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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.



Some lawmakers are taking aim at a recent Washington Supreme Court decision that put the onus on counties to determine whether water is legally available in certain rural areas before they issue building permits.
 
One bill sponsored by Sen. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, amends parts of the state law at the heart of the ruling, known as the Hirst decision. County officials, builders, business and farm groups are among supporting the measure, while environmental groups and tribes oppose it.

A competing bill sponsored by Sen. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, supports the court decision and sets up a program to help counties find ways to meet the requirements.

In October, the high court ruled that Whatcom County failed to protect water resources by allowing new wells to reduce flow in streams for fish and other uses. The court said counties must ensure, independently of the state, that water is physically and legally available before they issue building permits in certain areas.

In the wake of the ruling, some counties have temporarily halted certain rural development, while others changed criteria for obtaining a building permit.

At issue is a struggle to balance competing needs of people and wildlife for limited water, a challenge that has played out across the state for years.



The Supreme Court said Monday it won't hear an appeal from the family on TV's "Sister Wives" challenging Utah's law banning polygamy.

The justices left in place a lower court ruling that said Kody Brown and his four wives can't sue over the law because they weren't charged under it.

A federal judge sided with the Browns and overturned key parts of the state's bigamy law in 2013, but an appeals court overturned that decision last year.

The Browns claim the law infringes on their right to freedom of speech and religion. The family said they should be able to challenge the law because the threat of prosecution forced them to flee to Nevada and still looms over them when they return to Utah.

Police investigated the family after their show premiered in 2010, but closed the case without filing any charges. The family argued in legal briefs that the state should not be able to thwart a constitutional challenge to the law "by changing its enforcement policy during the pendency of litigation."

Utah's law forbids married people from living with a second purported "spouse," making it stricter than anti-bigamy laws in other states and creating a threat of arrest for plural families. But state officials have followed a long tradition of not prosecuting polygamists unless they commit some other crime, such as child or spousal abuse, domestic violence or fraud.



Ahmer Abbasi speaks softly as he describes the strip searches, the extra shoves, the curses that he endured in a federal jail in Brooklyn following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"I don't think I deserved it," Abbasi said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press from his home in Karachi, Pakistan.

Abbasi's quiet, matter-of-fact tone belies his determination, even after 15 years, to seek justice in American courts — provided the Supreme Court will let him.

The justices on Wednesday are hearing an appeal from former Attorney General John Ashcroft, former FBI Director Robert Mueller and other former U.S. officials that seeks to shut down the lawsuit that human rights lawyers have filed on behalf of Abbasi and others over their harsh treatment and prolonged detention.

"Somebody has to be accountable, somebody has to be responsible," said Abbasi, 42, who works in real estate in Pakistan.

The former officials, including the top immigration enforcement officer and the warden and deputy warden at the New York City jail, say it should not be them.

"Senior government officials should not be regularly second-guessed by lawsuits seeking money damages from them in their personal capacity," said Richard Samp, chief counsel at the Washington Legal Foundation and author of a brief from four former attorneys general.

Abbasi was among more than 80 men who were picked up in the days and weeks following Sept. 11 on immigration violations. Until then, he said he had been "living the American dream" since coming from Pakistan in 1993. He was living in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan and driving a taxi in New York.

He acknowledges he remained in the United States after he should have left and that he entered into a fraudulent marriage so he could get a coveted "green card" that would allow him to stay in the U.S. legally. He might never have been caught except for the terrorist attacks and the aggressive response of officials who wanted to be sure there would be no follow-on strikes.



The Supreme Court is upholding the broad reach of a federal law prohibiting bank fraud.

The unanimous ruling on Monday came in the case of a California man who illegally siphoned about $307,000 out of a Taiwanese businessman's Bank of America bank account.

Justice Stephen Breyer rejected Lawrence Shaw's claim that the law applies only when a defendant intends to cheat the bank itself — not a bank customer. Breyer said the bank has property interests in the customer's account and that Shaw misled the bank to steal the customer's money.

The justices sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the jury instructions in Shaw's case were correct.

High court dismisses case over high ATM fees

  Business  -   POSTED: 2016/11/18 16:59

The Supreme Court has dismissed a case it took up earlier this year involving accusations that Visa and MasterCard illegally fixed ATM prices.

The credit card companies wanted the justices to overturn a lower court ruling that said the antitrust case could move forward. The high court agreed to hear their appeal in June.

But the justices dismissed the case Thursday, saying the companies are now making a different legal argument than the one the Supreme Court agreed to decide.

The lawsuit filed by consumers and independent ATM operators claims the payment processors illegally coordinated with Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. to adopt anticompetitive fees. A federal judge dismissed the case in 2013, but a federal appeals court revived it last year.



A federal appeals court on Sunday opened the door for construction to resume on a small stretch of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline while it considers an appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The ruling removed a temporary injunction that halted work on the project.

The tribe had asked the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to continue work stoppage on the pipeline within 20 miles of Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The court earlier ordered work to stop while it considered the motion.

In a statement, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II said that the tribe "is not backing down from this fight."

"We will not rest until our lands, people, waters and sacred places are permanently protected from this destructive pipeline," Archambault said.

Owned by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile project would carry nearly a half-million barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota's oil fields through South Dakota and Iowa to an existing pipeline in Patoka, Illinois, where shippers can access Midwest and Gulf Coast markets.

The company did not immediately return an email Sunday seeking comment on the court's decision.

The pipeline passes near Standing Rock Sioux reservation land that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. The tribe's protest encampment near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers has swelled to thousands at times as demonstrators from around the country joined their cause.

Tribal and state officials also are at odds over whether sacred sites were destroyed while digging the pipeline corridor. The state archaeologist has said an inspection found no sign that the area contained human remains or cultural artifacts.


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