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Legally Weird

Can Congress Hold You in Contempt?

By Andrew Leonatti

The U.S. House Select Committee is just starting to dive into its investigation of what happened on Jan. 6, when a mob of angry Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building. The committee is probing what Trump and others close to him knew about the rioters' plans that day. So far, people in Trump's orbit are mostly refusing to play ball by ignoring subpoenas issued by the committee to give depositions. Eager to send a message, committee members are promising to hold a vote this week to hold Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Trump, in contempt.

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John Hinckley Jr. Will Be Free in 2022: Here's Why

By Andrew Leonatti

The attempted assassination of then-President Ronald Reagan, only a few months into his first term in 1981, shocked the nation. Reagan's would-be assassin, John Hinckley Jr., was found not guilty by reason of insanity, which led to widespread criticism, dismay, and anger. Now 66 and the subject of decades of treatment, Hinckley is set to be completely free next summer, after a federal judge recently ordered his unconditional release.

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Man Pictured as Baby on Cover of 'Nevermind' Suing Nirvana for Exploitation

By Andrew Leonatti

"Nevermind" featured one of the most iconic album covers of all time. In the midst of the great moral panic over music poisoning the minds of our youths, there was 4-month-old Spencer Elden, as naked as the day he came into this world, swimming underwater after a dollar bill attached to a fishhook. Now 30 years old, Elden seems to have some regrets over his role in music history.

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Strange Lawsuit: Two Women Claim to Be Dead Man's Wife

By Richard Dahl

Demetra Street knew something was fishy after her husband's funeral. But after the service, when Demetra asked to receive her husband's ashes, the funeral home refused to produce them.

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Can an Edible Plant Be a Plaintiff?

By Richard Dahl

We've written here before about "environmental personhood," the idea that the best way to protect bodies of water and other natural resources is to give them the same rights as humans. While it might sound intriguing, the argument has not gained much legal traction in the U.S. That doesn't mean, however, that the theory isn't continuing to evolve.

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Hell-bent, Satanists Seek a Role at Boston City Hall

By Richard Dahl

The Boston City Council might have a devil of a time dealing with a recent challenge to the way it conducts its meetings. Like many city councils, the one in Boston likes to start its meetings with an invocation. The selection of each meeting's “faith leader" is left to individual councilors, and they have included Christian pastors of various denominations, imams, and rabbis. To the best of anyone's knowledge, though, they have never included a Satanist. But that might change.

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