Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
There are new developments relating to reproductive rights and the Supreme Court.
- According to Politico, Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked opinion, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, remains the only draft that has been circulated among the justices. Politico also reports that none of the justices have changed their vote thus far. Preet Bharara and Joyce Vance discussed the opinion, and its implications for reproductive rights, on this week’s episode of CAFE Insider.
- Following the leak of the draft opinion, reproductive rights activists organized demonstrations around the country. Thousands have rallied in Washington, DC, and other cities, for abortion rights. Recently, protesters have gathered outside of the homes of Supreme Court justices, including Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed a measure to provide police protection to the families of the Court’s nine justices and other officials.
- On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked a measure to codify the right to an abortion. All 50 Republican Senators, along with West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, voted against the bill — the Women’s Health Protection Act. Despite the likelihood that the measure would fail, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Min.) said, “I think it’s really important to have this vote to show where everyone stands.”
A New York judge will lift the contempt order against former President Donald Trump, but Trump still must pay over $100,000 in fines.
- Last month, NY Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron held Trump in contempt for not complying with a subpoena to provide documents to New York Attorney General Letitia James as part of an investigation into Trump’s business dealings. Engoron imposed a fine of $10,000 per day until Trump satisfies the documents request, which went into effect on April 26th, but was frozen last Friday when Trump appealed the order.
- Engoron agreed to lift the contempt order so long as Trump submits a sworn affidavit attesting to, among other things, the Trump Organization’s document storage and destruction policy. Trump has already submitted to the court an affidavit in which he said he no longer has in his possession four cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices that were issued to him by the Trump Organization. The judge also asked Trump to submit a review of storage boxes that might contain information relevant to James’s investigation.
- If Trump completes these tasks, then Engoron will lift the contempt order on May 20th. However, if Trump fails to meet the requirements, then Engoron will keep in effect the contempt order and, potentially, apply the fine retroactively.
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