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Indiana governor names Judge Goff to state Supreme Court

Indiana’s next state Supreme Court justice, Wabash County Superior Court Judge Christopher Goff, said Monday his appointment to the state’s highest court is humbling beyond words and something he never would have imagined at the start of his legal career. Goff’s selection to fill the vacancy created by Justice Robert Rucker’s retirement was announced by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The governor said Goff, 45, “will bring his unique voice and experiences” from his years in rural Indiana to the five-member court when he becomes its youngest member. “Judge Goff grew up in a working class neighborhood and has spent most of his life living in a rural county, which will complement his colleagues on the bench with their own deep roots in other urban and suburban regions of the state,” Holcomb said at his Statehouse announcement. He selected Goff over the two other finalists for the vacancy chosen by Indiana’s Judicial Nominating Commission: Boone Superior Court Judge Matthew Kincaid and Clark Circuit Court Judge Vicki Carmichael. Twenty people had applied for the vacancy. Source: Legal News Post Indiana governor names Judge Goff to state Supreme Court

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Groups sue seeking court oversight of Chicago police reforms

Several leading community groups filed a class-action lawsuit against the city of Chicago Wednesday in a bid to bypass or even scuttle a draft agreement between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice that seeks to reform the nation’s second largest police force without federal court oversight. The more than 100-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago argues that an overhaul of Chicago’s 12,000-officer force in the wake of a damning civil rights report in January can’t work without the intense scrutiny of a court-appointed monitor answerable to a judge. “Absent federal court supervision, nothing will improve,” the lawsuit says. “It is clear that federal court intervention is essential to end the historical and on-going pattern and practice of excessive force by police officers in Chicago.” While President Donald Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has expressed skepticism about court involvement, President Barack Obama’s administration saw it as vital to successful reforms. Obama’s Justice Department typically took a city reform plan to a judge to make it legally binding in the form of a consent decree. Wednesday’s lawsuit — which names Black Lives Matters Chicago among the plaintiffs — asks for a federal court to intervene and order sweeping reforms to end the “abusive policies and practices undergirding the alleged constitutional and state law violations.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration said earlier this month that a draft deal negotiated by the city and the Justice Department — one that foresees a monitor not selected by a court — is being reviewed in Washington. Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malle cautioned last week that “there is no agreement at this time.” A lead attorney in the new lawsuit, Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor and outspoken advocate for far-reaching police reforms, said in a telephone interview that reports about the draft influenced the decision to sue now. Source: Legal News Post Groups sue seeking court oversight of Chicago police reforms

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The Brief: Can divided leadership come together ahead of special session? | The Texas Tribune

The Brief: Can divided leadership come together ahead of special session? | The Texas Tribune: If lawmakers are planning to get through all of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ambitious special session agenda, the House and Senate will need to overcome some sharp divisions. Source: TTLA E-Clips The Brief: Can divided leadership come together ahead of special session? | The Texas Tribune

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Suit: Pedernales Electric Cooperative released private info

Suit: Pedernales Electric Cooperative released private info: A woman who says she and her children were threatened with menacing letters and break-ins at their home is accusing the Pedernales Electric Cooperative of irresponsibly turning over personal information about her to a man who falsely claimed to be her husband, according to a lawsuit filed this month in Williamson County.Ashley Luce says she was ala Source: TTLA E-Clips Suit: Pedernales Electric Cooperative released private info

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West Virginia high court excludes inmates from workers' comp

Inmates participating in work-release programs do not quality for workers’ compensation benefits, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled has ruled. The court on Thursday unanimously affirmed a Workers’ Compensation Board of Review’s 2015 decision to not grant workers’ compensation to a work release inmate named William F. Crawford, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Crawford’s hand was severely injured in a wood chipper in 2013 while he was working on a road crew for the state Division of Highways. He was employed by the Charleston Work Release Center, now called the Charleston Correctional Center. Inmates live and work there as they prepare to re-enter society after leaving prison. Crawford’s injury required hospitalization and surgery, and his ring and pinky fingers were partially amputated. The state Department of Corrections covered his medical expenses, which exceeded $90,000. He was released on parole shortly after his hospitalization. Court documents say Crawford sought workers’ compensation benefits because “lack of treatment has put him at a significant disadvantage in re-entering society.” He had appealed the board of review’s decision, saying state law didn’t clarify coverage exclusion for work-release inmates. He also said his equal protection rights had been violated, arguing that inmates working for private businesses would receive the benefits, while inmates working for a state agency would not. Source: Legal News Post West Virginia high court excludes inmates from workers' comp

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