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Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he will appoint circuit court Judge Mark Salter to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The governor said Thursday he will name Salter, of Sioux Falls, to replace Justice Glen Severson, who will retire in June after nine years as a member of the high court.

Salter has been a judge in the 2nd Judicial Circuit since 2013. He is the presiding judge for the Minnehaha County Veteran's Treatment Court.

Salter will be the 51st member of the South Dakota Supreme Court. Daugaard says Salter is a "brilliant legal mind."

The 49-year-old Salter was born in Huron and got his law degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law in 1993.


The California Supreme Court will decide whether Facebook and other social media companies must turn over user content to criminal defendants.

The justices are expected to rule Thursday in a case that has pitted some of Silicon Valley's biggest companies against public defenders.

At issue are requests by a defendant accused in a San Francisco slaying who wants videos and other content posted to Facebook and Instagram by the victim and a witness. The defendant, Lee Sullivan, and a co-defendant, Derrick Hunter, also sought information from Twitter.

Prosecutors charged the two men with murder in an alleged gang-related drive-by-shooting in 2013. Sullivan said the witness was his former girlfriend, and her social media posts would show she was jealous and angry because Sullivan was involved with other women.

The defendants say their constitutional right to a fair trial entitles them to the social media records to prepare their case. Attorneys for the companies say a federal privacy law prevents the release of user content, and the defendants have other ways to get the material.

They could ask the witness for her social media content and get the victim's information from prosecutors, who obtained a search warrant for his Facebook and Instagram accounts and are required to turn over any exculpatory evidence to the defense, the company's attorneys, Eric Miller and James Snell, wrote in a brief to the California Supreme Court.

Sullivan's attorneys have said they could not locate the witness to serve her with a subpoena. Both defendants also say access only to records that support the prosecution's theory of the case does not allow them to mount a complete defense, according to a 2015 appeals court ruling.

That ruling sided with the social media companies and rejected Sullivan and Hunter's requests for information. "Criminal defendants are looking for a one-stop-shop, a fast lane to get the materials that social media sites might have," said Eric Goldman, co-director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law.

A decision by the California Supreme Court that overturns the appeals court ruling and sides with the defendants "could substantially change companies' practices," Goldman said.

Google in a brief filed in the case warned that loosening the rules around releasing information would undermine users' confidence in the privacy of their communications and "greatly increase" its burden from requests to disclose user information.

San Francisco's public defender's office countered in its own brief that prosecutors are increasingly offering social media records as evidence and "defendants have a parallel need for these records to defend against charges."


A state Court of Appeals judge and a circuit court judge have emerged from a three-way primary and will face off in November for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has easily won the Democratic nomination in his pursuit of another term, and he'll be challenged by a Metro councilwoman in the general election.

Republican Angela Leet defeated Bob DeVore in Tuesday's primary election to move on to challenge Fischer in November. Fischer dominated a five-way Democratic primary in Kentucky's largest city. The issues they'll face include violent crime and economic development.

Debra Hembree Lambert, a member of the state Court of Appeals, received nearly twice as many votes in Tuesday's primary election as the second-place finisher — Daniel Ballou, a circuit judge for McCreary and Whitley counties.

The Supreme Court race is nonpartisan, and the two candidates with the most votes move on to the November election.

David Tapp, a circuit judge for Pulaski, Rockcastle and Lincoln counties, finished a close third behind Ballou.

The Supreme Court seat is currently held by Justice Daniel J. Venters, who is retiring at the end of his current term. The district includes 27 counties in southern and south-central Kentucky.



A bitter and expensive fight for an Arkansas Supreme Court seat that drew more than $1 million in outside spending and a flurry of attack ads will drag on for another six months, with an incumbent justice heading into a runoff in November against an attorney backed by an out-of-state Republican group.

Justice Courtney Goodson and David Sterling, the chief counsel for the state Department of Human Services, advanced to a runoff in the November election for the state's highest court in Tuesday's non-partisan judicial election. The two were the top candidates in a three-person race for Goodson's seat, with Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Hixson finishing third.

Goodson had faced a barrage of attack ads and mailers from the Judicial Crisis Network, a Washington group that had targeted her during her unsuccessful bid for chief justice two years ago. The group, which doesn't disclose its donors, spent more than $935,000 on TV ads bashing Goodson and Hixson, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks judicial campaign spending.

"Today was a huge victory for honest people who are fed up with the lies dark money is spreading about me," Goodson told The Associated Press Tuesday night.

The ads led to a court fight over whether they should be broadcast and Goodson said she planned to continue that legal battle. Days before the primary, a state judge ordered Little Rock area TV stations to stop airing one ad, while another judge said the spot could resume running in northwest Arkansas. Goodson has filed a similar lawsuit aimed at halting the lawsuits in the Fort Smith area. Some media and free speech advocates have opposed Goodson's lawsuits, saying judges should not decide what is broadcast during elections.

The ad that sparked the court fight criticizes Goodson over gifts received from donors and a pay raise the court requested last year. An Associated Press Fact Check of the ad found that some of its claims are misleading. The Judicial Crisis Network continued its criticism of Goodson Wednesday.

"The citizens of Arkansas want and deserve integrity on the state's Supreme Court - Justice Goodson can't run from her record of pay increases, favoritism and residing in a swamp of conflicts of interest," Carrie Severino, the group's chief counsel and policy director, said in a statement.

An Epic Supreme Court Decision on Employment

  Elite Lawyers  -   POSTED: 2018/05/23 12:48

False dichotomy, meretricious piety, and pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain misdirection are vital arrows in the quiver of any lawyer or judge, no matter of what persuasion.

These tricks were on particularly egregious display in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, a 5-4 decision announced Monday in which the Supreme Court’s conservative majority continued its drive to narrow protection for employee rights. (The opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito; the dissent, by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.)

The issue in Epic Systems was this: Can an employer require its employees, as a condition of keeping their jobs, to submit to individual arbitration of wage-and-hour and other workplace-condition claims—not only without an option to go to court, but without an option to pursue even private arbitration in common with other employees making the same claim?

Employees’ objection to a “no group arbitration” clause is that individual arbitration may concern amounts too small to make pursuing them worthwhile. Thus, these clauses make it easier for employers to maintain unfair or even unlawful employment structures and salary systems.

The question required the court to interpret two federal statutes—the Federal Arbitration Act (1925) and the National Labor Relations Act (1935). The FAA says that “a written provision in a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce” requiring the parties to arbitrate instead of litigate disputes “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.

The NLRA provides that “employees shall have the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.

Begin with text: the NLRA states that it is designed to counter “inequality of bargaining power between employees who do not possess full freedom of association or actual liberty of contract and employers who are organized in the corporate or other forms of ownership association.” There is no language like this in the FAA. The best histories of the FAA’s adoption suggest that it was designed to efficiently settle disputes among merchants—business interests with comparable bargaining power.

The Act itself says it should not be read to affect “contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.” The sponsors stated during deliberations that it was not designed to cover labor agreements.



The Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a challenge to Virginia's decades-old ban on uranium mining.

The state has had a ban on uranium mining in place since 1982, soon after the discovery of a massive uranium deposit in the state's Pittsylvania County. It's the largest known deposit in the United States and one of the largest in the world.

The owners of the deposit put its value at $6 billion and said it would be enough uranium to power all of the United States' nuclear reactors continuously for two years.

A few years after the deposit was discovered, the price of uranium plummeted and interest in mining it waned for about two decades. But after the price of uranium rebounded, the deposit's owners attempted between 2008 and 2013 to convince Virginia lawmakers to reconsider the ban. After that effort failed, they sued Virginia in federal court in 2015. The hope was that a court would invalidate the ban and clear the path for mining the uranium. Lower courts agreed with the state, however, and dismissed the lawsuit.

In asking the high court to take the case, the companies underscored the importance of uranium to the United States. Nuclear reactors powered by uranium generate about 20 percent of the electricity consumed in the United States, the companies say. Uranium also powers the nation's fleet of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers. But 94 percent of the uranium the U.S. needs is imported, they said.

Turning the Virginia deposit into usable uranium would involve three steps. First, the uranium ore would have to be mined from the ground. The uranium would then need to be processed at a mill, where pure uranium is separated from waste rock. The waste rock, called "tailings," which remain radioactive, would then have to be securely stored.

The owners of the Virginia deposit argue that the state can regulate the uranium mining, the first step in the process, but not if the state's purpose in doing so is protecting against radiation hazards that arise from the second two steps. They say that's what motivated the state's ban. They argue the Atomic Energy Act gives federal regulators the exclusive power to regulate the radiation hazards of milling of uranium and of handling and storing the leftover tailings.



Calling it a “historic step” toward justice, the Palestinian foreign minister asked the International Criminal Court on Tuesday to open an “immediate investigation” into alleged Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people.

The development was sure to worsen the already troubled relations between the internationally backed Palestinian Authority and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Peace talks have been frozen for over four years, and contacts between the two sides are minimal.

Speaking to reporters at the ICC in The Hague, Netherlands, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said he submitted the “referral” to the court during a meeting with the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda.

The referral sought an investigation into Israeli policies in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip since the state of Palestine accepted the ICC’s jurisdiction in 2014, he said.

This includes Israeli settlement policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as the recent round of bloodshed in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli fire killed over 100 Palestinians during mass protests along the Gaza border, Malki added.


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