Legal news from Wednesday, September 27, 2006
20:09 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Mark Kravitz Wednesday dismissed [text, PDF] three of four counts of a lawsuit [backgrounder] filed by the state of Connecticut against the US Department of Education [official website] claiming that provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act [PDF text] constitute unconstitutional unfunded mandates. Kravitz [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official website; JURIST news archive] signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 [text] into law Wednesday, marking the approval of the first US bill designed to restrict greenhouse gas [EPA backgrounder] emissions. Among other provisions, the law aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives approved its version of the controversial military commissions [JURIST news archive] bill [HR 6166 text] Wednesday by a margin of 253-168 [roll call] with 160 Democrats voting against the legislation. After passage, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) [official website] combatively commended fellow Republicans for their [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Former Bosnian Serb parliamentary leader Momcilo Krajisnik [ICTY backgrounder] was sentenced [press release; judgment, PDF] to 27 years' imprisonment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Wednesday for various war crimes related to his role in atrocities committed against Croats and Muslims during [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Retired US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile] warned Wednesday against growing efforts at "judicial intimidation" in the United States. In a Wall St. Journal op-ed O'Connor said that a recently-proposed South Dakota constitutional amendment [Amendment E text] to end judicial immunity, promoted in a what she [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Belgrade court Wednesday began trial proceedings for ten Serbs charged with hiding former Bosnian Serb military chief and indicted war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] and helping him evade prosecution by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. The [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal jury in Louisiana found Merck [corporate website] not liable [Merck statement] Tuesday for the heart attack of plaintiff Robert Garry Smith after he took the company's painkiller Vioxx [Merck Vioxx Information Center website; JURIST news archive] for about four months in late 2002 and early 2003. Merck [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Israeli human rights group B'Tselem [advocacy website] issued a report [DOC] Wednesday concluding that the June 28 bombing by Israeli forces of a power plant in the Gaza Strip during the early stages of the 34-day Middle East conflict [JURIST news archive] precipitated by the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] An EU panel comprised of European data security officials has decided to delay the release of a final report on a Bush administration program that keeps track of international financial transactions until further investigations into whether the program violates EU privacy law are complete. On Monday, Peter Schaar, head [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Wednesday released Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Naser al-Shaer, detained in August [Reuters report] for his membership in Hamas after Hamas members in Gaza seized an Israeli soldier. Thirty-one Hamas lawmakers are still in detention, and on Monday an IDF military court ordered the [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit federal courts from awarding attorney's fees to plaintiffs challenging the use of "religious words or imagery" in a public building, a veteran's memorial, or on the official seals of the United States. The 244-173 vote [roll call] [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The chairman of the US Legal Services Corp. [official website] told a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing [recorded video; chairman's opening statement] Tuesday that the LSC board never discussed firing the inspector general now investigating allegations of fraud and waste [JURIST report; LSC press release; report] in the federally-funded program, [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesperson for Patrick Fitzgerald's Office of Special Counsel [official website] told AP Tuesday that the investigation of the CIA leak case [JURIST news archive] has cost taxpayers $1.44 million through August 31, and the Government Accountability Office [official website] is scheduled to release an official spending report on [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] A California senior assistant attorney general testified Tuesday that the state of California failed to use a backup IV line during the execution of Crips gang co-founder and convicted murderer Stanley Tookie Williams [advocacy website] which unnecessarily complicated his execution. The testimony was gathered during a four-day federal court [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Russia military court on Tuesday found a Russian army sergeant guilty of abuse of power and sentenced him to four years in jail for beating and torturing a conscript soldier [RFE report] this past New Year's Eve. Russian prosecutors had sought six years in prison for Alexander Sivyakov, [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] China's Taiwan Affairs Office [official website] Wednesday reiterated the Chinese government's open hostility to Taiwan's intent to change its constitution [JURIST report] to rename the island the Republic of Taiwan. China has already threatened military action against Taiwan in the event Taiwan declares independence, and a Taiwan Affairs Office [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] There are too many substantive differences between the Senate and House versions of a bill aimed at approving the NSA domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive] for legislation to be approved before the November elections, anonymous GOP staffers told reporters Tuesday. The Senate version, the National Security Surveillance Act [read more]

06:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives on Tuesday failed to pass the Private Property Rights Implementation Act of 2005 [HR 4772 text, PDF], a bill that its supporters said would provide easier access to federal courts to landowners seeking to challenge governmental actions under the Takings Clause [text] of the [read more]

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