news roundup

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ICE cannot issue ‘blanket’ parole denials to immigrants seeking asylum

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Thursday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s New Orleans field office must make individual parole decisions rather than issue blanket denials for immigrants seeking asylum. The judge noted that the office, which manages five states, denied parole to asylum-seekers only 24.5% of the time in 2016, but then 82% in 2017, 98.5% in 2018 and 100% this year. (Courthouse News Service, Law360, Sept. 5 decision)

French judge says Maurice the rooster can crow on

A French judge ruled Thursday that Maurice the rooster can continue to crow on the southwestern island of Oléron, despite a retired couple’s claims that he made their stay at a neighboring vacation home stressful. The judge found that the rooster had the right to crow in his rural habitat and awarded him 1,000 euros, about $1,100, in damages. A petition to save Maurice, who lives with owner Corinne Fesseau, had obtained nearly 140,000 signatures. (The New York Times, BBC, CNN)

Texas prison officials are violating order to provide ‘cooled housing,’ lawyers say

Lawyers representing inmates in a long legal battle over air conditioning in Texas prisons say the Texas Department of Criminal Justice continues to jeopardize the lives of nearly 900 inmates who a judge ruled must be kept in cooled housing. The lawyers also said in a court motion Thursday that the department violated a 2018 settlement by providing false information about broken air conditioners and hot temperatures and requested that it be fined $150 a day for each inmate in the lawsuit who is kept in heat indices above 88 degrees. (The Texas Tribune)

Yellowstone bison will not receive protection, federal agency says

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday that it will not initiate a review of Yellowstone National Park bison to consider them for federal protection. The federal agency refused requests for special protections for the bison in 2016 but was forced to reconsider under a court order issued last year. It will consider protection for a small red squirrel in Arizona and bees that pollinate rare flowers in Nevada. (The Billings Gazette, Courthouse News Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announcement)