Legal news from Wednesday, June 1, 2005
22:06 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that President Bush intends to nominate Congressman Christopher Cox (R-CA) [official website; profile] as the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Republican officials. Current SEC Chairman William Donaldson announced earlier Wednesday that he would be stepping down effective June 30 [JURIST report]. [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that federal inmates in western states within its jurisdiction may challenge their sentences. The case, United States v. Ameline [opinion], follows the US Supreme Court ruling earlier this year in United States v. Booker [opinion] where the high [read more]

20:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chile's National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture, known familiarly as the Valech Commission, released a new report Wednesday indicating that children under the age of 12 were tortured during the rule of former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive]. The commission was created in 2003 [dictionary [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [advocacy website] said Wednesday that he has secured opinions from several international lawyers concluding that the US government's terror-related charges [PDF] against Hicks have no foundation in international law. Hicks, whose trial before a US military commission has been suspended [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Tom S. Lee ruled Wednesday that Mississippi's law restricting abortions performed after the first-trimester violates the Fourteenth Amendment. The Jackson Women's Health Organization [factsheet] challenged a July 1, 2004 amendment to Mississippi Code § 41-75-1 [text] that required abortions after the first trimester be performed in [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A day after President Bush dismissed as "absurd" [JURIST report] an Amnesty International rights report [AI press release] condemning the US for ill-treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other facilities, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [DOD profile] Wednesday defended the US military's handling of Gitmo detainees, calling [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian court has sent five members of left-wing extremist group the Red Brigades [Wikipedia article] to prison for life for involvement in the 2002 murder of Marco Biagi [EIRO report], an economic advisor to the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile]. In addition to their sentences [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] An exit poll announced on Dutch state television [NOS article in Dutch] indicates that Dutch voters have overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution 63 to 37 percent. AP has more.4:05 PM ET - BBC News has posted a Q & A on the uncertain future of the EU constitution after [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said today that two Dutch international aid workers affiliated should not have been arrested for allegedly falsifying a report on rape in Darfur [JURIST report]. Paul Foreman and Vince Hoedt, both directors for Medecins Sans Frontieres [NGO website], were [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Fourth District Court of Appeal [official site] in Florida Wednesday rejected an appeal [opinion, PDF] from a widow who sued a gun company after her husband, a middle school teacher, was gunned down by a student while entering a classroom. Pam Grunow argued that Valor Corporation [corporate website] [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] A London judge on Wednesday approved the extradition of accused Moroccan terrorist Farid Hilali to Spain, deciding that he would not face religious or racial prejudice if sent there for trial. He stipulated, however, that Hilali could not be re-extradited to Morocco from Spain without British consent. Spain has [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] In hopes of finding clues about his 1955 murder [JURIST report], FBI personnel Wednesday began unearthing [JURIST report] a concrete vault containing the remains of Emmett Till [Wikipedia profile]. FBI spokesman Frank Bochte said that the reason for exhumation was to dispel rumors that the body was not that [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Bloomberg is reporting that US Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson [official profile] is stepping down on June 30.3:15 PM ET - The SEC has posted a press release detailing the departure of Donaldson later this month. [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union began assessing proposals Wednesday from Microsoft Corp. meant to comply with a massive March 2004 antitrust ruling [JURIST report]. The proposal came in just before the midnight deadline [JURIST report] Tuesday and the EU competition commission [official website] is expected to take a few weeks to [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has fired suspended UN staffer Joseph Stephanides [JURIST report] for his role in the UN oil-for-food scandal [BBC timeline].1:25 PM ET - Stephanides is the first UN staffer to be fired in the scandal. An AP story is now available [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced on Tuesday [UN press release] that Iraq has officially asked for UN help in drafting a new permanent constitution [UN press release; JURIST news archive]. Annan acknowledged a letter from Hajim N. Al-Hasani, president of Iraq's Transitional National Assembly, asking for assistance to [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Protestors clashed with 200 members of rival groups in front of the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court on Wednesday, throwing sticks and flogging each other with horse-whips. The instigators, who arrived in buses from the North, stormed the court to evict protestors from the South, who had occupied the Supreme Court [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Two US citizens accused of conspiring to support al-Qaida [JURIST report] were denied bail on Tuesday in separate federal courts. Tarik Shah of New York and Dr. Rafik Abdus of Florida were both arrested in a government sting operation Friday. Shah allegedly promised to train terrorists in hand-to-hand combat [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] After assurances from her lawyer that she would attend a scheduled September trial in Serbia on abuse of power charges, Serbian authorities have cancelled an international arrest warrant for Mirjana Markovic [Wikipedia profile], the wife of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST archives]. Markovic is said to have fled [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Citizens of the Netherlands went to the polls Wednesday to vote on whether to accept the proposed European Constitution [text]. Recent opinion surveys say that nearly 60% of Dutch voters plan to reject the document, citing concerns such as discontent with the Dutch government, rising prices following introduction of [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Florida Governor Jeb Bush [official website] Tuesday signed into law House Bill 1041 [status and text], providing for increased state oversight of clinics that provide second-trimester abortions. Bush said the law is about increasing safety standards [AP report] and does not affect constitutionally protected abortion rights. Opponents say its [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, sentenced Tuesday to nine years [JURIST report] in jail for fraud and tax evasion, will appeal the verdict [Khodorkovsky statement] but his lawyers say they do not expect the appeal to be considered until September [RIA Novosti report] at the earliest. President Bush said [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Tuesday formally appealed the March California Superior Court ruling [JURIST report] that the state's ban on same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional. That order was stayed in anticipation of this appeal. Reuters has more. [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese authorities have detained Zhu Jiuhi, a Beijing lawyer and activist for the development of rule of law after he attempted to file a landmark civil suit against the provincial government and lower-level governments for confiscating private investors' oil wells estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The author of the Vanity Fair article that on Tuesday revealed the long-secret identity of "Deep Throat" is a San Francisco lawyer who first learned in 2002 that the Watergate leaker was former FBI deputy director W. Mark Felt [JURIST report]. A friend of his daughter told John O'Connor [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] After a protracted Senate battle over judicial nominees [JURIST report], President Bush Tuesday pledged to consult [press conference transcript] with members of the Senate on an upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court:I'm obviously going to spend a lot of time reviewing the records of a variety of people and [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official site] on Tuesday struck down part [opinion, PDF] of the Bush administration's new financial disclosure requirements for unions, but upheld others. A majority of the three-judge panel found that Labor Secretary Elaine Chao [official profile] exceeded her authority [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Libyan Supreme Court has postponed until November 15 a ruling on the death sentences of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor [backgrounder] who were convicted in May 2004 of purposely infecting 400 children with the virus that causes AIDS during an experiment to find a cure for [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] Chinese UN Ambassador Wang Guangya [official profile] has said China is opposed to a recently-introduced resolution [JURIST report] that would expand the UN Security Council [official website] to include Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. In an interview with AP Tuesday, Wang called the plan "dangerous" and hinted China would [read more]

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