Oklahoma has turned to the U.S. Supreme Court as the federal government appeals a finding against tax credits under the health care reform law. 

     A federal judge Thursday forced the Obama administration to resolve three-year litigation over indefinite immigration detention, hours before the president's anticipated speech on the topic. 


     Federal judges have threatened Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens with contempt if he doesn't turn over documents involving his personal trainer's defamation lawsuit against him. 

     Many moons ago when I lived on the rez I'd drive my motorcycle the 120-mile round trip from Sells to Tucson every couple of weeks to pick up supplies.
     Food, mostly. And a case of beer, which was illegal on the rez.
     Hah.
     I bought beer in Tucson because I was a high school teacher and couldn't be seen lining up outside the bootleggers' houses, cash in hand. People would talk.
     One day as I cruised home, heavily laden, I saw a Gila monster crawling across the road.

     He was the most gorgeous thing.
     Black, mostly, but speckled with every color on his back: pink, yellow, green, red, turquoise blue. The colors effused in little bumps on his skin, like pixels, though back then no one, including me, knew what a pixel was.
     I swerved to miss him, then turned my bike around and stood over him and watched him cross the road.
     Highway 86 is a long two-lane highway, 130-mile straight shot from Tucson to Ajo. People drive really fast on it, and die, and kill other people and animals.
     No one was coming in either direction.
     I stood on my bike and watched the Gila monster waddle across Route 86.
     He didn't have an enemy in the world, that he knew of.
     He paid no attention to my enormous, rumbling motorcycle, stinking with gas fumes.
     He didn't know there was anything in the world that could hurt him.
     What a life.
     OK, maybe not the most exciting life in the world, but what a state of mind. Absolute security.
     The Gila monster eats only five to ten times a year.
     The Gila monster digs up other animals' eggs and eats them, or lays in wait, and if you mess with him and he bites you, good luck to you - he won't let you go even after you cut his head off, and his poison will keep dripping into you from his grooved teeth.
     What a guy.
     We humans today have no one in our species as noble as that Gila monster.
     Human beings sway with the wind.
     Is there anyone among us who fears no one?
     Is there anyone among us who knows that no one else can truly do us harm?
     This is the stuff the ancient Greeks and Romans lived and died by - that as long as you were virtuous, even death could not hurt you.
     Do we believe this anymore?
     We do not.
     We quibble about money.
     We whine about taxes while driving 70 mph on federal highways on $3 a gallon gasoline and chatting on our cell phones.
     We claim that it's a horrible thing that poor people get health insurance - health insurance! - even though they are poor.
     We file class action lawsuits claiming that prestigious universities discriminate against white people.
     We whine and whine, while we drink wine imported from Italy, from France, from Australia and Chile, for $6 a bottle.
     While somewhere in the desert, a Gila monster waits for a month, for two months, for an egg to eat.


     Alfalfa farmers in southern Oregon sued Jackson County for $4.2 million, for crops they may have to destroy because of the county ban on genetically engineered plants. 

     A Texas evangelist tricked a disabled woman into moving in with him, defrauded her of her $270,000 personal injury settlement and then kicked her out of his house, the woman claims in court. 


     Border Patrol agents harass residents of a rural Arizona town for monitoring an internal checkpoint for civil rights abuses, a federal lawsuit claims. 

     A private prison company knew a business owner sexually abused women in a work-release program, but kept sending it women for the kickbacks, a woman claims in court. 


     A federal judge dismissed some, but not all claims in a class action accusing Apple of intercepting and failing to deliver text messages sent from iPhones to non-Apple cell phones. 


     The U.S. Forest Service must face claims that it will disrupt the northern spotted owl's habitat if it allows logging in a burned portion of the Shasta-Trinity Forest, a federal judge ruled. 

     The National Union of Healthcare Workers said Thursday it would authorize a statewide strike by clinicians if Kaiser hospitals do not take "immediate actions" to improve care for mental health patients in California.

     A federal judge ruled that suicide bombing victims can take the Palestinian government to trial next year, days after new terrorist violence struck a Jerusalem synagogue. 


     An unfair stereotype about bulk resellers led Sephora to block the accounts of Asian customers, a kind of online "shop-and-frisk," a federal class action says.

     A state investigator was fired after exposing shoddy and nonexistent investigations of Texas children who died under the supervision of Child Protective Services, he claims in court. 

     With the reputation of the French soccer award Ballon d'Or at stake, Europe's highest court ordered a trademark office to reconsider registering the "Golden Balls" mark.


     Those who want to share stories with visitors of Savannah, Ga., must pass "unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles" for a city license, tour guides claim. 

     A federal judge imposed a 27-month prison sentence against a Colorado man who helped organize illegal hunts of mountain lions and bobcats.

     The Supreme Court appointed a special master this week to sort out a water-rights dispute that pits the needs of the city of Atlanta against those of communities in the Florida panhandle.  

     After a judge struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in South Carolina, the divided U.S. Supreme Court declined to enter an emergency stay. 

     Environmentalists lack evidence that herding buffalo with low-flying helicopters harms Yellowstone's grizzly bears, the 9th Circuit found Thursday. 

     Heather Elizabeth Coffman, who federal prosecutor say is a supporter of the Islamic terror group ISIS, has waived her right to a detention hearing and preliminary trial.

     Fifty men who claim Northwestern Memorial Hospital's loss of their frozen sperm has cost them any chance of ever having children may sue under fictitious names. 

     An EU law that limits bankers' bonuses to a ratio of their base salaries passes muster with an adviser to Europe's highest court.


     General Motors knowingly sold unsafe vehicles in Arizona, the state claims in a lawsuit, becoming the first in the union to sue the car company over an alleged cover-up. 

     An upset customer got individual relief from Bitcasa's decision to delete data for customers who used their "Infinite" storage plan but a larger injunction is unnecessary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. 

     The U.S. Justice Department filed a pair of lawsuits against firms it says marketed bogus psychic services to fleece vulnerable victims. 

     Staff cuts jeopardizing the lives of many Kaiser patients made a doctor quit, a complaint in Oregon alleges. 

     American Express violates three tech patents, Maxim Integrated Products claims in Federal Court. 

     Apple violates two wireless patents, Mobile Telecommunications Technologies claims in Federal Court. 

     Wedbush Securities will pay $2.4 million to settle an SEC complaint of market access violations. 

     An FBI agent driving under the influence of alcohol rear-ended a vanload of people on Interstate 5, injuring all six of them, they claim in Federal Court.  

     Zillow stiffs workers for overtime "through a systematic scheme of exploiting and intimidating its employees," a class action claims in Federal Court. 

     Level One Marketing Group deceptively lures customers with "free" weight-loss products and then charges them monthly for it, a class action claims in Miami-Dade County Court. 

     The upcoming trial of a man accused of killing his wife 52 years ago can include evidence of the disappearances of his girlfriend and his second wife, a Louisiana appeals court ruled. 


      "Reams of evidence" may show that New Jersey unnecessarily requires voters to register 21 days in advance of elections, an appeals court ruled. 

     A gate collision between an airplane and mobile boarding stairs is not an "extraordinary circumstance" to avoid pay customers for a delayed flight, Europe's high court ruled.

     A bankrupt, 80-year-old widow has an "essential need" for her rent-stabilized East Village apartment, an appeals court ruled. 


     The group that holds the licensing rights to General George S. Patton claims that a videogame maker used the legendary general's name, likeness and persona without permission. 

     Holders of standard-essential technology patents should offer to license their works before running to the courts with infringement cases, an EU court adviser said Thursday. 

     A Nebraska college's failure to prevent the rape and murder of a female student amounts to gender discrimination, thus invalidating an indemnity agreement, two Travelers Insurance subsidiaries claim. 

     Public schools in Knox County, Tenn., have been accused of disciplining black and disabled students more often than their white and non-disabled peers. 

     A veteran who was fined after he caused a disturbance in a hospital failed to challenge the VA's ban on "boisterous" noise, the 9th Circuit ruled Friday. 


     Grocery Outlet, a chain store, sells Click N Flame lighters with the false claim that they have a "child resistant safety button," a class action claims in San Diego County Court.  

     Three patients claim Dr. Abdullahi Mohamed at the Progressive Guidance Center of Monroe (Mich.) initiated a sexual relationship with them during psychiatric counseling, in separate complaints in Monroe County Court. 


     George Thorogood claims Bad to the Bone LLC violates his trademark, using it on clothing, in Federal Court.