Weekly News Update


*As the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev begins, defense lawyers trying to keep their client off death row face a tough task: finding jurors who haven’t made up their minds about the man accused of setting off fatal explosions at the city’s premiere sporting event. [Bloomberg]

*New York State’s requirement that children be vaccinated before attending public school does not violate their constitutional rights, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said on Wednesday. [NY Times]

*New York City will move to the forefront of a growing environmental trend by banning food establishments from using plastic foam containers starting this summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration announced Thursday. [The State Journal]

*A young computer whiz from New York City has launched a site to help people buy cheap plane tickets, but United Airlines and its travel partner want to shut him down. [CNN]

*The rise in the number of amicus briefs, and their importance to the US Supreme Courts’ consideration of a case on the merits (as well as to the decision to grant discretionary review in the first place), heightens the importance of parties obtaining solid amicus support for their petition and merits briefing, as well as in-house counsel understanding how to most effectively approach outside groups about providing support in their cases. [Inside Counsel]

*The city agreed Thursday to reform the rules governing police patrols of NYCHA buildings, signaling an end to another front in the legal battle against stop-and-frisk. [NY Daily News]

*Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley canceled the death sentences of the last four inmates awaiting execution, almost two years after the state became the 18th to do away with capital punishment. [Bloomberg]

*A New York appeals court has reinstated a ban on smoking in state parks, dismissing a challenge by a group of smokers who said the restriction was enacted illegally. [Reuters]

*Andrew Cuomo has banned hydraulic fracturing in New York, but that doesn’t mean the battle is over. On Monday night, a big crowd in Binghamton braved sub-freezing temperatures to attend a pro-natural gas rally at a local Holiday Inn blasting the governor. [The Daily Signal]