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SCOTUS Denies Review of Case Against President Trump’s Effort to Exclude Undocumented Immigrants from Census

Posted Dec 22, 2020

On December 18th, the United States Supreme Court denied review of a challenge to President Trump's efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the U.S. Census count. In a 6-3 ruling , the Court stated that the case was premature since the scope and impact of the promised action is not yet clear. Even though the Census ended in September, Trump’s policy has not yet been implemented and his directive to the Commerce Secretary, who oversees the Census Bureau, was to gather information "to the extent practicable" that aliens should be excluded “to the extent feasible.” In a dissenting opinion, Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Kagan and Sotomayor, said he would have ruled against Trump. See ABC NewsBloomberg.

Multiple Antitrust Lawsuits Filed Against Google

Posted Dec 22, 2020

Three antitrust lawsuits have recently been filed against Google by the U.S. federal government and a number of states. In October, the U.S. Department of Justice and eleven state attorneys general filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, alleging that the search engine company unlawfully contracted with large companies such as Apple to be the default search engine on those companies' mobile devices. Several other states, including California, have asked to join the DOJ's lawsuit. In December, ten state attorneys general, led by Texas, sued Google in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas for illegally monopolizing online advertising. Several days later, the attorneys general of 35 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico filed another lawsuit  in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the company harmed competition by favoring its own services and products, and by discriminating against companies offering more specialized search services. According to multiple media outlets, this wave of lawsuits against Google represents a greater governmental effort to regulate the activity of large tech companies. See Associated PressCNBCNew York Times.

COVID-19 Pandemic Results in Nationwide Changes to Courtroom Technology

Posted Dec 22, 2020

Jurisdictions throughout the country have adopted new technology in the courtroom due to COVID-19 and are likely to continue using this technology for the foreseeable future. The CARES Act (H.R. 748) passed in March had included $7.5 million to fund increased use of video and telephone conferencing at the federal level. Across the country in civil proceedings, changes to the rules of court and emergency orders have allowed technology usage in the form of pretrial and status conferences, remote depositions, electronic discovery, and more. However, there are challenges with this increased use of technology and with remote court proceedings. In November, litigation experts speaking at the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s recent online seminar on COVID-19 and the future of jury trials identified the need to use remote technology where appropriate while still preserving the essential aspects of a justice system dominated by in-person proceedings. In addition, criminal proceedings have been more adversely affected by the shutdowns due to the need to bring jurors into the courthouse because of constitutional issues that are not present in civil casesSee ABA Law Technology TodayJDSupra.