Congress didn't pass comprehensive patent reform legislation last year, but S. 2733, the VENUE Act, would only allow plaintiffs to bring patent infringement suits in judicial districts where defendants actually work and/or where they have allegedly committed the infringement. The VENUE Act would also mandate that both parties have "a regular and established physical facility" "not primarily for the purpose of creating venue," which would close the loophole patent trolls exploit, where they go fishing for a judicial district that seems more sympathetic to patent infringement claims than others -- like, say, the Eastern District of Texas, which hears almost half of all patent-infringement suits in America. We need further reforms to stop patent trolls from filing these frivolous lawsuits that don't protect property but merely extract tribute from folks who actually make stuff, but the VENUE Act would do some good. The Electronic Frontier Foundation helps you tell the Senate to begin reforming our patent system by passing the VENUE Act.
Meanwhile, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to support H.R. 4611, the No Money Bail Act, then CREDO still helps you do that. The No Money Bail Act would do pretty much what it sounds like it'd do -- it would prevent our federal government from extracting money for bail in federal criminal cases, and would also cut off certain federal grants to states that continue to use money bail. But if we can't demand money for bail, I can already hear right-wingers saying, how are we going to protect the public? Oh, gosh, I don't know -- maybe by doing police work? If the state suspects you of a crime, but doesn't have enough evidence to detain you and can't prove you're a flight risk, why should you have to pay to go free? Particularly when money bail hits the poor a lot harder than everyone else? I look forward to the day we stop punishing drug addicts and start treating them, because then a lot of the problems with our criminal justice system will fall away. Until then, we argue for the right thing, and we demand the right thing.
Finally, a lot of supermarket chains (including Kroger, Food Lion, and Target) have moved toward cage-free eggs -- meaning that the hens who lay the eggs don't live in tiny cages -- but Publix hasn't, and they have more than 1,100 stores in six Southeastern states. Egg-laying hens typically live in "battery cages," so named because of the arrangement of cages more or less like battery cells, but you could be excused for thinking a different kind of battery goes on, because these hens live absolutely miserable lives: often crammed eight or 10 to a cage the size of a filing cabinet drawer, these hens suffer from many of the same problems other factory-farm chickens do (dirty conditions, increased illness, no space even to stretch their wings), plus others -- they live in the dark and have their beaks trimmed, so they don't peck at or cannibalize other birds, though, of course, they wouldn't do these things if they weren't living in those damn cages! So Change.org helps you tell Publix to get with the times and move toward cage-free eggs.