Oakland may become rare American city with strict rules for spy gear use

Catherine Crump and Deirdre Mulligan cited by Ars Technica, Jan. 6, 2017

Catherine Crump … told the commission that the ordinance it has drafted “is thorough, clear, comprehensive, and has the potential to be adopted nationwide.”

Other members include fellow Oaklanders, representatives from the Oakland Police Department and city administrator’s office, and Deirdre Mulligan, a law professor at UC Berkeley.

Violent crime up for second straight year in Los Angeles

Malcolm Feeley and Franklin Zimring quoted by KPCC-FM, Jan. 6, 2017

“It’s hard to interpret” what’s happening during upticks like these, said UC Berkeley Law Professor Malcolm Feeley. “A statistician would say they are random noise.”

So why is some crime on the rise in Los Angeles? “I know it’s a fair question,” Zimring said, “And the answer is we don’t know.”

Florida changes lethal injection drugs

Megan McCracken quoted by CBS Miami, Jan. 5, 2017

“What we see now is a mistake and an accident from an execution in Oklahoma codified as the new execution procedure in Florida,” McCracken said. “The novel aspect of the drug formula and the experimental nature of the protocol is extraordinarily concerning.”

Central Texas rancher challenges some habitat protections

Eric Biber quoted by Associated Press, Jan. 5, 2017

“My guess about what they are trying to do is to get the 5th Circuit to reject the case and then hope for the Supreme Court to review the case,” said Berkeley law professor Eric Biber. … “If that happens, assuming Trump appoints a conservative like (Antonin) Scalia to the Supreme Court, the swing vote is Justice (Anthony) Kennedy.”

Labor department sues Google over pay data

David Rosenfeld quoted by San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 4, 2017

David Rosenfeld… said that in general, it’s unusual for companies to not comply with the department’s request, and that the employee contact information is not something that members of the public can see under a Freedom of Information Act request. The Department of Labor may need the contact information of employees to talk to them to make sure that the salary information is accurate, he said.

How women deal with unwanted pregnancies when abortion isn’t legal

Jill Adams quoted by Vice, Jan. 3, 2017

“People always want to know about the physical safety of self-induced abortion, but what about the safety of being arrested, of going to prison, of being deported? If people are truly concerned about safety as related to abortion, they ought to be considering how dangerous it can be for people’s physical and emotional health to be ensnared in the legal system.”