Legal news from Wednesday, March 1, 2006
21:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday heard oral arguments in four consolidated cases challenging the Texas congressional redistricting plan [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs] approved in 2003 which helped Republicans gain six seats in the US Congress. Opponents of the redistricting plan [official website] told the [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] A scheduled UN General Assembly [official website] vote on a draft resolution [PDF text; JURIST report] to create a new UN Human Rights Council has been delayed after the US rejected the proposal [JURIST report]. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said earlier this week that the resolution [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian Federal Court judge Marshall Rothstein [official profile] was formally appointed as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada [official website] Wednesday two days after appearing before a committee of Canadian parliamentarians in the first public questioning of a Canadian high court nominee [JURIST report]. The appointment [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Afghan authorities on Wednesday regained control of the Policharki prison [AP report; IWPR backgrounder; also "Pul-e-Charkhi"] after four days of rioting that was allegedly started by al Qaeda and Taliban convicts. Deputy Justice Minister Mohammed Qasim Hashimzai reported that over 11,300 unruly inmates, including 350 Taliban and al Qaeda [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Within hours of the court-appointed deadline, leaders of the flight attendants union have reached a tentative settlement with bankrupt Northwest Airlines (NWA) [official website; press release], after the two sides spent over 24 straight hours at the negotiating table in New York, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday. As [read more]

15:03 EDT

[JURIST] Ranking US Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Patrick Leahy [official website] rapped Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Wednesday after Gonzales sent a letter [PDF] to Judiciary Committee members purporting to offer clarifications of his testimony [JURIST report] last month on the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] authorized by the [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Rules and Administration Committee [official website] has unanimously approved the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006 [summary, PDF; committee materials], which incorporates only modest curbs on privately financed trips and earmarks. If the bill is passed by the full Senate, it will require senators to [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Missouri Supreme Court [official website] has upheld a 24-hour informed consent abortion law [text] in a unanimous decision, ruling that the law does not violate the Missouri constitution [text]. The law requires doctors to wait 24 hours after consulting with women before performing abortions. Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [official website; JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that she will not immediately lift [press release] the state of emergency [Proclamation 1017 text] in the Philippines, rejecting calls that she immediately lift her earlier order. Arroyo implemented emergency rule last Friday after uncovering a plot to [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Uzbek court sentenced opposition activist Nodira Khidayatova [RFE/RL report] to ten years in prison Wednesday for embezzlement and tax evasion. Khidayatova, a leading member of the Sunshine Uzbekistan Coalition (SUC) [party website], was arrested in December after returning from a news conference in Moscow during which she criticized [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] A bill [PDF text] banning same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] passed the Republican-majority Wisconsin State Legislature [official website] Tuesday evening and will be presented to voters on the state ballot in November. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle [official website] (D-WI), who will not have an opportunity to consider the bill, [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Military commission [JURIST news archive; DOD materials] hearings for two Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees scheduled to begin Wednesday have been delayed, but a third detainee will face a pre-trial hearing [docket, PDF] as scheduled. Ali Hamza al Bahlul [charge sheet, PDF; DOD materials] is accused of serving [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Wednesday that plaintiffs in a patent-tying antitrust action under Section 1 [text] of the Sherman Act must prove that the defendant has market power as part of its affirmative case. In Illinois Tool Works v. Independent Ink [Duke Law [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website] said Wednesday that an investigation into allegations that the US Central Intelligence Agency operated secret prisons [JURIST report] in Europe revealed no "smoking gun" evidence that proved the existence of the prisons. COE Secretary General Terry Davis [official profile], presenting his findings on [read more]

09:03 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Federico Moreno ruled Tuesday that the US Coast Guard [official website] acted unreasonably when it sent 15 Cubans back home after their boat reached an abandoned bridge in January and said that the Cubans had reached US soil. The Coast Guard acted under the government's "wet-foot, [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] admitted in court Wednesday that he had ordered the trial of a group of Shiites who were executed under his regime in the 1980s and that he had ordered that their land be confiscated, but he also asserted that his actions were not criminal. [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, a British official has revealed that the UN Security Council [official website] will be presented with a resolution in the next two weeks that will seek to impose mandatory sanctions against up to ten government officials in Sudan [government website] for their involvement in the [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The Montenegrin government [official website] agreed Tuesday to delay the republic's independence referendum from Serbia originally scheduled for April 30 [JURIST report] and accept a controversial formula proposed by the European Union (EU) [official website]. The EU said earlier in the week that it would consider the referendum [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] Two British court-appointed lawyers assisting former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] have submitted a motion to subpoena former US president Bill Clinton [official profile] to testify at Milosevic's trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Milosevic is asking [read more]

04:03 EDT

[JURIST Europe] The Russian Education Ministry [official website, in Russian] faces a lawsuit calling for it to remove evolution from the national science curriculum. The parents of Maria Shreiber, a 15 year old schoolgirl from St. Petersburg, have argued in court papers that school presentation of Darwin's theory prevents students [read more]

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