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Supreme Court: Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protection Is Narrow
Videos for Legal Insight | 2018/02/15 22:55
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that whistleblower protections passed by Congress after the 2008 financial crisis only apply to people who report problems to the government, not more broadly.

The justices said that a part of the Dodd-Frank Act that protects whistleblowers from being fired, demoted or harassed only applies to people who report legal violations to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. They said employees who report problems to their company's management but not the commission don't qualify.

People who report issues to their company's management are still protected against retaliation but under an older law, the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. But the two laws differ in a number of ways, including how long people have to bring a lawsuit and how much money they can get in compensation.

The justices were unanimous in agreeing that the whistleblower protection in the Dodd-Frank Act only covers people who report to the SEC. Writing for the court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said "Dodd-Frank's text and purpose leave no doubt" about who the term "whistleblower" applies to.

"The definition section of the statute supplies an unequivocal answer: A 'whistleblower' is 'any individual who provides ... information relating to a violation of the securities laws to the Commission,'" she wrote.

The SEC had interpreted the whistleblower protection in the Dodd-Frank Act more broadly, an interpretation the Supreme Court rejected.


Malaysia's top court annuls unilateral conversions of minors
Videos for Legal Insight | 2018/01/25 09:48
Malaysia's top court in a landmark decision says both parents must consent to the religious conversion of a minor, ruling in favor of a Hindu woman whose ex-husband converted their three children to Islam.

M.Indira Gandhi became caught in a high-profile dispute after her former husband became a Muslim and converted their three children without telling her in 2009. He also snatched their daughter, then 11 months old, from the family home.

Malaysia has a dual court system, secular and religious. Gandhi challenged her children's conversions through the civil courts.

The Court of Appeal ruled that civil courts had no jurisdiction over Islamic conversions, but that decision was appealed to the nation's highest court.

The Federal Court on Monday annulled the children's conversions as they were done without Gandhi's consent.


Supreme Court delays order for North Carolina to redraw maps
Videos for Legal Insight | 2018/01/12 09:52
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a lower-court order that would have forced North Carolina Republican lawmakers to redraw the state's congressional districts by next week because of excessive partisan bias in current lines.

The justices announced the stay after legal briefs were filed for and against the GOP legislators' request for a delay. Their lawyers successfully argued that a three-judge panel's ruling last week declaring the state congressional map an illegal partisan gerrymander should be on hold while similar cases involving Wisconsin legislative districts and one Maryland congressional district before the Supreme Court are considered. The court has never declared that the inherently political process of redistricting can be too partisan.

Voter advocacy groups and Democratic voters who sued over the map — heavily weighted toward Republicans in a closely divided state — argued no delay was necessary because it would be struck down however the justices rule in the other cases.

The Supreme Court's order said the delay remains in place while the case is appealed. The request was considered by the entire court, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have denied the request for the delay, according to the order.

GOP Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Ralph Hise, redistricting leaders at the state General Assembly, praised the intervention in a release. "We are grateful that a bipartisan U.S. Supreme Court has overwhelmingly halted the lower court's 11th-hour attempt to intervene in election outcomes" and restored certainty to voters about their districts, they said.




Feds head to court to seek dismissal of Twin Metals lawsuit
Videos for Legal Insight | 2017/11/10 13:23
copper-nickel mine who are seeking to regain their mineral rights leases.

The Obama administration last year declined to renew the longstanding leases that Twin Metals needs for the underground mine near Ely in northeastern Minnesota. The government cited the potential harm to the nearby Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Twin Metals sued last fall to get those leases back, saying it has already invested $400 million, while its congressional supporters are trying to persuade the Trump administration to reverse that decision.

The government argues that the U.S. District Court for Minnesota should dismiss the lawsuit because it's a contract dispute that must be brought in the Court of Federal Claims.



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