Justice

U.S. Justice Department launches probe of Phoenix Police Department over allegations of excessive force

BY: - August 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the city of Phoenix and its police department, to review whether law enforcement officers there have engaged in a pattern of excessive force and discriminatory practices, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday. The investigation is the third in a series of similar […]

Former prosecutor charged with harassment wins jobless benefits

BY: - August 4, 2021

A former Iowa prosecutor now facing criminal charges of harassment for allegedly using his position at work to threaten or extort his ex-fiancée is entitled to unemployment benefits, a judge has ruled. Ryan McCord, 41, was employed as an assistant county attorney for Des Moines County last summer when he allegedly began harassing his ex-fiancée […]

Iowa Republicans call for Supreme Court to overturn abortion decisions, including Roe

BY: - July 30, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds and 11 other Republican governors are calling for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn several decisions on abortions, giving states more power to regulate the procedure. An amicus brief filed Thursday argues that allowing states to decide abortion laws would deescalate tensions on the controversial issue and permit the states “to serve […]

Iowa spent roughly $300K on state troopers’ trip to southern border

BY: - July 28, 2021

Nearly 30 Iowa State Patrol troopers have returned from a state-funded mission to the U.S.-Mexico border that cost an estimated $300,000, state officials announced Wednesday. A total of 28 officers — 12 road troopers, 12 tactical agents, a bilingual agent and three command leaders — volunteered to assist the Texas State Patrol with traffic stops, […]

DM district sued by student who says teacher had sex with her at school

BY: - July 28, 2021

A former high school student is suing the Des Moines public school district, alleging her Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor repeatedly had sex with her in a school office. The woman was identified in court records only as Jane Doe. She states that in her freshman year of high school, she became active in […]

Iowa law on gender-affirming surgery generates more litigation

BY: - July 27, 2021

This story has been updated from the original version to correct Mika Covington’s first name. The state of Iowa is facing yet another round of litigation over efforts to ban Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming surgery. In 2019, the Iowa Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that said state regulations denying Medicaid coverage for […]

COMMENTARY

Sexual harassment cases at school: Appeals court ruling could change how schools judge complaints

BY: - July 25, 2021

When a Virginia high school teen reported that another student repeatedly touched her breasts and genitals without consent during a school band trip, the school decided there wasn’t enough evidence to establish that there was a “sexual assault.” They did not punish the alleged offender. The student sued the school in federal court under Title […]

Lawsuits filed by Tyson workers over COVID-19 still on hold

BY: - July 23, 2021

Before he died of COVID-19 last year, Arthur Scott of Waterloo worked in a Tyson Foods plant that manufactures dog treats. Even so, Tyson claims it cannot be sued in state court for contributing to Scott’s death because the company was trying to secure the nation’s food supply and critical infrastructure when it kept the […]

Iowa group that backed Ernst fights to block donor disclosure

BY: - July 21, 2021

A group that supported U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2020 re-election bid is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit it says would give “the wolf the keys to the henhouse” and allow others to “rifle through” records pertaining to its donors. The Clive-based group Iowa Values allegedly spent close to $1.5 million supporting the […]

COMMENTARY

Iowa’s universities need to learn important lesson about free speech

BY: - July 21, 2021

In recent years, Republicans and Democrats in the Iowa Legislature often agree on little. But they were nearly unanimous this spring in supporting an important piece of legislation — a bill requiring faculty and administrators at the state universities to go through training about the First Amendment and the rights it contains. Anyone skeptical of […]

Iowa lawsuit over California’s hog-confinement law headed for a hearing

BY: - July 20, 2021

A federal judge will hear arguments next month in a case that involves Iowa pork producers and their challenge of a California state law restricting the sale of pork in that state. The Iowa Pork Producers Association has requested a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement of California’s Proposition 12. The state of California has […]

Lawsuit over Waterloo inmate’s suicide is settled for $125,000

BY: - July 19, 2021

The state of Iowa has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit over the 2016 suicide of an inmate housed in the Waterloo Residential Correctional Facility. In 2018, the family of Dustyn Henry sued the state of Iowa and Mike Schwab, a veteran probation and parole officer for the First Judicial District Department of […]