Legal news from Tuesday, September 18, 2007
17:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] voted Tuesday 57-42 [roll call] against proceeding with debate on the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act [S. 1257 bill summary], killing the bill before it reached Senate consideration by falling three votes short of the 60 necessary to move forward. The bill, [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] A US Marine Corps commanding officer ordered Tuesday that charges be dismissed [press release] against Marine Capt. Lucas McConnell for failing to report the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. McConnell was granted immunity from prosecution by Lt. Gen. James Mattis [official profile], [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] France's National Assembly [official website, in French], the lower house of the French parliament, Tuesday debated [transcript, in French] a new immigration bill [dossier and materials, in French] proposing tightened requirements for foreigners seeking to join immigrant relatives in France. The bill comes after a campaign promise by French [read more]

17:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for Brent Wilkes [Newsweek profile], a defense contractor connected to disgraced former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham [official profile], have subpoenaed 13 members of Congress to testify at Wilkes' October 2 trial. All of the lawmakers, including former House Speaker Dennis Hastert [official website], have said they will not [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee [official website] Tuesday announced [press release] an investigation into whether State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard [official profile] interfered with a fraud investigation related to construction of a new US embassy in Baghdad to protect the Bush administration from "political embarrassment." [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell [official website] pushed for new and permanent changes to a recently passed temporary surveillance law in a statement [PDF text] to the House Judiciary Committee [official website] Tuesday. The Protect America Act 2007 [S 1927 materials], passed [JURIST report] by Congress in [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists (CPN-M) [party website] announced Tuesday that it is vacating the interim government and boycotting future elections until its demands for parliament to immediately declare the country a federal democratic republic were met. Senior members of the Maoist party, who say that they [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Two advocacy groups in the Philippines [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that children are often the victims of extrajudicial killings, citing statistics compiled by Karapatan (The Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights) [advocacy website]. The Salinlahi Alliance for Children's Concerns and the Gabriela Women's Party [advocacy website] criticized [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Iranian-American journalist Parnaz Azima, a reporter for Radio Farda [media website, in Arabic], left Iran [JURIST news archive] Tuesday after months of being held in the country on security-related charges. A spokesperson for Radio Farda's parent service Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) [media website] told AP that Azima will [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Maryland Court of Appeals [official website] on Tuesday ruled [opinion text, PDF] 4-3 that the state's 1973 law banning same-sex marriage [JURIST news archive] is constitutional. In reversing the judgment of the lower Circuit Court, Maryland's highest court held that a law defining marriage as between one man [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Zimbabwean parliament began debate Tuesday on a draft constitutional amendment bill that could essentially give Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] the authority to appoint his successor. The changes would allow the parliament to appoint a new president should the incumbent step down before the end of his [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] French judicial officials indicated Monday that the judiciary is launching a new investigation into the 1999 assassination [BBC report] of Iranian deputy chief of the joint staff Brigadier-General Ali Sayyad Shirazi in Tehran. The probe, renewed at the request of Shirazi's family, will focus on the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK) [MIPT [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [BBC profile] will only resign as chief of Pakistan's army following his reelection, government lawyer Sharifuddin Pirzada said Tuesday during proceedings in the Supreme Court of Pakistan [official website]. The high court is hearing petitions from opposition parties challenging Musharraf's dual role as president and [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit [order, PDF] Monday alleging that vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases [EPA backgrounder] have contributed to global warming constituting a "public nuisance" that has cost the state of California millions of dollars. Judge Martin J. Jenkins of the US District Court for [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] Mexican drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix [Wikipedia profile] pleaded guilty [press release] in the US District Court for the Southern District of California [official website] Monday to running a continuing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder money. Prosecutors alleged that Arellano Felix helped run the Arellano Felix cartel [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have generally reacted favorably to President Bush's Monday nomination [JURIST report] of former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey [WH factsheet; PBWT profile] as the US Attorney General, showing support for Bush's bi-partisan efforts at nominating an independent mind for the nation's top law enforcement officer [read more]

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