press, Fox 11 News, the Green Bay Press Gazette, WBAY)

Appeals court refuses to toss Smartmatic suit against Fox News

A New York appeals court has refused to toss a defamation suit filed against Fox News, two of its hosts and Rudy Giuliani over unsupported claims about Smartmatic’s voting machines. The court also reinstated some tossed claims against Giuliani and reinstated claims against a third Fox News personality. Fox News said in a statement that it is confident it will prevail. “There is nothing more newsworthy than covering the president of the United States and his lawyers making allegations of voter fraud,” the statement said. (Law360, the Legal Profession Blog, the Associated Press, the Feb. 14 decision)

Appeals court upholds $110K contempt sanction against Trump

A New York appeals court has upheld a $110,000 contempt sanction imposed against former President Donald Trump for an inadequate response to a subpoena. The appeals court said the $10,000 a day fine wasn’t excessive in the probe of Trump’s business by the state attorney general. (Reuters, Law360, CNBC, the Feb. 14 decision)

Trailblazing lawyer dies at 98

Annie Brown Kennedy, a lawyer who was the first Black woman in the North Carolina General Assembly, died last month at the age of 98. In 2002, she received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. “While hers was rarely the loudest voice in a room, it was often the strongest,” according to the Greensboro News & Record. (The Greensboro News & Record, the Winston-Salem Journal)

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