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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The attorneys general of 11 states filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against the Trump administration for failing to finalize energy efficiency standards for portable air-conditioners, freezers and other products. The lawsuit concerns [WP report] five final rules that the Obama administration issued shortly before he left office. The new requirements [AP report] would potentially save consumers billions of dollars, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve a significant amount of energy. The finalized standards were subjected to a 45-day...
The UK Supreme Court [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] Wednesday that the government's policy of deporting foreign nationals who have committed crimes before their appeals are heard is unlawful. Section 3(5)(a) of the 1971 Act provides that a person who is not a British citizen is liable for deportation from the UK if the Home Secretary deems their deportation to be conducive to the public good. The "deport first, appeal later" policy allows the UK government to deport foreigners without...
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette [official website] announced charges [press release] Wednesday against five former Flint officials for their part in the Flint water crisis. Schuette charged Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley, former City of Flint Water Department Manager Howard Croft, as well as Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Drinking Water Chief Liane Shekter-Smith and Water Supervisor Stephen Busch with involuntary manslaughter related to their alleged failure to act...
The European Commission [official website] started infringement [press release] procedures against the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary on Tuesday for refusal to comply with the European Commission's emergency relocation scheme. The emergency relocation scheme was passed in 2015 to help relocate asylum seekers in Italy and Greece. In total, more than 98,000 people are meant to be relocated through the program. Every member state is expected to provide available places for relocation every three months. Hungary has not made any...
Australia's Minister of Immigration and Border Protection [official website] on Wednesday announced [press release] a $90 million settlement in the Manus Island class action lawsuit. The settlement includes $70 million (USD $52.75 million) to be paid to the plaintiffs and $20 million in legal costs. Australia still refutes the claims in the lawsuit and states that the settlement is not an admission of guilt. Instead, it states that the settlement is required under Australia's Legal Services Directions, which instructs to...
Sergio Cabral, former governor Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, was sentenced to 14 years and two months on Tuesday for corruption and money laundering. Cabral was governor [BBC report] from 2007 to 2014 and was instrumental in bringing the Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro. Cabral was detained [JURIST report] in November as part of a massive corruption investigation known as "Operation Car Wash." Prosecutors accused Cabral of receiving hundreds of thousands dollars a month in kickbacks for giving construction...
Nearly 200 Democratic Senators and House members have filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against US President Donald Trump for allegedly accepting foreign payments and gifts, breaching a clause of the Constitution. The Emoluments Clause of the Constitution [LII materials] prohibits any individual holding office from accepting "any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State" without the consent of Congress. Trump, who "has a financial interest in vast business holdings around the...
The UK Supreme Court [official website] ruled [judgment, PDF] on Wednesday that women from Northern Ireland are not entitled to abortions under the England's National Health Services (NHS) [official website]. In a 3-2 decision, judges dismissed the appeal of a mother and daughter who spent over £900 for an abortion at a private clinic. The daughter, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became pregnant at 15 and was not eligible for an abortion in Northern Ireland where abortion laws...
The UN Human Rights Committee [official website] found [text, PDF] Monday that Ireland must remedy harm done to a woman in 2010, after denying her an abortion. Siobhán Whelan had to travel to the UK to receive medical care. Whelan was diagnosed [Guardian report] with fatal fetal syndrome. The Committee ruled that the country violated the woman's right to be free from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment after forcing her to travel to another country to undergo the procedure. Whelan's...
Both Israel and Palestine have failed to prosecute war crimes, according to a report [text, DOC] presented Monday to the Human Rights Council [official website]. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein [official profile] submitted the report, reviewing the compliance of Israel and Palestine with recommendations made by the Council dating back to 2009. Since 2009, the Council has made more than 900 recommendations aimed at improving the human rights circumstances existing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The...
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official websites] on Tuesday in relation to his alleged ties to Russia and its coordination with President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016. During the two-and-a-half-hour session, Sessions repeatedly refused to answer questions claiming a Justice Department policy protects private conversations between the president and cabinet secretaries. He also often said he "couldn't recall specifics" when asked about conversations he had previously denied having with Russian officials. When...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously Monday in Sandoz Inc. v. Amgen Inc. [opinion, PDF] that companies applying to produce biosimilar products do not need to have the approval of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] before giving notice of marketing. The case arose from an application filed by a generic drug company, Sandoz Inc., to market a "biosimilar" product to Amgen, Inc.'s [corporate websites] drug, filgrastim, a bone marrow stimulant for cancer patients seeking radiation therapy....
Ricardo Martinelli [CIDOB profile, in Spanish], the president of Panama from 2009 to 2014, was arrested in Coral Gables, Florida on Monday, according [press release] to the US Embassy in Panama [official website]. The arrest is the result of an extradition request by the Panamanian government made in September 2016, related to allegations that Martinelli embezzled money and spied on his political opponents while in office. The 66-year-old businessman is currently being held in a Federal Detention Center in Miami...
Alexei Navalny, a Russian lawyer and activist known for establishing the Anti-Corruption Foundation [advocacy wevite], was arrested outside his home in Moscow on Monday, according [TASS report, in Russian] to a state-media new report. His arrest, and almost immediate conviction for "organizing an unauthorized rally," occurred shortly before an anti-corruption protest targeting President Valdimir Putin and the Kremlin [TASS report, in Russian] was scheduled to take place on Tverskaya, a four-lane avenue and main thoroughfare in Moscow. Navalny was sentenced...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 8-0 Monday in Sessions v. Morales-Santana [SCOTUSblog materials] that a gender-based differential in the US citizenship law concerning children born abroad violates the constitution. When a child is born abroad and one parent is a US citizen and the other is a citizen of another nation, the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the US-citizen parent to pass citizenship to the child if they have been physically present in the US for...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] in Monday Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc [docket] that a company may collect debts that it purchased for its own account without triggering the statutory definition of "debt collector" provided under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) [text]. The FDCPA defines debt collectors as "any person who regularly collects ... debts owed or due ... another." Petitioners argued that if Congress intended to exempt debt owners such as...
The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in a patent case on Monday. In Oil States Energy Services v. Greene's Energy Group [docket; cert. petition, PDF], a case from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit [opinion, PDF], the court will determine [SCOTUSblog materials] whether inter partes review [text], a process used by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) [official website] to determine the validity of existing patents, violates private property rights, granted by...
The US Supreme Court on Monday overturned [text, PDF] the Fourth Circuit's decision, concluding that the Virginia state court did not unreasonably apply the court's decision from Graham v. Florida [text, PDF]. Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) [text], "a state prisoner is eligible for federal habeas corpus relief if the underlying state court merits ruling was 'contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law.'" The Supreme Court's ruling in Graham...
The US Supreme Court [official website] overturned [opinion, PDF] the Ninth Circuit's decision in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker [SCOTUSblog materials] on Monday, denying plaintiffs the opportunity to appeal a trial court's decision before a final judgment is rendered when the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their action with prejudice. 28 USC § 1291 [text] gives courts of appeals jurisdiction after a final judgment is rendered at the trial level. In Coopers & Lybrand v. Livesay [opinion], the court found that a trial...
The attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, DC, filed suit [complaint, PDF] Monday against US President Donald Trump, alleging that he has violated the constitution by accepting payments and gifts from foreign governments while in office. The suit claims that by retaining ownership of and involvement in his company, Trump is in violation of the foreign and domestic emoluments [text] clauses of the US Constitution. According to the complaint:President Trump's continued ownership interest in a global business empire, which renders...

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