Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

December 18, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Some highlights from the past week include a win for Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania against Obamacare’s contraception mandate and two Texas cases, one concerning bloggers’ speech rights and one targeting the EEOC’s felon-hiring guidelines:


Pennsylvania dioceses win reprieve from Obamacare contraception mandate: A federal judge in Pittsburgh has temporarily blocked the Obama administration from enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s contraception insurance mandate against two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses and their affiliates. U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab of the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a preliminary injunction Nov. 21 in favor of the Catholic Dioceses of Pittsburgh and Erie in their lawsuits alleging the mandate constitutes a substantial burden on religious exercise in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb. (Insurance Coverage)

Bloggers ask Texas high court for same speech rights as traditional media: Legal and political bloggers have asked the Texas Supreme Court to reverse a state appellate panel’s ruling that refused to allow a union to appeal an adverse order in a libel action because it was not a member of the professional media. The general rule in Texas is that litigants need to wait for final rulings in cases before they can file an appeal. The state Legislature created an exception, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 51.04(a)(6), for members of the electronic or print media to immediately appeal orders that affect their free speech or free press rights. The bloggers’ Nov. 12 amici brief asks the Texas Supreme Court to accept the Service Employees International Union Local 5’s petition for review from an interlocutory order in a libel case filed against it by the Professional Janitorial Service of Houston Inc. (Computer & Internet)

EEOC felon-hiring guidelines threaten sovereignty, safety, Texas says: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines that say an employer cannot categorically ban the hiring of a convicted felon violate a state’s sovereign rights and threaten the safety of its citizens, a suit filed by the Texas attorney general says. Attorney General Greg Abbott’s suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Nov. 4, says the state, which employs hundreds of thousands of people, should be able to abide by state laws that ban the hiring of convicted felons for some positions. (Employment)