News Roundup

Actress Felicity Huffman gets 14 days in prison for college admissions scandal

Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. In May, Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay $15,000 to a fake charity to facilitate cheating when her daughter took the SATs. Judge Indira Talwani of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts told Huffman before the sentencing that she knew it was fraud and “trying to be a good mother doesn’t excuse this.” Huffman also received a $30,000 fine, 250 hours of community service and one year of supervised release. (CNN, TMZ, NBC, ABC)

Judge sides with transgender Ohioans in bid to change birth certificates

Judge Michael Watson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled Thursday that four plaintiffs’ claims—that Ohio’s policy barring transgender people from making changes to their birth certificates exposes them to discrimination—can move forward. Three transgender women and one transgender man sued officials with the Ohio Department of Health and the state registrar of the Office of Vital Statistics over their refusal to change the policy in 2018. “Assuming the allegations in the complaint are true, particularly plaintiffs’ assertion that ‘gender identity is the critical determinant of sex,’ the court is not convinced that Ohio law prohibits plaintiffs’ request,” Watson wrote in the opinion. (Courthouse News Service, Cleveland Scene, Cleveland.com, Sept. 12 order)

San Francisco’s ‘cruelest landlord’ sued and defended by own lawyer

Anne Kihagi owned more than 50 rent-controlled units in San Francisco—a portfolio worth about $24 million—until she was found guilty of abusing her tenants and hit with millions of dollars in fines. The saga of the city’s “cruelest landlord” has continued as her own lawyer, Karen Uchiyama, sued her for about $158,000. Court documents also show that Uchiyama continues to represent Kihagi in her lawsuit with Umpqua Bank, which alleges that she defaulted on loans on three buildings. (Curbed San Francisco, Mission Local, Sept. 4 suit)

Federal judge keeps Tennessee voter registration law from going into effect

Judge Aleta Trauger of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee blocked a new law Thursday that aims to implement strict restrictions for Tennessee voter registration groups, including allowing the state to fine groups that submit 100 or more voter registration forms that don’t have a complete name, address, date of birth, declaration of eligibility and signature. Voter registration and civil rights organizations have filed two lawsuits claiming that the law will have a chilling effect on voter registration, particularly among minority groups. The judge’s ruling means that the law won’t go into effect until the court decides those lawsuits. (Tennessean, Nashville Public Radio, HuffPost)