The Center for Public Integrity released a report today showing that in 26 cases since 2010, federal appellate judges had a financial interest in one of the parties before them. As you might imagine, that's a giant no-no under federal law. Judges are supposed to keep an eye on what their investments are and recuse themselves from cases accordingly.
A federal judge in Brooklyn ruled that the FDA must make the "morning-after" pill available over the counter for all ages, rather than requiring a prescription for girls 16 and under. This ruling is the latest breakthrough in a decade-long argument about who should have access to this birth control and under what circumstances.
The highest court in Italy has ordered Amanda Knox to stand trial again for the killing of her former roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher, overturning Knox's 2011 acquittal. Knox will likely not return to Italy for the retrial, as her presence is not required, and after the four years she spent in Italian jail during the first trial and its appeal she's probably just as happy to never go back (though think of those wasted language skills!). In 2007, Knox, at the time an exchange student, and Raffaelle Sollecito, her then-boyfriend, were arrested after Kercher was found dead, partially undressed and with her throat slit, in their shared apartment in Perguia. An apparent confession (later thrown out), Knox's bizarre post-arrest behavior, and prosecutors' accusations that Kercher had been killed as part of a satanic sex game became tabloid fixations during the two-year trial, which ended in 2009 with convictions for Knox and Sollecito. After an appeal, the convictions were overturned in 2011—an Ivorian named Rudy Guede had been separately tried and convicted—and Knox returned to Seattle, her hometown. If she and Sollecito are re-convicted of Kercher's murder, Italian law will require her to serve out her life sentence, though it remains to be seen whether or not the U.S. would approve an extradition request. In a statement, Knox called the high court's ruling "painful" and "unfair." [NYT | NBC | CNN]
Corey Curtis, a Wisconsin man, was about $85,000 behind in child support payments for two of his nine children (more on his super sperm in a minute). After pleading no-contest to one charge of felony bail jumping and one charge of failing to pay his child support, he received an uncommon punishment as part of his probation sentencing.
The Supreme Court met Friday to discuss the possibility of hearing arguments for two high-profile cases concerning gay marriage (one for California's Proposition 8 and the other for the federal Defense of Marriage Act), but "surprised" everyone when they made neither a decision nor an announcement by the end of the day.
The Georgia Supreme Court has removed Catoosa County magistrate Anthony Peters from his position and banned him from ever returning to the bench in Georgia. His "crime?" After his father died and he had an auto accident in 2005, he started taking large quantities of pain medication and acting erratically. That could happen to anyone, you monsters.
The lawyers for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in his ongoing corruption retrial are already hated by the judge for wasting time with useless questions. But now they've found a new way to waste time and annoy the judge: By tattling on the prosecutors for "making faces" during the defense's question time. It's really mean!