JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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Pennsylvania's Beaver County [official website] filed a lawsuit [text, PDF] on Monday against opioid manufacturers. The lawsuit, filed in the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas [official website], accuses manufacturers and doctors of deceptive acts, fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence, misrepresentation and public nuisance, seeking in return compensatory damages, punitive damages and the county's legal costs. The complaint describes the state of the opioid epidemic in Beaver County, noting it spends millions annually in response to the opioid crisis, including expenses...
A jury in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] convicted [press release] Chelsea bomber Ahmed Khan Rahimi on Monday on indictments related to bombings and attempted bombings in New York City last September. The jury found Rahimi guilty of eight counts including, among others, use and attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destroying property by means of explosives and using of a destructive device in furtherance of a...
The Swiss government said Friday that voters will decide whether to ban the burqa and other full-face coverings after a successful petition by far-right groups, who cited the "dignity of women." Activists, including the Swiss Peoples Party (SVP) [party website], collected more than the 100,000 signatures required to put the proposal [text, in German] on the national ballot under Switzerland's system of direct democracy, which lets voters decide major policy issues. Water Wobmann [official website], an SVP politician leading the...
Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Appearing before a military judge in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Bergdahl said [AP report] that understood that his actions violated the law. Bergdahl walked off his Afghanistan base in 2009 and soon after was captured and held captive by the Taliban Haqqani Network [CNN backgrounder] for five years before the Obama administration exchanged [JURIST report] him for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay. During the time...
At a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe [official website] (OSCE) Minsk Group, on Monday, Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia agreed [AA report] to begin the process of reducing tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh, which both nations lay claim to the territory. The meeting ended with a joint statement [press release] from all parties, "The Presidents agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process and to take additional steps to reduce tensions on the Line of Contact."...
A group of UN human rights experts on Monday urged [press release] Kenya to lift a new ban on protests and refrain from violence against protesters in the build up to the national elections. The Kenyan authorities made it illegal to demonstrate [Polity report] in the three largest cities in the country last week. This decision was met with criticism from opposition parties as they argued that the right to protest is protected by the countries bill of rights in...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in four cases, including a Microsoft data privacy case, and an American Express antitrust case. In US v. Microsoft Corp. [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the court will focus on US attempts to gain access to data stored abroad from email providers. The US argues that a probable cause-based warrant to produce documents, such as emails, requires an individual or company to produce the specified materials within its...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: Turkish prisons are committing torture and disappearing citizens, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said in a report [press release] Thursday. [more] [JURST] Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah [Al Jazeera backgrounders] on Thursday announded [Reuters report] a reconciliation deal in which Hamas has agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza to Fatah in Cairo. [more] [JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website] published a letter [text] Wednesday in which...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: The White House notified [text] the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday that it had instructed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website] to stop making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [JURIST archive]. [more] Georgetown Law School's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection [advocacy site] on Thursday filed a lawsuit [complaint, pdf] in the...
The White House notified [text] the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday that it had instructed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website] to stop making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [JURIST archive]. The notice states that the executive branch has "determined that those payments are not funded by the permanent appropriation for 'refunding internal revenue collections' ... or by any other appropriation."...
Georgetown Law School's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection [advocacy site] on Thursday filed a lawsuit [complaint, pdf] in the Circuit Court for the City of Charlottesville [official site] seeking to prevent armed organizations from returning to Charlottesville. The lawsuit was filed in response to the organizations' leadership calling on their members to keep returning to the city. The suit claims groups associated with the August 12 Unite the Right [JURIST report] rally are a threat to public safety and...
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump [official website] issued a presidential memorandum [text] delegating many of the President's powers to sanction Iran granted by the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 [Text] to the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Homeland Security [official websites]. The Secretary of State was delegated the presidential waiver authority under the Act which will allow the Secretary of State to waive requirements to impose or maintain sanctions on...
Germany formally ratified [COE report] on Thursday the Council of Europe convention on preventing and comabting violence against women and domestic violence [text, PDF]. The so-called "Istanbul Convention" criminalizes violence against women in all its forms. The 81 Articles in the Convention provide substantive law as well as guidance for investigation, enforcement, migration, and international co-operation, among other concerns. The Convention is one step in achieving equality among men and women: Recognising, with grave concern, that women and girls are...
A Turkish court on Tuesday sentenced Wall Street Journal (WSJ) [official website] reporter Ayla Albayrak in absentia to 25 months in prison for propaganda charges [Reuters report]. The conviction underlying the sentence comes as a result of Albayrak's 2015 story "Urban Warfare Escalates in Turkey's Kurdish-Majority Southeast" [WSJ report], which Turkish authorities claimed was a violation of Article 7(2) [text, PDF] of Turkey's Anti-Terror Law. The article described the continued conflict in Silopi, Turkey, "between Turkish security forces and militants...
[JURST] Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah [Al Jazeera backgrounders] on Thursday announded [Reuters report] a reconciliation deal in which Hamas has agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza to Fatah in Cairo. While the agreement has not yet been published, reports [Al Jazeera report] indicate that Hamas has not agreed to relinquish any of its military power. The meetings between the two parties in Cairo focused on implementing the terms [text] reached between the parties in 2011. Exactly...
Turkish prisons are committing torture and disappearing citizens, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] said in a report [press release] Thursday. The report, entitled In Custody: Police Torture and Abductions in Turkey [text], alleges that even though Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has ordered a moratorium on prisoner abuses, they still occur. In doing months of investigation by speaking to lawyers and survivors, HRW estimates thousands of individuals have undergone abuses while in police custody while the government cracks down on terrorism...
[JURIST] The Council of Europe [official website] published a letter [text] Wednesday in which Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks [official website] asked the government of Italy to explain why the Italian navy dispatched ships to the coast of Libya. In July the Italian government announced [ABC report] that it was sending ships to the Libyan coast to help the Libyan government prevent people from fleeing the country. The day before the letter, dated September 28, was sent, the Italian government...
[JURIST] US President Donald Trump signed an executive order [text] Thursday that makes it easier for people to buy more forms of health insurance at potentially cheaper costs. The order identified three main areas of priority: allowing small business access to association health plans (AHP), expanding use of short term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI), and expanding health reimbursement arrangements (HRA). Under AHPs, small business will be able to come together, even across state lines, to provide less regulated, cheaper health care...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments Wednesday in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense and Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC [transcripts, PDF]. National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense [SCOTUSblog materials] is focused on the question of the Clean Water Act's [EPA backgrounder] judicial review provision. The government argues that the scope of 33 USC § 1369(b)(1) [ext] and its seven actions which are reviewable directly to the court of appeals do apply...
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro [official website] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against President Donald Trump and his administration over the issuance of new rules allowing employers to deny coverage for contraception. The complaint alleges that the rules issued by Trump last week violate federal law, which requires insurance carriers to cover preventive healthcare services including contraception without asking for co-pay. The complaint further alleges that the rules, titled Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive...

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