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Being just 14 years old when he fathered a child won’t prevent a Michigan man from owing child support. Alexander Shire, now 29, argued that he had been a victim of statutory rape and should not be forced to reward his victimizer. But a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals rejected that line of reasoning, along with the ruling of a circuit judge. The payments would benefit the child, not the mother, and so should be made, concluded the appeals court … Free speech can trump privacy in complaints against attorneys, ruled the Tennessee Supreme Court. In a case that involved one lawyer complaining against another, the court struck down a rule that had kept participants from discussing disciplinary proceedings in the early stages. But the court took pains to show that it maintained a strong interest in shielding attorneys. It proposed keeping most of the records of the Board of Professional Responsibility sealed — and it refused to identify the attorneys involved in the case … “Futile,” said a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, rejecting Michael Newdow’s suit to ban inaugural prayer. The court, which had endorsed Newdow’s protest against the Pledge of Allegiance, found that he had failed to show “a sufficiently concrete and specific injury” from the clergy-led prayer at presidential inaugurations. Newdow expressed no immediate interest in pursuing the challenge further, noting, “I got other things on my mind at the moment” … If his country doesn’t want him, can he be made to go? The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to take the case of refugee Keyse Jama, who was ordered back to Somalia but protested there is no government there to accept him. The Court also granted cert to the case of a Haitian man ordered deported for DUI. – Lori Patel

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