News Roundup

One can describe today in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, it is Veterans Day, a chance to appreciate those who have served in our nation’s armed forces. If you have served, thank you. Today is also a Friday, which means a news roundup day. And today is the first day of the college basketball season, with UNC tipping off against Michigan State on an aircraft carrier. So, a big day, following a big week:

1. The United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in United States v. Jones, the GPS tracking case. Every news report I’ve seen says that the Justices were all over the map and that there is absolutely no telling how they will rule. Whatever the ruling, it will be hugely important. Even the argument attracted so much attention that spectators were camping out overnight at the Court to be first in line for tickets.

2. The state supreme court reversed the court of appeals in Yencer, the Davidson College DWI case about which I blogged here. In a nutshell, the court ruled that Davidson is sufficiently secular that allowing it to have a police force does not violate the Establishment Clause. I may do a longer post about the case once I’ve had a chance to digest the opinion more fully.

3. NarTest, the maker of portable controlled substance testing devices, recently filed for bankruptcy. I know almost nothing about bankruptcy law, but the case appears to be a Chapter 7 liquidation, not a Chapter 11 reorganization. Whatever legal issues remain about the use of NarTest devices may fall away as the company itself dissolves, though perhaps the technology will be sold as part of the bankruptcy process.

4. I previously noted that the Supreme Court had relisted, multiple times, two certiorari petitions asking the Court to address whether a juvenile murderer may receive a sentence of life without parole without violating the Eighth Amendment. The Court has now granted the petitions — both of which involve juveniles who were 14 at the time of their crimes — and will review the issue. A good summary and preview is available here, courtesy of SCOTUSblog.

5. Finally, another look into the bizarre world of celebrity “justice.” Lindsay Lohan, who I believe is on probation for DWI (2007) and shoplifting (2011), was sentenced to 30 days in jail for violating her probation. I’m not entirely sure of the nature of the violations — it’s hard to keep up — but I think that she’s fallen behind on her community service hours at the LA morgue, possibly because she’s been too busy posing for a ready-by-Christmas edition of Playboy. Anyhow, she was released from her sentence after serving just four and a half hours. I can’t recall whether that is longer or shorter than the duration of Kim Kardashian’s marriage.

Thanks again, veterans.

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