What Is Prior Restraint?

If Michael Wolff'sTrump tell-all book, Fire and Fury, reminds you of Shakespeare, it's probably the bard's take on life from Macbeth: “it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing.” The same might be true of the bluster around the book, with Trump's lawyers (as usual) sending a threatening cease and desist letter, and publishers responding in kind.
Trump clearly didn't want the book to be published (or maybe he has a stake in the book and is boosting sales by tweeting about it), but does the president or the courts have the power to ban a book before it comes out?
Prior Restraint and the Press
Part of the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment is a prohibition on prior restraint, meaning that the government, for the most part, cannot censor publication of newspapers, magazines, or books. Prior restraint has been called “the essence of censorship,” and the First Amendment imposes a heavy presumption against the..

Transgender People Now Allowed to Enlist in U.S. Military

Over the past six months, the U.S government has been split on transgender military service, with the president tweeting a ban, transgender service members suing over the tweets, the Secretary of Defense defying the president's order, and ultimately a federal court blocking the order.
All that political and legal back-and-forth looks to be over — starting January 1 of this year, transgender people are now allowed to enlist in the military. And, according to the Department of Justice, the Trump administration won't continue to challenge transgender military service in court.
Support for Service
In October 2017, U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled “here is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effective on the military at all.”
“As far as the Court is aware at this preliminary stage,” Kollar-Kotelly wrote at the time, “all of the reasons proffered by the President for excluding trans..

Immigration Reforms Predicted for 2018

After an infamously busy 2017 on the immigration front, the Trump administration apparently has more in store for 2018. “This president won in part on taking a tough stand against illegal immigrants just coming over the border,” Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News. “People want to know that our borders are secure, and this president has a 70-point immigration plan.”
That's a lot of points. So what further reforms could President Trump have planned for 2018? Here are some possibilities:
Battle Over the Ban
While the president continues to politicize terror attacks — harping on the immigration status of some, while leaving others' status aside — federal courts have continued to battle over Trump's travel ban. The ban, now in its third iteration, even made it to the Supreme Court, but the fight's not over yet. Expect more rulings this year.
Dreamer Decision
Trump already rolled back Obama's Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Perman..

Indiana Hotel Charges Unhappy Guest $350 After Negative Review, Gets Sued

It's one thing to check in to an unkempt hotel room, finding hair and dirt on the sheets. It's another to be forced to clean the room yourself, because there's no staff around to answer complaints about the condition of the room, or to fix the broken air conditioner or shower in the bathroom. And it's quite another to be charged $350 for calling the overnight number trying to get something fixed, and then threatened with a libel lawsuit by the hotel's lawyer/owner after leaving a negative review online.
That's why the Indiana Attorney General's office stepped in and filed a lawsuit against the Abbey Inn in Nashville, Indiana, charging it with violating the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
Losing Legal Argument
The lawsuit points to a clause in the hotel's guest policy:
Guests agree that if guests find any problems with our accommodations and fail to provide us the opportunity to address those problems while the guest is with us, an..

Prepaying Property Taxes? Look Before You Leap

The tax overhaul recently passed by Congress has a lot of changes in store for 2018, but one in particular may have a big effect on people's 2017 tax returns. The new tax bill will cap what federal taxpayers are allowed to deduct for state and local taxes at $10,000, sending some forward-thinking homeowners to their municipal tax offices in an attempt to prepay their 2018 property taxes in 2017 in order to maximize their deduction.
But will it work?
States v. Feds
As Forbes reported, several states tried to accommodate prepaying residents trying to slide in under the tax deadline. But the feds said no so fast. The Internal Revenue Service issued a statement last week, trying to clarify matters :
In general, whether a taxpayer is allowed a deduction for the prepayment of state or local real property taxes in 2017 depends on whether the taxpayer makes the payment in 2017 and the real property taxes are assessed prior to 2018. A prepayment of anticipated real prop..

2017: The Year in Immigration Law

President Donald Trump entered office having made some big campaign promises regarding immigration reform. And the administration's repeated efforts to make those promises a reality have met with mixed results from legislators and courts. Given all the back-and-forth, it's been a busy year on the immigration front.
Here are the major immigration stories from 2017:
1. Can President Trump Change the Constitution?
Given those campaign promises and the often bombastic manner in which they were made, many were left to wonder whether now-President Trump could make those changes all by himself. But while the executive is given a lot of legal leeway when it comes to immigration, those orders are still subject to judicial review for constitutionality.
2. Next Steps for Trump's Travel Ban
Trump's first major immigration effort was a ban on immigration from first seven, then six Muslim-majority countries. Several courts have found the initial travel ban unconstitutional i..

3 Common Mistakes When Responding to Sexual Harassment at Work

If 2017 has taught us anything, it's that sexual harassment and even sexual assault in the workplace is rampant, across almost every industry and at almost every level of employment. Sadly, many instances of workplace harassment go unreported, meaning the problem is even more pervasive than we might have even thought.
There are many reasons for not reporting sexual harassment, from embarrassment to fear of retaliation, and some victims may not even realize that the behavior they experienced constitutes harassment. So here are three of the most common mistakes when it comes to responding to workplace sexual harassment, and how to avoid them:
1. Not Identifying Sexual Harassment
In order to respond to sexual harassment, you have to know what it is. Harassment is prohibited by federal law, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) provide guidance on identifying sexual harassment in the workplace. It's important ..

Bitcoin and Estate Planning: Top FAQs

Putting physical assets like a car or a house into your will or estate plan is relatively simple. Adding financial assets like stocks and savings accounts can be a little more complicated. But what about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin?
Now that bitcoin is legal tender and its value is skyrocketing, more and more people will be owners of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, meaning those assets will need to find their way into a will or estate plan. Here are five of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to bitcoin and estate planning, along with some answers.
1. How Will My Heirs Know I Have Bitcoins?
Cryptocurrencies, by their very nature, are anonymous. And that's one of the best reasons for making an estate plan — you want your heirs and your executor or trustee to be aware that your bitcoin exists. So you can either tell them now, or have your executor contact them after you pass, but either way, creating an estate plan that accounts for your bitcoin is essential.

Ohio Bans Abortion After Down Syndrome Diagnosis

When people debate abortion laws, the reason for the abortion often underlies many of the arguments. Among other assertions, pro-life proponents oppose abortion on religious grounds or argue that women shouldn't be able to end a life because they regret getting pregnant. Pro-choice advocates contend rape victims shouldn't be forced to bear the children of their rapists and bemoan any government intrusion into a woman's ability to end a woman's pregnancy.
But when it comes to legislatures and courts, the specific reasons for an abortion are, for the most part, left aside. And abortion restrictions are based more on the when and how rather than the why. But Ohio is one state trying to bring a woman's reason for an abortion into play. The state just banned abortions based on fetal diagnoses of Down syndrome.
One Law
State laws permitting abortion if necessary to save a mother's life are fairly common, but abortion restrictions based on the child's lik..

Can a Domestic Violence Conviction Be Expunged From Your Record?

When relationships get frayed, tempers can flare. And we can do and say some things that we regret. But when the things we regret become part of our criminal record, is there any way to get it off?
Some convictions can be expunged from your criminal record. Is domestic violence one of them?
Getting Into Trouble
As a general rule, expungement eligibility is generally determined by the severity of the crime and your criminal record. State law may vary, but expungement is normally available for crimes committed as a juvenile and most misdemeanors, so long as you don't have an extensive criminal history. State statutes can be especially important if you're trying to expunge an out-of-state conviction, although some states are more likely to expunge a conviction after a certain amount of time has passed.
State domestic violence statutes may treat an offense as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific circumstances of the incident. The more serious the assault..