Legal news from Monday, June 26, 2006
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] A same-sex couple argued in court in Boston Monday that a 1913 Massachusetts law [text] should not prevent them from marrying in the state because statutes in their home state of Rhode Island do not explicitly ban gay marriage. Mary Norton and Mary Becker [GLAD profiles], represented by an [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] issued 50% fewer warning letters [press release] to companies violating federal drug and safety regulations in the past five years under the Bush administration, according to a report [PDF text] released Monday by US Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) [official website]. [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Foreign Office [official website] has said that the United Kingdom will not petition the US to release Australian national David Hicks [JURIST news archive; advocacy website] from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Hicks, a suspected member of the Taliban who has been detained [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Civil rights groups called Monday for the renewal of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) [text; DOJ backgrounder] before Congress takes its Fourth of July recess. At a news conference in Atlanta, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website], the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) [advocacy website] and [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order [brief in support, PDF] that prevents the state of Georgia [JURIST news archive] from fully enforcing a law that restricts where convicted sex offenders can live and work. The order, issued by US District Judge Clarence Cooper [official profile] [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Voters in Italy [JURIST news archive] have decisively rejected amendments to the Italian Constitution [text] that would have given more power to the prime minister and decreased the size of Parliament [JURIST report]. The daily La Repubblica in Rome is reporting that 61.4 percent of voters opposed the amendments [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) [official website; government backgrounder], the legislature of China [JURIST news archive], has decided not to criminalize sex-selective abortions [Wikipedia backgrounder], the state-run China Daily reported Monday. A proposed amendment to the criminal law would have punished anyone convicted of involvement in [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] UK Conservative Party leader David Cameron [party profile] said Monday that he would appoint a panel of legal experts to examine whether the increasingly-controversial Human Rights Act of 1998 [text; JURIST news archive] should be replaced with an American-style Bill of Rights. Speaking at the Centre for Policy Studies [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys [Reuters profile], the new supreme leader of Somalia's Islamic Courts Party whose militia took control of the capital of Mogadishu [JURIST report] from US-backed warlords earlier this month, vowed Monday to impose Islamic law - Sharia [Wikipedia backgrounder] - on the country and denied US [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union [official website] on Monday condemned all instances of torture, even "on grounds of national security," and called on all countries to sign and follow the UN Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) [text], marking the United Nations' ninth annual [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] said Monday that it would consider whether the Clean Air Act [text] requires the US Environmental Protection Agency [official website] to regulate "greenhouse gas" emissions from automobiles. The court granted certiorari in Massachusetts v. EPA [docket], an appeal [JURIST report; [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Rep. Peter King (R-NY) [official website], chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee [official website], encouraged the Bush administration in a FOX News interview [recorded video] on Sunday to press criminal charges against the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal for disclosing [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Leandro Despouy has called for the Iraqi government to begin an independent investigation [press release] into the murder of Khamis al-Obeidi [JURIST report], a lawyer representing Saddam Hussein in his crimes against humanity trial [JURIST news archive]. Condemning the [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UK Foreign Office [official website] has begun talks with the US on the potential release of eight UK residents detained at the US detention center in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] into the custody of British authorities. The UK government has successfully negotiated the release of British citizens [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mauritania [government website, in Arabic; CIA backgrounder] citizens have approved changes to the country's constitution in a Sunday referendum [BBC Q/A] by 80 to 90 percent, according to preliminary results announced Monday by the Interior Ministry. The changes are being made to the 1991 constitution [text, in French] after [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday handed down decisions in five cases, including Randall v. Sorrell [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST report], consolidated with two other cases, where the Court struck down Vermont's Act 64 campaign law [text], which places strict caps on campaign [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Opponents of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [official website; Wikipedia profile] filed a new impeachment complaint against Arroyo on Monday, exactly one year after opponents filed an impeachment complaint on three other charges. The Philippine constitution allows only one impeachment lawsuit against a president per year. The charges on [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Spanish judge Santiago Pedraz has begun his investigation into atrocities committed during Guatemala's 1978-86 armed conflict that included a 1980 military assault on the Spanish Embassy, killing 37 people. Pedraz traveled to Guatemala Saturday in response to a case filed by Guatemalan Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu [Nobel [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Li Rongxing, a former oilfield chief, has been sentenced to death in China after being convicted of taking bribes and embezzling over $4.6 million in the people's intermediate court in Tai'an [government website, in Chinese], newspapers in Beijing reported Monday. The former president of Shengli Oilfield Dynamic, a subsidiary [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A high-level Nepalese commission probing the crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising [JURIST report; JURIST news archive] in April of this year that eventually led to the restoration of parliamentary government summoned three former royal ministers Sunday, including a top deputy of King Gyanendra [official profile]. The three members of [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Several US senators condemned parts of a national reconciliation proposal [JURIST report] designed to end the Iraqi insurgency and facilitate reconstruction, which was unveiled to the Iraqi parliament Sunday by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile]. US lawmakers particularly criticized a part of the plan that grants amnesty [read more]

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