Legal news from Monday, May 13, 2013

[JURIST] Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal ruled Monday that a law prohibiting a transgender woman from marrying her boyfriend was invalid under the Chinese constitution. The law [text] had been interpreted to hold that only a person's gender at birth could be considered for the purposes of marriage, which … [read more]

[JURIST] The Vermont State Legislature [official website] on Monday gave final approval to a bill [H 200, PDF; MPP backgrounder] that replaces criminal penalties with civil fines for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana [JURIST news archive] and up to five grams of hashish. As the law currently … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Monday in Burnside v. Walters [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine whether the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit erred in holding [opinion, PDF] that the in forma pauperis (IFP) statute [28 USC § 1915(e)(2)] prohibits … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk [official website] on Monday urged [press release] Israel to stop construction of a highway that would cut off the local roads of Palestinian community Beit Safafa. The residents of Beit Safafa were not consulted during during the planning of this six-lane highway, known as … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Monday urged [press release] Tunisia to modify the country's draft constitution to address potential human rights violations. After analyzing the third draft constitution, HRW expressed concern that the language recognizes universal human rights regarding only "cultural specificities of the Tunisia people." HRW … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] in Dan's City Used Cars, Inc. v. Pelkey [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report] that section 14501(c)(1) of the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) [text] does not preempt state-law claims stemming from the storage and disposal of a towed vehicle. … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled Monday in Bullock v. BankChampaign, NA [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report] on the meaning of the term "defalcation" [definition] in the bankruptcy code. Under section 523(a)(4) of the Bankruptcy Code [text], an individual cannot obtain a bankruptcy discharge from a debt "for fraud … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously Monday in Bowman v. Monsanto [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report] that a farmer who buys patented seeds may not reproduce them through planting and harvesting without the patent holder's permission. Monsanto [corporate website; JURIST news archive] holds a patent [text] on genetically-modified … [read more]

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