The widow of Stevie Wonder's longtime entertainment attorney is uptight, but not all right -- she claims the musician owes her $7 million in royalty fees. 

     Finding his mother dead may have sparked a rampage that left eight people dead Thursday in a small Missouri town, including the suspected gunman, a county coroner said.

     Let's take a look at the First Amendment - all 45 words of it.
     "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
     All right, then. If Congress shall "make no law respecting an establishment of religion," how come every religion under the stars demands, and gets, exemptions from federal laws?
     An exemption from federal law is surely a "law respecting an establishment of religion."
     How come poofty-haired televangelists with gold-plated toilets are exempted from federal laws, including tax laws - but I'm not?
     Why can thousands of churches - overwhelmingly Christian, in this sainted land of ours - demand, and get, exemptions from laws on health care, employment, treatment of women, and virtually complete exemption from taxes?
     Why does the U.S. Supreme Court buy this, and sell it?
     Well, it's obvious why the Supreme Court does it. "The Supreme Court reads the election returns," as Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley said 100 years ago.
     And speaking of equal protection of the law: 46 states have "Stand Your Ground" laws, which allow you to shoot people to death if you think they might hurt you.
     So if I track down the loud people who call me on the phone every day to try to sell me things, and I kill them, could I be prosecuted for it?
     And if so, why?
     If someone broke into my house and shouted at me and shoved things in my face, and I shot him and killed him, I could not (allegedly) be prosecuted in 46 states.
     I don't like stand-your-ground laws.
     I think they are a sign of a fascist state.
     But if it's legal to kill a guy who barges into my house, why shouldn't it be legal to kill telemarketers, who do the same thing to me and to you every day, thousands of times, millions of times, all over the United States?
     People do this to me 20 times a week, despite federal and state laws against it.
     Why shouldn't it be legal for me to kill them, and the conspiratorial home invaders who run the telemarketing companies that pay these poor people starvation wages to threaten me with scams?
     Mind you, I am not suggesting that anyone hunt these people down and kill them.
     But why do I not enjoy the equal protection of the laws?
     I am a writer, and rather a sensitive guy. These calls upset me, and when I am upset I cannot work. The calls threaten my livelihood. If that's not a threat of imminent harm, I don't know what is. It's not even a threat of harm - it's actual harm.
     It's far more harm, it seems to me, than Trayvon Martin ever did to George Zimmerman.
     Call me a steel-hearted patriot with cruel yet handsome eyes, if you wish. So many people have. But have I not the right to be heard? To claim my rights? To defend the castle that is my home?
     OK, it ain't much of a castle, and the moat sucks, but still ...
     I have many more ideas about equal protection, freedom, the Constitution and all kinds of patriotic stuff. I won't share them with you now. I'll do it when I'm damn good and ready.
     Interested?
     Don't call me; I'll call you.
     (Robert Kahn won the Parenchyma Freedom Institute's 1989 Award of Excellence for Defense of Mucilaginous Plants.)

     Ecuador believes that the key to a $9.8 billion judgment against Chevron lies in hard drives of the judge who signed that verdict, according to a brief provided exclusively to Courthouse News. 


     Los Angeles Times fired an auditor for blowing the whistle on a scheme to pad circulation numbers, the man and his company claim in court. The higher a newspaper's circulation, the more it can charge advertisers.

     A second judge in as many weeks granted a temporary injunction to Nebraska landowners who want to stop a land grab by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline for its Keystone XL project. 

     A state lawmaker sued the University of Hawaii for the questions it uses in a sex education survey of middle-school children. 

     Attorneys for the man who murdered "American Sniper" Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield said they will appeal the verdict because their client Eddie Ray Routh couldn't get a fair trial in a small town.

     Magician David Copperfield agreed to pay $552,282.74 to settle an employment class action arising from his magic act at the MGM Grand Casino.

     Former NBA Commissioner David Stern is expected to be called to testify in a lawsuit from a lobbyist who claims Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive cut him out of the sale of the team. 

     An ex-hedge fund boss claims that the FBI ruined his business by raiding his offices five years ago based on fabricated evidence, in a lawsuit naming Manhattan's top prosecutor. 

     Cylvia Hayes, whose business dealings contributed to the resignation of her fiance, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, is fighting a state order that she turn over emails to The Oregonian newspaper. 

     A middle school teacher in Louisiana claims in a lawsuit that she's been harassed and has lived in fear of losing her job after sharing a Facebook post critical of the Common Core teaching method. 


     Nevada's unconstitutional licensing rules give transportation and moving companies the right to veto permits for competitors, owners of two companies claim in Federal Court. 

     Missouri's state auditor and gubernatorial candidate Thomas Schweich killed himself Thursday, state officials said. Schweich, 54, a Republican, was considered a frontrunner to replace Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat.

     Victims of L.A. street gangs sued HSBC Bank in a federal RICO class action, claiming the bank is partly responsible because it accepts and launders money for the gangsters, who are associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel. 

     A family court judge in Nevada was sentenced to 26 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution for wire fraud conspiracy.

     An Iowa State University professor pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of falsifying research to make it appear that he had discovered an AIDS vaccine. 

     A Florida man says a dirty needle fell from the ceiling of a motel and pricked him, infecting him with hepatitis C. 

     Accident victims who do not wear seat belts can have that evidence used against them in civil trials, the Texas Supreme Court ruled. 

     Survivors of a maraschino cherry factory owner who shot himself after he was found using his business as a front to grow marijuana have been sued by a fruit distributor that claims the business owes it $106,000. 

     A Miami, Fla. woman claims in a lawsuit that she was wrongfully arrested and prosecuted after a witness falsely claimed she was involved in the disappearance of a runaway child. 

     Net neutrality won out in a 3-2 vote by the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to preserve free, open Internet access.


     An assistant director who was working on a Gregg Allman bio flick the day a freight train plowed into the film's crew, killing one and injuring six, will be tried separately from her three co-defendants. 

     One of the plaintiffs challenging Alabama's same-sex marriage ban is now suing Mobile County's probate judge for denying her petition to adopt her spouse's child. 

     A Massachusetts ban against political contributions from businesses is unfair since unions are allowed to fund candidates, two family-owned businesses claim in court. 

     A former assistant district attorney in Calcasieu Parish, La. pleaded guilty to charges related to his groping a man in 2013.

     Whether Hulu violated user privacy with Facebook posts pits a decades-old videotape privacy law against the Internet age, and a federal judge leaned toward dismissal at a hearing Thursday.

     An woman convicted of harboring an illegal alien must forfeit her 34-room mansion in upstate New York, the 2nd Circuit ruled. 

     The New York prison system failed to prevent an inmate with a spinal condition from falling and becoming a paraplegic, an appeals court ruled. 

     The New York City Police Department must face claims that it fired an officer because of his complaints about an illegal quota policy, the 2nd Circuit ruled Thursday. 

     Black firefighters in Jacksonville, Florida waited too long to enforce an order that required an equal number of black and white firefighters are hired in the city, a federal judge ruled. 

     Occasional workers in Luxembourg's entertainment industry cannot be forced into an unending string of short-term contracts without being made permanent players, Europe's highest court ruled Thursday. 

     A group of mining companies can advance an antitrust suit against two railroad companies over allegedly exorbitant freight rates, a federal judge ruled. 

     Westchester Community College must face a lawsuit by an adjunct professor fired for praising Arizona's immigration law after a Mexican student read a poem, the 2nd Circuit ruled. 

     France can't take social security deductions from the assets of its citizens and legal residents living in another EU state, Europe's highest court ruled Thursday. 

     Georgia's decision to give overseas military voters sufficient time to return absentee ballots moots a federal complaint over the issue, the 11th Circuit ruled. 

     State court is still open to woman who blames her baby's fatal heart defects on her use during the pregnancy of antidepressants, a federal judge ruled. 

     Prelitigation attorney correspondence enjoys qualified privilege, meaning that malicious intent could forfeit it, New York's high court ruled. 

     Relatives of the founder of Georgia lender The Money Tree cannot dismiss claims that they received money that should have gone to creditors, a federal judge ruled. 

     Samsung's Qwerty remote control for TV sets can leak and/or overheat and start a fire, a class action claims in Federal Court. 

     A Target manager forced a cashier to give him oral sex in his office after the company ignored complaints about him, the cashier claims in Alameda County Court. 

     A mechanic allegedly exposed in Ireland to Ford products containing asbestos cannot sue the company here for his mesothelioma diagnosis, an appeals court ruled. 

     Leroy P. Mitchells claims Universal Music Group, Dr. Dre and NWA sampled his tune "Star in the Ghetto" for their ditty "If it Ain't Ruff," in a federal copyright complaint. 

     Los Angeles City filed predatory lending clams against four major banks in state court on Friday.

     An Egyptian man who was formerly in a polygamous marriage cannot become a naturalized resident because his dual marriages took place within five years of his residency petition. 

     The Environmental Protection Agency order CSX Transportation to clean-up and restore the areas affected by the Feb. 16 train derailment in Mt. Carbon, W. Va. 

     The 9th Circuit on Friday upheld Walmart's offer to settle an antitrust class action by paying Netflix DVD subscribers $27.2 million. 

     The Texas justice of the peace condemned to death for murdering a district attorney's wife deserves a new trial because the judge was biased and refused to allow tests of his "broken brain," his attorneys claimed in court Thursday.

     The 2nd Circuit reinstated a jury's $18.5 million award to the New Yorker who spent more than 20 years behind bars for a rape he did not commit. 


     New York City should produce the disciplinary record of the Staten Island police officer who killed Eric Garner with an illegal chokehold, a group says in court. 

     A Saudi who planned al-Qaida's media blitz for attacks on two U.S. Embassies in East Africa was found guilty on all counts by a federal jury Thursday.

     The Czech Republic can't tax more than 10 percent of free greenhouse gas emission allowances, the European Court of Justice ruled. 

     Attorneys will begin the process Friday of combing through emails that they say show a scheme to shutter minority-owned bars in Racine, Wis.

     AmeriFreight, an automobile shipment broker based in Peachtree City, Ga., agreed to stop touting online customer reviews that it paid reviewers to write, the Federal Trade Commission said. 

     Chase failed to pay assistant branch managers for overtime, or to provide them with meal and rest breaks, a class claims.

 

     Lady Gaga's producer Rob Fusari illegally transferred assets to buy a Manhattan condo, the woman with a $7.3 million judgment against him claims in Federal Court.


     A court administrator for Belleville Township, N.J., claims an employee discriminated against her by, inter alia, squirting breast milk on her, in Essex County Court. 


     Waverly Capital claims employees of The Flatiron Group and/or Chelan Advisors shaved a dog in shared office space and do other annoying things; it wants a partition and an injunction, in New York County Supreme Court.