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Legal News Roundup: March 31

Here’s a roundup of recent legal stories in the news.

Two Capitol Police Officers Sue Donald Trump

Capitol riots

Donald Trump faces a lawsuit over the Capitol riots. Photo via Julio Cortez/AP

The Washington Post – Two Capitol Police officers who battled the mob of Donald Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 are suing the former president for the physical and emotional injuries they say they suffered in the attacks

Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby allege that for months, Trump rallied the insurrectionists with baseless election fraud claims that eventually culminated in the breach of the Capitol that left five dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

About 140 police officers were injured, according to the police union, and two officers who had been on duty at the Capitol that day later died by suicide.

“Both United States Capitol Police Officers reported for duty on January 6, 2021, without any suspicion that they would soon become the targets of Trump’s followers,” according to the suit.

Read the full story.


U.S. Supreme Court weighs NCAA athlete compensation dispute

March Madness pic

The “March Madness” tournament brings in billions of dollars.

Reuters – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s bid to maintain its limits on education-related compensation for student-athletes – restrictions that a lower court deemed an anticompetitive business practice.

The justices are due to hear oral arguments in an appeal by the NCAA, the major governing body for U.S. intercollegiate sports, of a lower court decision last year that found the organization’s rules to be anticompetitive under a federal law called the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Although the case does not involve direct payments to athletes, the broader question of player compensation has increasingly become a point of contention. College sports, including the “March Madness” basketball tournament currently taking place, bring in billions of dollars in revenue but players remain tied to what critics call a fiction of amateurism.

Read the full story.


NY Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

marijuana plant

New York legalized recreational marijuana.

ABC News – The New York state legislature formally voted to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults and expunge the records of people previously convicted of possession.

Under the final legislation, 3 ounces of marijuana will be legal to possess for New Yorkers over 21 and the substance will have a 13% sales tax. The tax revenues will be broken up with 9% going to the state and 4% going to localities, according to the legislation.

The governor’s office said as many as 60,000 new jobs could be created and the state will generate $350 million in revenue annually, as a result of the new laws.

Residents will also be allowed to grow marijuana at home, with a limit of three mature plants for adults over 21 and six mature plants per household.

Read the full story.


Georgia Sued Over Voting Restrictions

Georgia protest

Georgia faces lawsuits over its new voting bill.

The New York Times – A coalition of civil rights groups led by the N.A.A.C.P. have filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia officials.

The groups argue that a new law severely curtailing voting access represents “intentional discrimination” against the state’s Black voters.

Republicans in Georgia and several other states considering similar laws have argued that restrictions are needed to address claims of widespread voter fraud during the 2020 elections.

Read the full story.