[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the Florida Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] today that gun makers, sued by cities and counties seeking to recover the costs of providing services for gun-related violence, are not covered by their commercial liability insurance policies. The court found the gun makers' insurance policies excluded property damage and injuries occurring away from the gun makers' premises and resulting from a product not in their physical control. Taurus International Holdings and Taurus International Manufacturing Inc. [corporate website] sought to have their insurers defend several suits filed against them by cities across the nation. AP has more.
In other state legal news...
- New Mexico State Treasurer Robert Vigil announced Thursday that he will temporarily step down while federal charges [JURIST report] for an illegal kickback scheme are resolved. Governor Bill Richardson [Governor's press release, PDF] and Attorney General Patricia Madrid filed a petition with the state supreme court asking for Vigil to receive pay during the period and for Richardson to appoint an acting treasurer. A joint-statement released by the two stated "New Mexicans should remember that under the law State Treasurer Robert Vigil [official website] is entitled to due process and the treasurer is presumed innocent unless proven guilty." New Mexico's Albuquerque Tribune has local coverage
- Several groups have filed a brief with the Florida Supreme Court challenging a proposed constitutional amendment, currently under the required consideration of the court, that would ban same-sex marriages. The Florida ACLU [ACLU press release], a government employees union, Equality Florida and 6 same-sex couples argue in the brief that the proposal violates the single subject requirement of the state constitution, and that it misleads voters. John Stemberger, chairman of Florida4Marriage.org [advocacy website], said the proposal clearly deals with one issue. The organization currently has 82,407 of the required 611,009 signatures needed to place the amendment on the November 2006 ballot. Florida's St. Petersburg Times has local coverage
- An Oregon appeals court has ruled [text] that a father's visitation rights can be restricted to accommodate the custodial parent's religion. The court moved the father's alternate weekend visitation from beginning on Friday evening to Saturday evening, because the child and her mother observe Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Applying the child's best interest standard, the court found, "The infringement on the father's opportunity to develop what he has termed a traditional family relationship with child must yield to the stability and continuity afforded to child by mother's position." The ruling overturned a lower court decision. AP has more