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ACLU tries to stop Voter ID; when settling is bullying; and illegal homemade caskets?

ACLU asks Supremes to stop Voter ID

The ACLU petitoned the Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday to keep the controversial Voter ID question off the ballot this fall.

The petition claims the wording of the ballot question is misleading and unclear. The petition was filed on behalf of several individuals and public interest groups.

The question that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot reads: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”

The complaint focuses on the words that don’t appear on the ballot. The ACLU argues that voters won’t realize several key factors if the Amendment passes. Namely that they would have to show a government-issued photo ID to vote or that the state would have to create a new system of “provisional” ballots for voters without valid identification.

Lawyer reprimanded for trying to bully other side into settling

Don’t make promises you aren’t prepared to keep. That’s the cautionary tale out of Indiana. There, a lawyer received a public reprimand from the bar association for threatening to file an ethical compliant against opposing counsel unless the other lawyer made a settlement offer.

The lawyer accused the other side of having a conflict of interest in the case and disputed the settlement funds in question. She offered opposing counsel a “window of opportunity” to make the settlement offer or said she would go to the state bar with an ethics complaint.

Her attorney offered this advice:

“My view is it always pays to carefully proofread and, if warranted, edit your letters and emails before hitting the ‘send’ button or dropping them in the letter box.”

Monks go to court for right to sell caskets in LA

The state of Louisiana prohibits anyone but a licensed funeral director from selling “funeral merchandise.”

A group of monks at the St. Joseph Abbey is challenging that law and trying to sell homemade caskets. The state issued a “cease and desist” letter to the Monks threatening fines and prosecution. The monks say they have always made the caskets, but recently thought of selling them as a way to make money for the Abbey. The state says to do so they would need to become licensed.

The Monks have taken their case to federal court after twice failing to get the law changed in the legislature. They won the first round in court, but the state board of embalmers appealed.  The case will be heard next month.

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