MARIJUANA STRAINS – Justice Clarence Thomas issued a statement after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a cannabis tax case Monday. Cheryl Miller reports the justice questioned whether the federal government’s continuing ban on marijuana cultivation and use “is necessary or proper,” given widespread legalization among the states. Miller reports that in a five-page statement “respecting the denial of certiorari” in Standing Akimbo v. United States, Thomas criticized the federal government’s “half-in, half-out regime” that simultaneously condones state-level medical marijuana use but refuses to allow dispensaries to deduct business expenses from their taxes. “This contradictory and unstable state of affairs strains basic principles of federalism and conceals traps for the unwary,” Thomas wrote.
DAD DISCRIMINATION? - A high-profile case involving a national sportscaster is putting the spotlight on employment-discrimination cases arising during the pandemic, Cedra Mayfield reports. As spotted on Law.com Radar, the complaint by Atlanta-based TV sports host Casey Stern against Warner Media LLC and Turner Sports Inc. alleged the broadcast employer discriminated against him as a man with child care responsibilities and in need of COVID-19-related work and scheduling accommodations. SEX AND VOODOO? – New Jersey-based Scarinci Hollenbeck is in the hot seat over allegations of pervasive sexual harassment at the office. Charles Toutant reports on office manager Gina Giardina’s complaint that alleges an atmosphere where sexual harassment training was presented for comic relief, and where male attorneys have sex with female subordinates on the premises. Giardina worked with office managing partner Donald Pepe, whose wife falsely believed she was having an affair with the attorney, and threatened to harm her by using “voodoo” practices, the suit claims The complaint names the Scarinci Hollenbeck firm and its two equity partners, Donald Scarinci and Kenneth Hollenbeck, as defendants.Scarinci referred reporter Toutant to the firm’s executive director, Katerin Traugh, who said in a statement, “COVID-19 and the ensuing 16-month closure of our three offices negatively impacted the firm’s bottom line and led to employees in many roles being laid off. This case, which is a result of plaintiff’s termination, grossly misrepresents the culture of our firm and actions of our staff. At no time in plaintiff’s decade of employment did she raise any of these concerns formally or informally through the appropriate channels. Had she raised these issues, the firm would have taken immediate action to investigate them.”