Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

MONTHLY ROUND-UP On 24 June, the US Supreme Court voted to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that recognised a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalised the procedure nationwide. The ruling comes as a momentous victory to Republicans and religious conservatives. The United States and Meta Platforms Inc, which owns social media platform Facebook, have settled a lawsuit over a housing advertising system that illegally discriminated against users based on their race as well as other characteristics. ROEVWADE: LANDMARK ABORTION RULING OVERTURNED BY US SUPREME COURT META SETTLES RACIAL DISCRIMINATIONLAWSUIT WITH US Powered by its conservative majority, the Supreme Court upheld a Mississippi law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks. The vote was 5-4 to overturn Roe. The justices ruled that the Roe v Wade decision, which permitted abortions before a foetus would be viable outside the womb, was wrongly decided based on the US Constitution containing no specific mention of the right to an abortion. In a statement, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, said, “This cruel ruling is outrageous and heartwrenching. But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November.” LM The lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice claimed that Meta encouraged advertisers to target users based on their race, religion and sex, thus violating the Federal Housing Act. Meta has denied any wrongdoing, though agreed to pay a civil penalty of $115,054. This is the highest sum permitted under the law. The US tech company has also agreed to cease the use of an algorithmic tool called “Special Ad Audience” and design a new housing advertising tool by the end of 2022. Since 2016, Meta has been subject to several complaints about ads-based discrimination and has reached settlements with the state of Washington and rights groups over similar claims. LM 6 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022

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