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US Supreme Court Approves Election Maps for Pennsylvania and North Carolina – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court denied petitions in the Pennsylvania and North Carolina election map cases, allowing the new district maps to go into effect. The move comes after courts in both states rejected maps drawn up by state legislatures. In doing so, the state supreme courts modified the maps to be more in line with the requirements of individual state constitutions. Some speculate that the maps will be more favorable to Democrats than the alternatives. As a result, challenges to the maps were organized by Republican groups who felt the new maps would put them at an electoral disadvantage. The key argument for the groups is the “independent state legislature theory.” The theory argues that the election clause, which states that elections must be “prescribed in each state by the state legislature,” gives exclusive power to state legislatures to draw congressional maps. If the doctrine were adopted, there would be less oversight in dealing with partisan manipulation. In the North Carolina case, Judge Kavanaugh wrote a concurrence allowing the map. However, he stated that he “believes[s] the Court must grant certiorari in an appropriate case”. Judge Alito, along with Judge Thomas and Gorsuch, said that he would have granted certiorari and heard the case. His justification was that it was “likely to [plaintiffs] would prevail over the background. These two opinions make it increasingly likely that the court will decide this issue for years to come. When they do, the effects could have a huge impact on the distribution of power in Congress. The decision will also test the ideological limits of conservative judges. The North Carolina Supreme Court delayed its primary election from March to May 2022 due to this litigation.

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Indian court keeps journalist in police custody over tweet – JURIST

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The Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday ordered journalist and Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair to be held in police custody for four days. Zubair was arrested on Monday for the offenses of hurting religious sentiments and inciting enmity under Sections 153 and 295 of the Indian Penal Code. In 2018, Zubair posted a tweet showing a hotel whose name he changed from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel”. Hanuman is a Hindu god. Delhi police arrested him based on a complaint about that tweet, which alleged that Zubair tweeted a “questionable image for the purpose of deliberately insulting the god of a particular religion.” accused for posting the tweet in question will be retrieved at the behest of the accused Mohammed Zubair from his residence in Bangalore, that the accused has not cooperated and (with) the disclosure statement recorded, four days PC (police custody) preventive detention of the accused will be concedes as the accused will be taken to Bangalore. Zubair’s arrest has been condemned by international organizations and national news organizations, including United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Amnesty International, the Press Club of India and other media outlets.

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US Supreme Court Grants Review of Federal Bankruptcy Case – JURIST

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On Monday, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear MOAC Mall Holdings v. Transform Holdco, a case examining appellate court jurisdiction over sales orders in federal bankruptcy proceedings. The case revolves around the sale and transfer of a lease for a store in a shopping center. In 1991, Sears obtained a lease for a store in the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The lease only cost Sears $10 a year and was supposed to last 100 years. Sears, however, went bankrupt in 2018. As part of federal bankruptcy proceedings, Sears sold its assets and the Mall of America lease was transferred to Transform Holdco LLC, a corporation formed by Sears’ new owners. Mall of America sought to prevent the transfer because they claim that Transform Holdco LLC does not intend to occupy the leased facilities but to sublet them to other companies. Transform Holdco LLC argues that the long-term lease constitutes a substantial portion of the value Sears was sold for in the bankruptcy proceeding. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit transferred the lease as it was deemed “integral” to a court-approved bankruptcy sale. Mall of America filed a petition with the US Supreme Court, arguing that a remedy is available that would not affect the validity of the sale. Therefore, according to Mall of America, the appellate court should be allowed to intervene. Transform Holdco LLC responds that no such remedy exists, and that the Second Circuit’s ruling should stand. The US Supreme Court must now determine whether federal bankruptcy law limits appeals on sales orders deemed “comprehensive,” even when a remedy is available that will not affect the validity of the sale. The court is set to hear oral arguments in the case next term.

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US appeals court to rehear challenge to Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine executive order – JURIST

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The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an order on Monday stating that the court will rehear Feds for Medical Freedom v. Biden, a challenge to President Joe Biden’s 2019 executive order that required federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination. In late May and early June, America First Legal Foundation, America’s Frontline Doctors, Airline Employees For Freedom Health, and an additional group of vaccine plaintiffs filed four amicus briefs in favor of a new full hearing. The plaintiffs in Rodden v. Fauci also filed a class action lawsuit made up of federal employees who contracted COVID-19, developed COVID-19 antibodies, “but remain subject to the federal employee vaccination mandate.” The Rodden plaintiffs argue that Biden and the “agencies he directs have no power to direct the personal medical decisions of federal employees,” and therefore this executive order is like an illegal government mandate. In addition, the group asserts that the panel’s refusal to review executive employment decisions is unlawful and thus protects “the exercise of unlawful governmental power.” In January 2022, a Texas judge blocked Biden’s executive order. Other state judges have also blocked enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate. In December 2021, a Georgia judge blocked the COVID-19 vaccination mandate for government contractors after the Texas Governor ordered a statewide ban on all COVID-19 vaccination mandates in October 2021 .

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