Submissions for No case reveal obsession with ‘activist judges’

It outraged the Coalition, who were flummoxed that three of the four judges in the majority had been appointed by the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments. They had worked on the basis that there was no impediment if the government wanted to “send home” someone who was not a resident, and who had committed a criminal offence that carried a sentence of 12 months or more.

Submissions from former High Court judge Ian Callinan, former prime minister Tony Abbott, former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, former royal commissioner Terry Cole and the Samuel Griffith Society either cite Love or go down the “activist judges” road.

Common thread

Another common thread is they vehemently oppose any process that would give most Indigenous people what they want – a representative body enshrined in the Constitution.

Callinan said it “would be imprudent to underestimate the capacity of any future High Court for ingenuity or originality”.

“It was not until 1992, when the High Court was some 90-years-old, that it was able to discover in the text and structure of the Constitution something that had never been discerned before, an implied freedom of political communication.”

Callinan cited Love to refute the opinion of Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue, KC, that there was no room for implications in the current drafting, such as a right for the Voice to be consulted.

“The opinion of the solicitor-general on any constitutional topic is worth having, but it is not the solicitor-general who has the say here, it is the [High] Court.

“Equally, the public might be interested in what the opinion of the solicitor-general was of the likelihood of success of the Commonwealth in the case of Love v Commonwealth.

‘Classic case’

“I doubt whether many lawyers or the solicitor-general, who unsuccessfully argued the case for the Commonwealth, gave an

Read the rest

Legal Aid Family Law Staff Attorney

Community Legal Aid (CLA) is the non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to low-income residents of central and western Massachusetts. CLA has over 150 dedicated, talented staff working across multiple offices. Our core work includes effective client-centered advocacy and robust outreach to and partnerships with our client communities.

CLA seeks an attorney to join its Family Law Unit. The attorney will be based in CLA’s Northampton office and will assist clients with cases involving family law matters including divorce, child support, visitation, and custody. It is anticipated that most of the attorney‘s clients will be survivors of domestic violence. The attorney will have significant client contact and will assume an active caseload while continuing to accept new cases. The attorney will also engage in community outreach and education and will work closely with community partners including domestic violence service providers. Some grant-reporting activities are required.

QUALIFICATIONS: Law students currently in their third year of law school, recent law school graduates, and more experienced attorneys are eligible to apply. Prior family law experience, particularly with survivors of domestic violence, preferred. Excellent oral and written communication skills. A demonstrated dedication to social justice and commitment to working with low-income communities.

COMPENSATION: The starting salary for this position is $65,500, which is based on a union scale and adjusted upward depending on experience. CLA offers a very generous benefits package that includes 401(k) with employer-paid contribution; low-cost health insurance (medical, dental, and vision) for employees and their dependents; malpractice insurance; paid leave (4 weeks vacation, 3 personal days, 12 sick days, and 13 holidays); and relocation stipend.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please apply online. Alternatively, you can submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] or mail to Alicia Vaughan, Human Resources Director, Community Legal Aid, 370 Main Street, Worcester, MA

Read the rest

Gregg commissioners OK change to county employee health insurance | Local News

The Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a change to employee health insurance Thursday despite a concern raised among some members about a lack of time to perform research.

Commissioners heard from Dawn Brinson with Brinson Benefits, a consultant that’s worked with the county for two years.

The item from Brinson that generated the most discussion was whether the county should award a contract for medical and dental plan administration to Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt said the county has contracted with Healthcare Highways for two years and has received numerous complaints from employees about the company and its delay in processing claims.

County employees were being contacted by their health care providers to ask why payment hadn’t been made, he said.

“Healthcare Highways was not processing (claims), and they were bundling them up. Instead of doing it for every one, they’d wait till they got hundreds and then they’d process it,” Stoudt said.

He appointed a committee made up of himself, human resources, purchasing, auditing and Brinson to consider options for the county’s health care administrator.

And in January, Brinson was instructed to seek bids for a company that could replace Healthcare Highways, Stoudt said.

According to Stoudt, 33 companies submitted bids — the most it’s ever received for an employee insurance contract.

Three weeks ago, Brinson presented the bids to Stoudt and offered to seek a lower price if he was willing to “press the time.” He agreed and told her to seek a lower bid.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Floyd Wingo said the packet of information regarding the insurance change had only been given to commissioners two days before Thursday’s meeting, and he believed there wasn’t enough time for them to make an informed decision. Wingo questioned why commissioners weren’t told about the

Read the rest

Mental health care help is available

May is Mental Health awareness month and the past few years have been extremely difficult to navigate. It has never been more important to talk about stress and mental strain each one of us may be experiencing. Sustained higher levels of stress can lead to depression, anxiety, fatigue, and other triggers that cause a greater propensity for attempting suicide.

The perceived stigma of mental health can also make it difficult for people to feel that they can reach out for support. There are a number of helpful sources available for people in need and I will highlight those today.

• The National Suicide helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling or texting “988.” Support services are confidential and free of charge. This helpline is now a streamlined version of the suicide hotline and involves the ability to call and talk with someone, or text the number and use the text version if you do not want to talk.

• Local resources are also available. In the Great Bend area, the Center for Counseling and Consultation can be reached on their confidential crisis line 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 800-875-2544 or 620-792-2544 as well as at their website In the Hays area, High Plains Mental Health is there to help. Contact them at 785-628-2871 or on their crisis line 24/7 at 800-432-0333. Their website is

• K-State Research and Extension also has available resources. The Stress and Resiliency team are trained in several programs including: Mental Health First Aid, Michigan State Farm Stress Training, and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). The Team is available for on sight programs, contact them at, or by email torclews@ksu,.edu, [email protected], or [email protected].

• The Kansas Agriculture Mediations

Read the rest

Washington Insurance Commissioner Will Not Seek Reelection

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Longtime Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said Monday he would not seek reelection.

Kreidler’s announcement comes about a year after Gov. Jay Inslee and bipartisan legislative leaders called for his resignation over accusations from former employees that he used racist slurs and was demeaning or rude toward staff members, The Seattle Times kreidler-will-not-seek-reelection/”reported.

“Serving alongside you as Insurance Commissioner for Washington state has been, and continues to be, the greatest honor of my life,” Kreidler, 79, said in an email to the staff Monday. “I’ve always said it was the best job I’ve ever had, and I still feel that way today.”

Kreidler, a Democrat, was elected in 2000 and previously served one term in Congress.

Last year, a half-dozen potential and former employees washington-a49a2d526ffb8590461edafc44eb84ab”disclosed instances from 2017 to 2022 when Kreidler was demeaning or rude, was overly focused on race, and used derogatory terms for transgender people and people of Mexican, Chinese, Italian or Spanish descent, as well as asking some employees of color for unusual favors.

Political Cartoons

Inslee had said the events demonstrated Kreidler is “unable to fulfill his leadership responsibility” and should resign.

“Commissioner Kreidler assured his employees and the public he would work to improve his relationship with staff, but instead he terminated an employee who spoke out about these issues,” Inslee said at the time.

Republican and Democratic leaders in the state Legislature made similar calls.

Kreidler, however, chose to remain in office.

“I take full responsibility for my past behavior and recognize the impact it has had on those around me and the people I serve,” he said last year. “I have pledged to do better and stand by that commitment.”

The insurance commissioner is the top state regulator of Washington’s insurance industry,

Read the rest

Driver Who Fatally Struck Woodbridge Girl Will Not Be Charged: Police

WOODBRIDGE, VA — The driver who fatally struck an 8-year-old girl outside her Lake Ridge home last month will not face criminal charges, authorities announced.

The girl, Jordynn Manning, died on Saturday after clinging to life for weeks.

On Saturday, the Prince William County Police Department identified the driver who hit Manning as a 69-year-old woman.

Find out what’s happening in Woodbridgewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The crash occurred around 6 p.m. on April 10. The woman was driving at a low speed on Nutmeg Court when she hit the 8-year-old girl who was sitting in the roadway while playing.

The girl was then stuck under the car for several minutes, authorities said. Firefighters responded to the scene and lifted the car off the girl before taking her to a nearby hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Find out what’s happening in Woodbridgewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

At one point, the girl entered cardiac arrest before first responders initiated CPR to resuscitate her.

Though initial signs were positive, Manning’s family noted that her brain was without oxygen for too long, leaving her with severe brain damage. Last week, they decided to donate her organs.

Friends, family members, and hospital employees honored Manning at a “hero walk” on Friday. Manning later died on Saturday morning.


Investigators believe that speed, alcohol, and drug use were not factors in the crash.

On Saturday, the police department said the driver would not face criminal charges, after a consultation with the commonwealth’s attorney.

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to [email protected].

The rules of

Read the rest

Oregon House passes bill expanding abortion, trans health care

The bill has sparked fervent debate, particularly regarding abortion access for minors. It would allow doctors to provide an abortion to anyone regardless of age.

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon lawmakers have advanced a sweeping bill intended to protect abortion and gender-affirming health care for transgender people by boosting legal safeguards and expanding access and insurance coverage.

Democratic representatives on Monday night passed the bill along party lines in a House floor vote that stretched for roughly six hours after Republicans sought to stall it.

Citing concerns about the wide-ranging scope of the bill — which addresses topics from minors’ access to abortion to emergency contraception at university student health centers to insurance coverage for gender-affirming care procedures — Republicans sought through various motions to send the bill back to different policy committees, delay the vote until next month and postpone it indefinitely.

Republican state Rep. Lily Morgan was among those who spoke in favor of its postponement.

“It would give us the time to address some of the concerns brought up today, and if nothing else have an honest discussion around them,” she said.

Republicans said they were frustrated that the bill, which has sparked fervent debate, only received one public hearing. The emotionally charged hearing at the state Capitol in Salem in March lasted several hours with dozens of people testifying in person. Hundreds more submitted written testimony both for and against it.

Democrats said the bill has been drafted over the past year and came out of a work group that was convened after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision.

“This bill is the result of a year-long collaboration between dozens of legislators and stakeholders including patients, providers, advocates, community groups, and legal experts. It protects, strengthens, and expands safe, equitable access to

Read the rest

AM Best Downgrades Credit Ratings of Accuro Health Insurance Society Limited

SINGAPORE, April 28, 2023–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AM Best has downgraded the Financial Strength Rating (FSR) to B (Fair) from B+ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “bb” (Fair) from “bbb-” (Good) of Accuro Health Insurance Society Limited (Accuro) (New Zealand). The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) have been revised to stable from negative.

The ratings reflect Accuro’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as weak, as well as its adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The rating downgrades reflect a deterioration in AM Best’s view of Accuro’s balance sheet fundamentals. The company’s risk-adjusted capitalisation for fiscal-year ended 31 August 2022, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR), fell to adequate from strong at the previous year end. Accuro’s risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to fall to the weak level over the near term, primarily as a result of underwriting growth outpacing the growth in tangible capital. The company has undertaken a substantial investment to upgrade its policy administration system in recent years, which gave rise to material intangible assets relative to its capital base of NZD 11.8 million as of 31 August 2022. Accuro’s prospective capital adequacy is highly sensitive to changes in the development and implementation costs arising from this infrastructure investment, as well as to variations in future earnings.

AM Best expects Accuro’s regulatory solvency position to remain appropriate, although the company is expected to record a weaker solvency position than previously indicated at fiscal year-end 2023, due to a cyber incident that adversely impacted its cashflow position. AM Best considers Accuro’s financial flexibility to be limited, given its status as a member-owned organisation. However, the company has the ability to make rate adjustments on relatively short notice to support profitability, if required.

Read the rest

Legal Heroes | The Law Society

Being named as a Legal Hero is a rare honour reserved for the most impactful and inspiring solicitors – only a small number will be recognised each year.

Legal Heroes are solicitors who, through a particular piece of work, have:

  • made a demonstrative, lasting and tangible difference to the life or lives of others, their local community or society as a whole
  • brought distinction to the legal profession

Some examples could be someone who:

  • identified a need in their wider community and took the initiative to create solutions or support – for example, setting up a legal advice centre, a shelter or a campaign group in support of a local cause
  • established colleague networks on diversity, inclusion or mental health and was recognised within their place of work as inspiring change and delivering positive support
  • took forward and developed a new area of law or legal rights to support and protect a vulnerable community, undertaking work to right a miscarriage of justice
  • raised significant money for important legal-related causes
  • has a track record of volunteering and making a difference within their community

Within this work, the individual must have demonstrated the values at the heart of the profession of:

  • helping others in need
  • putting the interest of others first
  • outstanding leadership
  • strong and consistent teamwork

Nominations are equally welcomed for:

  • those who have carried out work as part of their paid employment or practice, for example, by acting in an important leading case
  • those who have carried out pro bono work

Eligibility is not impacted by whether an individual’s work has already received publicity.

Read the rest

Structure and Agency in Legal…

The study of cause lawyering has grown dramatically and is now an important field of research in socio-legal studies and in research on the legal profession. The Worlds Cause Lawyers Make: Structure and Agency in Legal Practice adds to that growing body of research by examining the connections between lawyers and causes, the settings in which cause lawyers practice, and the ways they marshal social capital and make strategic decisions.

The book describes the constraints to cause lawyering and the particulars that shape what cause lawyers do and what cause lawyering can be, while also focusing on the dynamic interactions of cause lawyers and the legal, professional, and political contexts in which they operate. It presents a constructivist view of cause lawyering, analyzing what cause lawyers do in their day-to-day work, how they do it, and what difference their work makes. Taken together, the essays collected in this volume show how cause lawyers construct their legal and professional contexts and also how those contexts constrain their professional lives.

About the authors

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science at Amherst College. Stuart Scheingold is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Washington. Together, Austin Sarat and Stuart Scheingold are the authors of Something to Believe In: Politics, Professionalism, and Cause Lawyering (Stanford University Press, 2004) and the editors ofCause Lawyering: Political Commitments and Professional Responsibilities (1998) and Cause Lawyering and the State in a Global Era (2001). Theywere granted the National Equal Justice Library’s 2004 Reginald Heber SmithAwardin recognition oftheir work on cause lawyering.

Read the rest