News Roundup

Weekly Briefs: US renews ABA status as law school accreditor; lawyer gets NBA scoring gig

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Department of Education

Law school accreditor status of ABA recognized for another five years

The ABA was approved for renewal of recognition as the accreditor of law schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday. The recognition is for five years. The council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has served that role since 1952, according to the section’s Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools. The department also renewed the ABA’s recognition as a law school accreditor in 2016. That year, it rejected a panel recommendation that the organization be suspended from accrediting new law schools for one year because of concerns over whether the ABA enforced standards and was in compliance with federal regulations regarding mandates that accrediting agencies monitor and reevaluate programs. (U.S. Department of Education announcement)

Lawyer is now ‘court reporter’ for the Golden State Warriors

California lawyer Kevin Chung has a new part-time gig as an official scorer for the Golden State Warriors. By day, Chung is an in-house lawyer for cybersecurity firm Proofpoint. In the evening, “I’m kind of the court reporter, no pun intended,” Chung told Bloomberg Law. (Bloomberg Law)

US issues first passport listing gender as X

The United States has issued a passport with an X designation for gender to Dana Zzyym, the associate director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality. Zzyym is the first U.S. citizen to receive a passport with the X gender marker. The U.S. Department of State issued the passport after years of litigation. It plans to offer the X option for all nonbinary, intersex and gender nonconforming people beginning in 2022. (Courthouse News Service, the New York Times, Lambda Legal press release, U.S. Department of State press release)

Polled judges support SCOTUS term limits, impose sentences despite disagreement

Alumni of the National Judicial College who responded to nonscientific “question of the month” polls supported term limits for U.S. Supreme Court justices and indicated that they sometimes have to rule in accord with laws that they don’t like. About 60% of 632 responding judges supported term limits. Nearly 95% of 350 responding judges said they have had to make a ruling in line with a law that conflicts with their personal beliefs. Laws disliked by commenting judges include those that ban possession of marijuana or guns and that require mandatory minimum sentences. (National Judicial College press releases here and here)

Voting rights advocate becomes only Latino judge on 2nd Circuit

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed voting rights proponent Myrna Pérez to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New York. She will be the only Latino on the court. Pérez was director of the voting rights and elections program at the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. (Reuters, NBC News)

Suit claims Pop-Tarts misleads consumers about strawberry filling

A $5 million lawsuit filed Oct. 19 claims that Kellogg misleads consumers about the composition of the fruit filling in its strawberry Pop-Tarts. The filling in the whole-grain toaster pastry contains more pears and apples than strawberries, the suit said. (The Washington Post, NBC News)

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