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.
Subscribe to JURIST Legal News feed
The Trump administration announced [press release] its support on Friday to move forward with the proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website] that would ban Planned Parenthood and similar organizations from receiving federal family planning funds that they currently receive through Title X [text, PDF]. The statement provides that,This important proposal would ensure compliance with the program's existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning. The new...
The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis [opinion, PDF] that arbitration clauses in employment contracts prohibiting class action lawsuits are legally enforceable. The plaintiff employees argued that the Federal Arbitration Act [text] contains a provision that arbitration clauses cannot be enforced it they violate some other federal law, and this particular arbitration clause violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, wrote, "A party seeking to suggest that two...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] reported [press release] on Friday that members of Burundi's security forces and ruling party youth league "killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum." The referendum on whether Burundi's president, Pierre Nkurunziza, can hold office past the two-term limit (potentially allowing him to stay in power until 2034) occurred on Thursday. [more] The US Department of the...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: A group of non-profit corporations including New Jersey Coalition of Diverse and Inclusive Schools (NJCDIS), along with New Jersey students, sued [complaint, PDF] the state of New Jersey Thursday for having racially segregated schools. [more] Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) [official website] introduced a bill [text] on Thursday "to protect transportation personnel and passengers from sexual assault and harassment." The bill, known as the Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act,...
A group of non-profit corporations including New Jersey Coalition of Diverse and Inclusive Schools (NJCDIS), along with New Jersey students, sued [complaint, PDF] the state of New Jersey Thursday for having racially segregated schools. In addition to relying on Brown v. Board of Education, the plaintiffs also cited the New Jersey Constitution, which expressly prohibits segregation by race in public schools. The plaintiffs used the data that 66.1 percent of Black students attend public school districts where the non-white students...
Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) [official website] introduced a bill [text] on Thursday "to protect transportation personnel and passengers from sexual assault and harassment." The bill, known as the Stop Sexual Assault and Harassment in Transportation Act, would require that commercial airlines, railroads, ships, certain bus lines and other forms of "covered entities" have formal sexual assault and harassment policies in place, including training and protocol for filing and responding to reports. The bill would also raise the penalty for Interference...
Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] reported [press release] on Friday that members of Burundi's security forces and ruling party youth league "killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum." The referendum on whether Burundi's president, Pierre Nkurunziza, can hold office past the two-term limit (potentially allowing him to stay in power until 2034) occurred on Thursday. Nkurunziza has been in office [HRW report] since 2005. According to the report, security forces...
California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] signed SB 785 [text] into law on Thursday, placing limitations on when a person's immigration status can be disclosed in an open court. The law adds two new sections to the Evidence Code—one that addresses civil cases and one for criminal cases. In both types of cases, the law will require a party to seek a hearing in the judge's chambers prior to disclosing a person's immigration status. The law states that the law...
The US Department of the Treasury [official website] issued new sanctions [press release] against Iran on Thursday. The new sanctions target two individuals, Mohammad Ibrahim Bazzi and Abdallah Safi-Al-Din. Both of them have been identified as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). Bazzi has been identified as a financier for Hezbollah, and Safi-Al-Din has been identified as Hezbollah's representative to Iran. The Department of the Treasury stated that the sanctions "show the convergence of Iran's support for terrorism with many facets...
A Louisiana bill [text, PDF] that would ban abortions after 15 weeks was given final legislative approval Wednesday. The act makes it illegal for a physician to perform an abortion after 15 weeks gestational age. Any physician who does so would face up to 10 years in prison and be subject to fines up to $100,000. The act defines gestational age as "the age of an unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of...
The European Court of Justice [official website] on Thursday upheld [case materials] a partial ban of a group of insecticides that were found to harm bees. Drug companies Bayer and Syngenta had appealed a European Commission regulation [text] approved in 2013, which restricted the use of the chemicals clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid, all used in insecticides. The European Food Safety Authority [official website] found that the chemicals used in the insecticide were harmful to bees, and further research has confirmed...
Judge Richard Berman of the US District Court for Southern District of New York [official website] on Wednesday sentenced [transcript, PDF] former banker at the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, to 32 months in prison for aiding Iran in evading US sanctions. Atilla was convicted in January for conspiring with other officials. According to the prosecution, Atilla backed a scheme allowing billions in profit from Iranian oil sales to flow through world financial markets since 2011. The judge,...
The city of Pensacola, Florida, on Wednesday urged [oral arguments calendar, PDF] the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [judicial website] to overturn a lower court order [opinion, PDF] to remove [JURIST report] a 34-foot cross in Bayview Park because the cross violates the Establishment Clause. Pensacola argued [brief, PDF] both that the plaintiffs lack standing and that Pensacola's actions are constitutional because the lower court incorrectly applied the Lemon test. The Lemon test says that the government...
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) [official website] released [UN News Centre report] a report [text, PDF] on Tuesday concluding that chemical weapons were "likely used" during the February attacks in Syria. According to the report, the OPCW found chlorine gas in two cylinders and in the environment. Their findings were also supported by eyewitness testimony and the symptoms from those in the affected area following the attack. The attack occurred on February 4 in the Al...
Davidson County state court chancery judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle ruled on Wednesday that the removal of three statutes of Confederate generals in Memphis public parks did not violate state law. The Tennessee Heritage Protection Act [text] prohibits the removal of monuments with historical significance from public property. However, the city sold [AP report] the parks to a nonprofit, Memphis Greenspace [advocacy website]. Memphis Greenspace then removed the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Jefferson Davis and J Harvey Mathes. Lyle ruled...
The US Senate [official website] approved a resolution [S J Res 52] on Wednesday that rejects the Federal Communication Commission's "Restoring Internet Freedom" [text] ruling that dismantled net neutrality. The resolution passed the Senate with a vote [vote record] of 52-47. Three Republican senators voted for the resolution, including Collins of Maine, Kennedy of Louisiana and Murkowski of Alaska. Senator McCain of Arizona did not cast a vote in the resolution. The bill has now been sent to the House...
The European Commission [official website] announced [press release] on Thursday that they will be referring France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania and the UK to the European Court of Justice [official website] over air quality. France, Germany and the UK are being referred to the court due to excessive nitrogen dioxide levels and for "failing to take appropriate measures to keep exceedance periods as short as possible." The limits on nitrogen dioxide levels were supposed to be met by 2010. Hungary,...
Environmental groups filed suit [Earthjustice press release; petition, PDF] against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt [official profile] on Wednesday after he halted [EPA Rule Summary] the rulemaking process for a regulation that would would required mining companies to show that they have enough funding prior to commencing operations to cover the cleanup of harmful substances produced from mining. The suit was brought by Earthjustice [website] on behalf of Earthworks, Sierra Club, Idaho Conservation League, Amigos Bravos, Communities for...
Uber announced [press release] on Tuesday that they will no longer require claims of sexual assault and sexual harassment committed by Uber riders, drivers or employees to be resolved through arbitration. Uber stated that sexual assault and sexual harassment survivors will have the choice to bring claims through mediation, arbitration or through open court. Uber also stated that sexual assault and sexual harassment survivors will not be required to enter non-disclosure agreements or confidentiality provisions and will be able to...
Judge Daniel Ottolia, of Riverside County Superior Court, ruled against California's End of Life Option Act [text] on Tuesday, which allowed physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. The suit was brought by the Life Legal Defense Foundation [advocacy website], a Christian legal organization that opposes abortion and assisted suicide. Ottolia ruled [press release] that the End of Life Option Act was procedurally unconstitutional because the act was passed during a special legislative session meant to address health...

Pages