Legal news from Friday, February 19, 2010
14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris USA [corporate website] on Friday asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] to overturn a 2006 district court ruling [JURIST report] that held the tobacco industry [JURIST news archive] liable under civil racketeering laws for deceiving American consumers as [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley [official profile] moved for summary judgment [text, PDF] Thursday in a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] challenging the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text, JURIST news archive]. The case will be decided in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for former Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega [BBC backgrounder, JURIST news archive] filed a petition [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website] Friday seeking to block his extradition to France. Noriega is relying on the dissenting opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas in the court's January decision [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Justice (DOJ) [official websites] on Thursday announced [press release] a $1.25 billion settlement for African American farmers claiming they suffered racial discrimination in USDA loan programs. The settlement arises from the Pigford Case [CRS backgrounder, PDF], a class-action suit that was re-opened [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Niger's military leaders on Thursday suspended the country's constitution [text, DOC] and dissolved all state institutions after the coup [JURIST report] that took place the same day. A spokesperson for the military junta, which is calling itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), made the announcement [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Judges from the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Pre-Trial Chamber II requested Friday that chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] provide additional information [press release] regarding his request to open a formal investigation [JURIST report] into allegations of crimes against humanity committed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence in [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Bolivian President Evo Morales [official website, in Spanish; BBC profile] on Thursday appointed [press release, in Spanish] 18 judges ahead of the country's judicial elections, calling the move "the beginning of the decolonization of the judiciary." The appointees will fill five vacancies on the country's Supreme Court, five on [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the state of Louisiana must issue a revised birth certificate for the adopted child of a same-sex couple showing both fathers' names. In 2006, Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith adopted their child [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] announced at a hearing Thursday he is not ready to rule on a proposed class action settlement [Authors Guild backgrounder] in a copyright suit [case materials] over Google's book-scanning initiative [corporate website; JURIST [read more]

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