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Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has been a defender of free speech and a skeptic of libel claims, an Associated Press review of his rulings shows. His record puts him at odds with President Donald Trump's disdain for journalists and tendency to lash out at critics.

On other First Amendment cases involving freedom of religion, however, Gorsuch's rulings in his decade on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reflect views more in line with the president and conservatives. Gorsuch repeatedly has sided with religious groups when they butt up against the secular state.

In a 2007 opinion involving free speech, Gorsuch ruled for a Kansas citizen who said he was bullied by Douglas County officials into dropping his tax complaints. "When public officials feel free to wield the powers of their office as weapons against those who question their decisions, they do damage not merely to the citizen in their sights but also to the First Amendment liberties," Gorsuch wrote.



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.



The Florida Supreme Court is declaring limits on lawyers' fees paid in so-called claims bills are unconstitutional.

The ruling issued Tuesday involves the case of a boy who was injured at birth due to negligence at Lee County's public hospital more than 19 years ago.

In 2012, the Legislature agreed to pay $15 million to Aaron Edwards, who suffers from cerebral palsy and other injuries. The amount was less than half of the original jury award, but government agencies are only liable for $200,000 in civil lawsuit unless the state approves a higher amount through a claims bill.

But the lawyers representing Edwards were only paid $100,000 due to the law setting legal fee limits, even though they spent more than $500,000 on the case. The court agreed the limits in such cases are unconstitutional.



A federal appeals court says lending companies operated by Native American tribes are subject to investigation by a government regulator.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Friday rejected a claim by three tribes that their lending companies were protected by tribal sovereignty from investigation by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A three-judge panel of the court said Congress did not exclude tribes from the bureau's enforcement authority. At issue in the ruling were for-profit lending companies created by three tribes — the Chippewa Cree, Tunica Biloxi and Otoe Missouria.

The Chippewa Cree's lending company, Plain Green, has been accused of predatory loan practices — a claim that company officials deny.
An email to an attorney for the tribes was not immediately returned.



An appeals court in Norway is considering whether the prison conditions under which mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being held amount to a violation of his human rights.

The six-day trial ended Wednesday in a makeshift courtroom inside Skien prison in southern Norway where Breivik, 37, is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage.

Breivik's lawyer, Oystein Storrvik, spent most of the last day seeking to show that restrictions on his client's visitors and the strict control over Breivik's mail and phone calls have led to a lack of human interaction and privacy, which amounts to a violation of his rights.

The case is "really about a person that is sitting very, very alone in a small prison within a prison" since 2012, explained Storrvik.

He dismissed the benefits of the weekly visits by a state-appointed prison confidante for Breivik, saying "it's a paid job."

Addressing the court last week, Breivik said his solitary confinement had deeply damaged him and made him even more radical in his neo-Nazi beliefs.

The Norwegian state rejected the criticism and said efforts to find a prison confidante show the authorities have "gone out of their way" to remedy the situation.

In a surprise verdict last year, the Oslo District Court sided with Breivik, finding that his isolation was "inhuman (and) degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights. It ordered the government to pay his legal costs.

But it dismissed Breivik's claim that his right to respect for private and family life was violated by restrictions on contacts with other right-wing extremists, a decision that Breivik is appealing.

If the state loses the appeal, Breivik's prison regime will have to be revised. The government could decide to take the case to the Norwegian Supreme court.

A ruling is expected in February.



An appeals court in Norway is considering whether the prison conditions under which mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being held amount to a violation of his human rights.

The six-day trial ended Wednesday in a makeshift courtroom inside Skien prison in southern Norway where Breivik, 37, is serving a 21-year sentence for killing 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage.

Breivik's lawyer, Oystein Storrvik, spent most of the last day seeking to show that restrictions on his client's visitors and the strict control over Breivik's mail and phone calls have led to a lack of human interaction and privacy, which amounts to a violation of his rights.

The case is "really about a person that is sitting very, very alone in a small prison within a prison" since 2012, explained Storrvik.

He dismissed the benefits of the weekly visits by a state-appointed prison confidante for Breivik, saying "it's a paid job."

Addressing the court last week, Breivik said his solitary confinement had deeply damaged him and made him even more radical in his neo-Nazi beliefs.

The Norwegian state rejected the criticism and said efforts to find a prison confidante show the authorities have "gone out of their way" to remedy the situation.

In a surprise verdict last year, the Oslo District Court sided with Breivik, finding that his isolation was "inhuman (and) degrading" and breached the European Convention on Human Rights. It ordered the government to pay his legal costs.



Israel's Supreme Court has given the government a month to explain why it prevents women from praying from a Torah scroll at a key Jewish holy site.

In the court's ruling Wednesday, it also suggested that an alternative site for women to pray at Jerusalem's Western Wall was insufficient and ordered that searches of visiting women be halted.

Israel's government agreed in January to create an equal prayer site after three years of negotiations between Jewish liberal groups, ultra-Orthodox leaders and the government.

But the site was never established, with liberal groups accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of caving to pressure from two ultra-Orthodox parties in his coalition.

The groups accuse the government of violating the right to equality and freedom of worship by not implementing its decision.

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