Legal Lasso: Colorado Senator Faces First Amendment Lawsuit

by Julia Cardi

It’s already been an eventful week of news, and it’s only Tuesday. A Democratic representative resigned over not-totally-clear allegations, another is facing a petition for a recall vote, and some Supreme Court justices have released uncommon statements about a few of their decisions. Oh, and if you haven’t checked out our latest HearSay episode yet, it’s right this way.

IN LOCAL NEWS
Sen. Scott Faces ACLU Lawsuit Over Social Media
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed a lawsuit against Republican state Sen. Ray Scott for blocking one of his constituents on Facebook and Twitter. The constituent says her First Amendment rights are being violated, and the issue is sure to get some play in Colorado’s appellate courts.

GOP Official Commences Recall Effort for Rep. Sullivan
Recall petitions for Democratic Rep. Tom Sullivan are circulating after he had sponsored the “red-flag” bill this session. The recall effort is linked to the Colorado Republican Party’s vice-chair.

State Supreme Court Turns Down Boulder County Property Tax Case
A Boulder County man suing the county Assessor’s Office says that the office improperly raised his property taxes by using the wrong plan to appraise his property. But his litigation might end after the Colorado Supreme Court declined to review his loss in the district and appellate courts.

Few Grabbing the Opportunities in Opportunity Zones
Opportunity Zones have been up for grabs in Colorado, but so far they have had few investors lining up to take on the development projects. Some investors blame the Opportunity Zone process itself as being too confusing.

Mold at Colorado Springs Schools?
Colorado Springs parents are claiming their children are getting sick from toxic mold at their elementary school. But the school insists the building tests negative for mold.

IN NATIONAL NEWS
Supreme Court Justices Release Rare Explanatory Statements
Spurred by intense public criticism of apparently conflicting decisions in two separate death penalty case appeals earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative justices released explanatory statements on their decisions. In both cases, the justices’ bitter debate went into the small hours of the morning.

Huffman Pleads Guilty
Felicity Huffman of “Desperate Housewives” fame has pled guilty for her role in the college admissions bribery scheme. She admitted paying an admissions consultant $15,000 to adjust her older daughter’s SAT scores. Prosecutors plan to recommend four months in prison because of Huffman’s guilty plea, and sentencing is set for September.

Woods Named in Wrongful Death Suit
Tiger Woods and his girlfriend have been sued by the parents of a man who died driving while intoxicated in Florida last year. The lawsuit claims Nicholas Immesberger, who had alcoholism, was served excessive amounts of alcohol before he drove home at a restaurant. The lawsuit also claims Erica Herman, Woods’ girlfriend who manages the restaurant, recruited Immesberger as a bartender despite knowing his condition.

Arguments Over Subpoena Put on Fast Track
A federal judge in Washington proposed expedited arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by President Donald Trump’s lawyers over whether the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoena of years of his financial records is a “valid exercise of legislative power.” The judge said he considers the question fully briefed, and additional rounds of arguments are not necessary for him to decide the case.

Latest Development in NYU Investigation
NYU has hired a law firm to investigate whether the school of education’s namesake donor, Michael Steinhardt, has sexually harassed students, faculty or staff. Lawyer Joan McPhee will head the investigation, and she also helped lead the investigation into USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

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