Legal news from Thursday, June 23, 2011

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Thursday rejected [opinion, PDF] former US representative Richard Renzi's (R-AZ) appeal to have an extortion case against him dismissed. Renzi is under indictment for allegedly using his political office to profit from a real estate deal in … [read more]

[JURIST] A military court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) [BBC backgrounder] on Thursday sentenced four policemen to death for killing prominent human rights activist Floribert Chebeya last year. Cherbeya, a member of the activist group Voice of the Voiceless, was found dead in his own car [BBC … [read more]

[JURIST] The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] said Thursday it will decide [press release] whether it will issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and two high-ranking officials on allegations of war crimes. The Pre-Trial chamber will deliver is decision on the application … [read more]

[JURIST] A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced Somali Islamist Muhideen Mohammed Geele to an additional year in prison [Stiftstidende Reuters, in Danish] for his 2010 attack on Kurt Westergaard, illustrator of the controversial 2005 cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] as a suicide bomber. Geele had … [read more]

[JURIST] International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] officially requested permission from ICC judges Thursday to begin investigation into the Ivory Coast after determining that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in post-election violence [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] since last November. … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Freeman v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that an individual whose sentence is imposed under a plea agreement may be eligible for a reduced sentence if the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday voted 6-3 to affirm [opinion, PDF] the lower court in Sorrell v. IMS Health [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report], finding Vermont's Prescription Confidentiality Law [text] a violation of freedom of speech under the First Amendment [text]. The law attempted to stifle … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday voted 5-4 to reverse [opinion, PDF] the lower court in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report], holding that since generic drugs and their warnings are managed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website], their federal regulations … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Bullcoming v. New Mexico that the Confrontation Clause [Cornell LII backgrounders] does not allow laboratory reports containing testimonial certification to be entered into evidence against a defendant without the testimony of the analyst … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 in CSX Transportation v. McBride [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) [text] railroad negligence claim does not require proof of proximate cause. Respondent Robert McBride worked as a … [read more]

[JURIST] Three human rights groups released a joint statement [text, in French] Wednesday in support of the sentencing of former Tunisian president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] but also criticizing his trial as unfair. The International Federation of Human Rights [advocacy website], the Tunisian League … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday voted 5-4 to affirm [opinion, PDF] the lower court in Stern v. Marshall [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report], agreeing that the bankruptcy court did not have jurisdiction in this instance. The opinion, delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, explained that the … [read more]

[JURIST] The New Hampshire legislature voted Wednesday to override the governor's veto and approve legislation [HB 0329 text] requiring healthcare providers to notify parents or a judge 48 hours before performing an abortion [JURIST news archive] on a minor. Governor John Lynch [official website] vetoed the bill last week [press … [read more]

[JURIST] A special court in Afghanistan on Thursday overturned the election results of nearly 25 percent of the assembly seats due to poll fraud in last September's parliamentary elections [IEC backgrounder]. Head of the special court Sediqullah Haqiq announced the ruling [Reuters report] that 62 out of the 249 legislators … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the Court of Appeal for Ontario stayed an April 11 ruling [text] that the country's marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Justice David Taliano of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice [official website] invalidated [JURIST report] the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) [text] in April, finding that the program's … [read more]

[JURIST] Dutch politician Geert Wilders [personal website; JURIST news archive] was acquitted of all charges [judgment text, in Dutch] on Thursday, the court finding his anti-Islam statements were not hate speech or discriminatory. Wilders has made several "anti-Islam" comments as a political official, including: several comments similar to "I don't … [read more]

[JURIST] Turkish authorities on Wednesday arrested two military officials alleged to have been involved in the Balyoz Security Operation Plan ("Sledgehammer" plot) [Taraf report, in Turkish; JURIST news archive], a military plot to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government. Lieutenant General Ziya Guler and officer Bulent Akalin were arrested after appearing in … [read more]

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit [official website] heard arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR 3590 text; JURIST news archive], specifically the individual mandate provision that penalizes all citizens who fail … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that Florida's procedure for imposing the death penalty is unconstitutional. Florida's death penalty statute [Fla Stat Ann § 921.141 text] provides that the jury in a capital case is to … [read more]

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