Weekly News Update


*An appeals court panel in New Orleans on Wednesday stayed the execution of a Texas man in a case that has gained national attention as a test for issues surrounding mental illness. The decision, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, said that the court needed more time to consider the larger issues in the case. [NY Times]

*On Wednesday, the Supreme Court considered a case that will either limit or expand discrimination protection for pregnant women in the workplace. At the center of the case, Young v UPS, is a woman named Peggy Young, who requested to be placed on light duty after becoming pregnant in 2006, but instead was placed on unpaid leave. [Latin Post]

*In January, New York’s highest court will have two fewer judges.  Only five of the seven slots will be filled due to a mandatory retirement and delays by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Senate over confirmation hearings. [WAMC.org]

*A Manhattan state senator wants to make New York the fifth state to allow assisted suicide for the terminally ill. Democrat Brad Hoylman said his proposed law would permit doctors to prescribe lethal medication to terminally ill adults who want to take their own lives. [NY Daily News]

*Another chimpanzee had his day in court this week. Judges at an appeals court in Rochester, New York heard arguments that Kiko, a chimpanzee owned by a couple in Niagara Falls, should be considered a legal person with a right to not be owned or imprisoned. [Wired]

*This week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to revive a New York real estate developer’s lawsuit against the leaseholder of the destroyed World Trade Center and two airlines seeking environmental cleanup costs related to the 9/11 hijacked airliner attacks. [Reuters]

*On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton touted the continued reduction of crime in NYC and their reforms to its Police Department. Overall crime has fallen 4.4% from this time a year ago, and homicides are down 6.8% from the end of November 2013, according to police statistics. And de Blasio said the city experienced its safest August-to-November period since 1993, when the Compstat system was introduced to track crimes. [The State Journal]