Legal news from Wednesday, January 17, 2007
20:01 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] that the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [text] preempts the Maryland Fair Share Health Care Fund Act [text, PDF] requiring Wal-Mart to spend the equivalent of eight percent [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] Walter Forbes, former Chairman of Cendant Corp. [official website], the huge New York-based company that owns Ramada, Howard Johnson, Avis, Coldwell Banker and Century 21, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years and seven months in prison pursuant to a October 2006 conviction [US DOJ press release] arising from a [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website; JURIST news archive] announced Wednesday that three former Croatian generals will begin their war crimes trial at The Hague in May. Ante Gotovina [BBC profile], Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac have all pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] to [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] European Commission [official website] investigators have again asked EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes [official website] to formally charge computer chip maker Intel [corporate website] with antitrust violations, according to a Wall Street Journal report [subscription required] Wednesday. In October, investigators first announced that they had gathered enough evidence to [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Bush Administration will from now on submit all domestic surveillance requests to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) [FJC backgrounder] for review and approval under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, according to a letter [PDF text; US DOJ background briefing transcript, DOC] sent Wednesday by US Attorney General [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] A US military judge ruled Tuesday that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], a US Army officer who refused deployment to Iraq [JURIST report] because he felt the war is 'unlawful,' cannot argue that point in his upcoming court-martial. Lt. Col. John Head further ruled that [read more]

15:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Wednesday in Smith v. Texas [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 05-11304, where the court must decide whether the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was correct to apply a "daunting standard of harm ('egregious harm')" [read more]

14:01 EDT

[JURIST] Former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Trial Watch profile] will be sentenced to death at a hearing before the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] now scheduled for January 25, according to a court spokesperson speaking to the press on Tuesday. Ramadan was convicted [JURIST report; BBC verdict summary] [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] ruled Wednesday that an alien convicted for aiding and abetting a theft offense can be deported under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [USCIS backgrounder]. In Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez [Duke Law case backgrounder], Luis Alexander Duenas-Alvarez, a legal permanent resident, [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German; BBC profile] told the European Parliament [speech transcript, in German] at a session in Strasbourg Wednesday that EU member nations should ratify the European constitution [official website; JURIST news archive] before the next round of European Parliament elections [Wikipedia backgrounder] scheduled [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] used the occasion of a Wednesday speech [transcript] to the conservative American Enterprise Institute [website] on the perils of judicial activism to suggest that judges are not the appropriate agents to rule on national security issues, and that they should otherwise exercise [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] Spain's National Court [official website] has reissued a warrant for the arrest of three US soldiers who killed Spanish Telecinco cameraman Jose Couso [Guardian report; advocacy website] in 2003 when their tank opened fire on a hotel in Baghdad. The warrant follows a December Supreme Court reversal [IFEX report] [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] US Defense Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Detainee Affairs Charles "Cully" Stimson apologized Wednesday for remarks [JURIST report] he made last week criticizing lawyers at top US law firms for representing Guantanamo detainees pro bono. In a letter published in the Washington Post, Stimson wrote:During a radio interview last [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush Tuesday offered his strongest criticism yet [JURIST report] of the Iraqi government's handling of the execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], saying in a PBS Newshour interview [transcript; recorded audio] with Jim Lehrer that it resembled a “revenge killing:” I was disappointed and felt like they [read more]

05:01 EDT

[JURIST] Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika confirmed Tuesday that his office is preparing new money laundering and embezzlement charges [MBK press release] against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [advocacy website; JURIST news archive]. Lawyers for Khodorkovsky first said they expected new charges [JURIST report] last month, but Chaika's comments Tuesday are [read more]

04:01 EDT

[JURIST] A UN human rights expert has received permission from US officials to visit the United States to examine US practices when detaining terror suspects. Martin Scheinin [official profile], the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism [official website], issued a statement on the [read more]

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