Today's News & Commentary — December 25
In immigration news, a federal judge has dismissed one of the lawsuits challenging President Obama’s executive action on immigration, according to the Wall Street Journal. This lawsuit was filed Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an outspoken conservative activist and critic of President Obama’s immigration policies. Judge Beryl Howell on the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C. dismissed the suit, ruling that Sheriff Arpaio did not have standing to challenge the President’s policy. This follows a decision last week by a federal judge in Pennsylvania that the President’s policy is unconstitutional. Several other lawsuits challenging the policy are still ongoing, including a suit by multiple states.
In international news, the New York Times reports that Italy is moving forward with labor market reforms. The legislation, which was approved by the cabinet this week, would make it easier for employers to fire employees, and would extend and expand unemployment benefits.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the union representing 22,000 NYPD officers, increased its criticism of Mayor Bill de Blasio this week following the shooting of two NYPD officers, the New York Times reports. The police union has had a tense relationship with city’s leaders, including NYPD Commissioner Bratton and the Mayor, during the mass protests over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, two unarmed black men killed by police officers. Following a grand jury decisions not to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown, multiple union leaders released statements in support of peaceful protesters. This past week, a gunman killed two police officers (as well as his former girlfriend), and posts on social media indicated the gunman targeted the officers as retribution over the Michael Brown and Eric Garner killings. Patrick Lynch, the head of the union, connected the killings to the protests and expressed frustration with the Mayor, saying “There’s blood on many hands tonight — those that incited violence on the street under the guise of protests . . . That blood on the hands starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”
The Los Angeles Times reports that picketers continue to protest outside El Super grocery stores. El Super has 49 locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona. Workers there have criticized the store’s treatment of its employees, and connected poor labor practices, such as no paid sick days, to unsanitary conditions at the store. County health inspectors have documented 300 health violations at the stores this year. We have previously covered the connection between food workers and food safety.