Robert Mullally, the legal researcher turned whistle-blower who brought attention to domestic violence felonies committed by Los Angeles police officers, may face time in federal prison for leaking personnel files to a local television station. The files documented 79 LAPD officers who had brutally beaten, and in some cases raped, wives, girlfriends and family members. None of the officers were ever arrested, and the majority remained on the force as gun-carrying police officers. By exposing the files, Mullally hoped that public outrage would lead to reform in the LAPD.
In March 2001, Mullally was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The sentence was stayed, pending an appeal, and was heard last week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court’s decision is expected in a few months. If sentenced, Mullally could become the first person every sentenced to jail in the United States for violating a protective order in a civil law suit. Mullally’s appeal comes at a time of increasing controversy over the use of court orders to seal files containing information on pedophilia committed by priests, and on the dangers of cigarettes and automobile tires.
In the wake of the media coverage generated by Mullally’s actions, the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Center for Women & Policing pushed for reforms that resulted in an investigation of the LAPD by the Inspector General, and the development of a special internal affairs unit to handle officer-involved domestic violence. Both FMF and NCWP have continued to support Mullally throughout his case by helping with court costs, filing amicus briefs on his behalf, and by publicly urging that Mullally’s sentence be overturned on the grounds that he acted to protect women and children from police officers who had abdicated their duty to protect and had themselves become threats to the public.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .