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Facebook is heading to New York state's highest court to challenge search warrants seeking information from user accounts.

Prosecutors in Manhattan sought search warrants in 2013 for the accounts of 381 individuals in connection with a disability benefits fraud case against New York City police and fire retirees.

Facebook challenged the warrants but lower courts sided with prosecutors, ruling it was up to individual users to challenge the warrants seeking their information.

The social media site provided the information but continues to argue that it has the right to challenge warrants for information it possesses about its users.

Both sides will make oral arguments before the Court of Appeals Tuesday. The case has been closely watched by social media companies, civil libertarians and prosecutors.



State and federal lawyers will argue before a panel of federal appellate court judges Tuesday in the pitched fight over President Donald Trump's travel and refugee ban that could reach the Supreme Court.

The legal dispute involves two divergent views of the role of the executive branch and the court system. The federal government maintains the president alone has the power to decide who can enter or stay in the United States, while states suing Trump say his executive order is unconstitutional.

Seattle U.S. District Judge James Robart, who on Friday temporarily blocked Trump's order, has said a judge's job is to ensure that an action taken by the government "comports with our country's laws."

The Justice Department filed a new defense of Trump's ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations as a federal appeals court weighs whether to restore the administration's executive order. The lawyers said Monday the travel ban was a "lawful exercise" of the president's authority to protect national security and said Robart's order that put the policy on hold should be overruled.

The filing with the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was the latest salvo in a high-stakes legal fight surrounding Trump's order.

Washington state, Minnesota and other states say the appellate court should allow a temporary restraining order blocking the travel ban to stand as their lawsuit moves through the legal system.



The Michigan Supreme Court has given new life to a lawsuit by a Flint police officer who says he was put on road patrol in a dangerous area because he criticized how tax dollars were spent.
 
The court reversed a decision by the state appeals court and sent Kevin Smith's case back to a Genesee County judge.

Smith was a full-time police union president until Flint's emergency manager eliminated the position in 2012. He says he later got in trouble when he criticized how Flint was spending a special property tax for public safety.

In an order Friday, the Supreme Court says Smith has sufficiently alleged discrimination under Michigan's whistleblower law on the basis of a job reassignment during undesirable hours at an undesirable location.




The Supreme Court has set a date to hear the case of a Virginia school board that wants to prevent a transgender teenager from using the boys' bathroom at his high school.
 
The justices agreed in October to hear the case. On Friday, the court released its calendar for March, which has the case being argued on March 28.

The case involves 17-year-old Gavin Grimm who was born female but identifies as male. He was allowed to use the boys' restroom at his high school in 2014. But after complaints, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall restroom.

A lower court had ordered the school board to accommodate Grimm. That order is on hold.



A new court filing detailed allegations that former Baylor University football coach Art Briles ignored sexual assaults by players, failed to alert university officials or discipline athletes and allowed them to continue playing.

The filing is in response to a lawsuit against Baylor and several officials including interim President David Garland by former assistant athletic director Colin Shillinglaw, who said he was falsely accused of mishandling several incidents.

It said that in one case a masseuse asked the team to discipline a player who reportedly exposed himself in 2013. The court filing said Briles texted an assistant coach: "What kind of discipline... She a stripper?"

Briles did not remove defensive lineman Tevin Elliott from the team or notify university officials even though two women accused Elliott of rape in separate incidents in 2012, the court filings noted.

There were several reports of gang rapes involving football players during Briles' tenure. In one alleged incident in 2013, the victim was a Baylor athlete. According to the filing, the woman's coach went to Briles and showed him a list of players the victim had identified.




A federal appeals court Thursday revived a sweeping lawsuit accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of endangering scores of protected species by approving toxic pesticides without required consultation with wildlife officials.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed part of a lower court ruling in the 2011 suit against the EPA by two environmental groups, the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America. The groups say the EPA has approved hundreds of pesticides that are known to be harmful to endangered and threatened species such as the California condor without legally required consultations with wildlife officials that could limit the pesticides' impacts.

The EPA says on its website that it evaluates risks to endangered and threatened species as part of the pesticide registration process. EPA attorneys have argued in court documents that the environmental groups failed to show a causal link between agency actions and harm to endangered species.

An email to a spokesman for the agency was not immediately returned. "We're hopeful that this ruling will lead the EPA to finally include reasonable safeguards that keep harmful chemicals out of the habitats of the nation's most vulnerable wildlife," Stephanie Parent, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero dismissed much of the environmental groups' lawsuit in a 2014 ruling. The 9th Circuit in a 2-1 ruling agreed with most of the judge's decision, but reversed him on claims stemming from the requirement that the EPA re-register pesticides that were previously approved.

The environmental groups say the Endangered Species Act requires the EPA to consult with wildlife officials when they re-register a pesticide.



Documents unsealed in federal court reveal new details about the mental health of convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, including a psychiatrist's finding that his disorders make it hard for him to focus, interact with others or express emotion.

Quoting from a psychiatrist's testimony during one of those hearings, his lawyers wrote "the defendant suffers from 'Social Anxiety Disorder, a Mixed Substance Abuse Disorder, a Schizoid Personality Disorder, depression by history, and a possible Autistic Spectrum Disorder.'"

Some of the other trademarks of those disorders, according to the filings, are anxiety about unknown outcomes, a tendency to become overwhelmed and trouble retaining information. Roof's "high IQ," his attorneys wrote, is "compromised by a significant discrepancy between his ability to comprehend and to process information and a poor working memory."

Because of this, his attorneys asked that the judge allow for frequent courtroom breaks, longer times for lunch recess and perhaps even a day or two off from court per week. The motion also noted that U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel had "denied a defense request for an independent competency evaluation focused on autism."

The judge ultimately denied the motion, taking breaks at regular intervals and holding court for about eight hours a day. The information on Roof's diagnoses emerges from the hundreds of pages of court documents originally filed under seal and opened this week by Gergel.


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