The Lookout
  • AP080507053850Mississippi is poised to become the first state to pass an Arizona copycat law.

    The House passed an amended version of the Senate-approved measure yesterday, which will require immigrants to carry proof of their legal status in the state. Police officers must verify a person's immigration status if they suspect the person may be an illegal immigrant.

    The Democratic-controlled House stripped a provision that would allow citizens to sue state agencies or officials if they believe they are not enforcing immigration law. They also added a measure that will fine employers for hiring illegal immigrants.

    The bill passed 80-36, but the Senate will have to agree to the House's changes before the measure goes to Gov. Haley Barbour's desk.

    Read More »from Mississippi House, Senate passes Arizona copycat bill
  • Angelides ThomasWe told you earlier this week that the Congressional Financial Crisis Inquiry Commissio has reportedly referred several cases to state and federal authorities for possible prosecution. And the panel's report (pdf), released yesterday, offers more information on what those cases might be about.

    As The Huffington Post notes, the report found that banks selling mortgage bonds often didn't disclose key information to investors. That raises "the question of whether the disclosures were materially misleading, in violation of the securities laws," the panel wrote.

    It's not clear which banks may be implicated here. But some lenders, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, are already facing massive lawsuits from investors claiming they were sold toxic assets.

    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Chairman Phil Angelides (left) and Vice Chairman Bill Thomas)

    Read More »from Banks may have violated securities laws, panel finds
  • AP110124021343A bill to limit federal funding of abortions is redefining rape and incest, writes Nick Baumann at Mother Jones magazine.

    Federal funding is only allowed to pay for abortions in the case of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is endangered. But a new bill with 173 co-sponsors would further limit federally funded exceptions, only allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in the case of "forcible rape."

    Forcible rape has no formal definition under federal law, Baumann notes, but legal experts and abortion advocates told him that the new wording would most likely prevent Medicaid from paying for abortions for victims of statutory rapes not involving the use of force. Baumann's sources also told him that the revised wording might also disallow funding of abortions in cases where perpetrators used date-rape drugs on their victims, or targeted mentally incapacitated women.

    Read More »from House abortion bill redefines rape, incest exceptions


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