On June 19, 2014, a West Virginia State Police Trooper was seriously injured when struck by a hit and run vehicle on the West Virginia turnpike in Southern West Virginia. Since 1999, more than 150 law enforcement officers throughout the United States have been killed after being struck by vehicles along the nation's highways. Between the years of 2003 and 2010, 962 workers were killed while working at a road construction site, with the majority of these fatalities resulting from being struck by a vehicle. Needless to say, hundreds of people, including emergency responders and stranded motorists are killed or injured throughout the United States every year when they're struck by a vehicle after pulling over to the side of the road or highway. On average, these "struck-by" crashes kill one tow-truck driver every six days; 23 highway workers and one law-enforcement officer every month; and five firefighters every year. Move Over Laws have been enacted in all fifty statesrequiring drivers to change lanes and to provide law enforcement officers, emergency personal, tow truck drivers, construction workers and others on roadsides with a safe clearance. The failure to "move over" can result in criminal charges, fines and possible jail time.
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Watch this week's episode of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review in which Jamie and Chris discuss the issue of cell phone privacy and the Supreme Court of the United States' recent decision requiring warrants to be obtained by police before cell phone searches can occur. You'll also learn about the election controversy in Mississippi, in which the establishment GOP, represented by Thad Cochran, fought off a Tea Party challenge from State Legislator, Chris McDaniel. Was there election fraud?
The United States Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby tomorrow morning. You can read advance analysis of the case at the WVSCBlog at WVSCBlog.com or by following this link the WVSCBlog's coverage: Sunday Prayers Before Monday's Decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby . The much-anticipated decision has sweeping implications for religious freedom, abortion, birth control, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and the kind of health insurance available to women in the United States.
Join Jamie Bordas and guest Chris Regan for another exciting edition of the Bordas & Bordas Legal Review. On this week's show, Jamie Bordas tackles an issue that is certainly one that is "affecting our nation": just exactly who is Chris Regan? Learn about Regan's background and experience and how it allows him to comment knowledgeably on any issue that Jamie raises during the course of the show.
The highly-anticipated primary in Mississippi for the Republican Senatorial nomination didn't end the way many expected. But it wasn't just the result (a win for "Gentleman" Thad Cochran), that surprised, it was the methods the mainstream GOP used to claim victory for the six-term Senator. According to widely-publicized reports, Cochran won the GOP nod only by securing the votes of some 35,000 Democrats who were enticed to come out and vote in the Republican primary.
It's a scene we've watched play out hundreds of times on our favorite police drama: someone is arrested for a crime and is then searched. In fact, it's routine procedure in every police department in the country. And it's sensible too. Federal courts have always approved of it. For one thing, conducting an immediate, warrantless search protects police from harm that can be inflicted by any hidden weapons. It also insures that any evidence in the arrestee's possession can be secured and preserved. But now let's add a modern twist. Suppose the arrestee has a cell phone. How far does this power to search go? Can the arresting officer rifle through the call log and the list of names and addresses in the contacts list? What about texts, e-mails and pictures?
Although I go to college and am currently interning in the beautiful state of West Virginia, my heart will always have a special place for my hometown of Shadyside, Ohio. The Ohio Valley knows us for our excellent football team, our Tiger pride, and especially our famously known main road, "the loop." Every third weekend in June my hometown shuts down the loop and throws a big party for alumni, residents, and visitors from near and far. Everyone is welcome to walk the loop, where food, craft vendors, activities for children, and more are provided.
This past April, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas voted to strike down campaign contribution limits. Chief Justice Roberts stated: ". . . we conclude that the aggregate limits on contributions do not further the only governmental interest this Court accepted as legitimate . . . . They instead intrude without justification on a citizen's ability to exercise 'the most fundamental First Amendment activities.'" While I respect Chief Justice Roberts' right to his opinion, there is certainly justification for limits on campaign contributions. Campaign finance laws were enacted to protect us from being bought and paid for by the few hundred mega-rich who garner favor, and let's face it, favors, from the people they pay to get elected. Closing our eyes to quid pro quo corruption, or the appearance of quid pro quo corruption, doesn't make it go away. Corruption will not end with the end of campaign contribution limits. It will only grow as the rich pour money into the coffers of people running for office to uphold their interests, not the middle class, and certainly not those at poverty level.
Recently, the U.S. Patent office cancelled several trademark registrations for the Washington Redskins organization because they found the name to be "disparaging to Native Americans." This is a huge step in the right direction in leveraging Washington's owner Dan Snyder into changing the team name to something not so blatantly racist. I use the word leveraging because that is the only way that Mr. Snyder will change the name. No amount of reasoning or pleading will make him understand how offensive his team's moniker really is. Last year the President of the United States said if he were in his shoes and knew the name offended a group of people, he would change the name. 50 United States Senators... fifty ... sent a letter to the NFL pleading for them to take action against Washington's organization for its overt use of a racial slur. Larry King recently interviewed Terry Bradshaw and they both agreed the name should be changed. A high school in Oregon has recently changed its name from the Redskins to the Red Hawks. Churches across the nation have urged boycotts of Washington's football team, and the list goes on and on. "Never," that all Dan has to say about it.
By now we've all learned about General Motors' faulty ignition switches, responsible for dozens of deaths (the number is probably numerous unnecessary injuries for its customers. Jim Bordas pioneered certain types of automobile product liability cases decades ago, including the first second-impact seatback collapse case won nationwide, in Strope v. Honda , so these reports are something we watch carefully. What interested me most about the news coverage though, is what we didn't hear or read about the history of this issue. GM's own Valukas report is over 300 pages, so it's understandable a lot of reporters didn't read it all. New accounts tended to focus on the summary, where the report chalked up GM's scandalous behavior as its "failure to understand" a "complicated mystery." But when someone tells you something in plain words and you ignore it - that's not a "failure to understand" a "mystery," it's willful blindness that in this case had many, many fatal results. News sources especially liked a yarn GM spun about how, if only the part number had been changed by a lonely, careless engineer, these deaths could have been prevented. You probably heard that one a lot. Amber Marie Rose, killed in 2006 because of GM's faulty switch (pictured at right), did not live long enough to hear GM spin that tale for its present-day PR purposes.