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 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint] in the US District Court for the District of Hawaii [official website] Tuesday against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] related to regulations for the administration of the abortion pill Mifeprex. The pill enables a person to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks. The FDA restrictions do not allow an individual with a prescription for Mifeprex to be obtain it from a retail pharmacy....
[JURIST] The Supreme Court [official website] heard arguments [transcript, PDF] in Jennings v. Rodriguez [SCOTUSblog materials], a case which will determine whether or not non-citizen aliens may be held indefinitely without a bond hearing on Tuesday. Specifically, the court will decide if alien who are seeking admission into the county and are subject to mandatory detention must be afforded bond hearings; if criminal or terrorist aliens subject to mandatory detention are afforded bond hearings if their detention lats six months...
Through their questions and various statements during a one-hour oral argument [transcript, PDF] on Tuesday, most of the Supreme Court [official website] justices indicated at least some consensus about their opinion of the practice of gerrymandering. With the exception of Justice Neil Gorsuch, who focused primarily on the tests that would be used to evaluate the partisan bias of redistricting, and Justice Clarence Thomas, who assumed his familiar role as silent observer, the remaining justices seemed to agree that, in...
The United States House of Representatives [official site] on Tuesday voted 237-189 [official vote] to approve an abortion bill [official summary] that would criminalize the medical procedure if performed after the 20 week viability mark. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), sponsored by Trent Franks (R-AZ) [official website], protects patients from prosecution, focusing instead on medical providers who perform abortions outside of the 20-week period, with limited exemptions. (A) GENERALLY FOR UNBORN CHILDREN 20 WEEKS OR OLDER.—Except as...
The Atlanta City Council [official site] on Monday unanimously approved [video] an ordinance [text] decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana within the city limits. Following the path of other cities[JURIST report], the council approved, by a 15-0 vote, Ordinance 17-O-1152 to make the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a non-jailable offense that results in a fine of seventy five dollars without the possibility of incarceration. The ordinance was spearheaded by Mayoral candidate Kwanza Hall [campaign...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] released a 27-page report [text] on Monday alleging that Jordan conducted mass summary deportations [press release] of Syrian refugees without affording them an adequate opportunity to challenge their removal from the country. The report claims that Jordan deported 400 registered Syrian refugees each month during the first five months of this year, with an additional 500 Syrian refugees having been returned to Syria under less clear circumstances. According to interviews conducted by HRW, the...
The US Supreme Court [official website] will hear oral arguments today in Gill v. Whitford [docket], a case directly challenging the constitutionality of Wisconsin's congressional districts with broad implications for the limits of political gerrymandering nationwide. The Court will address both procedural and substantive [questions presented, PDF] issues in this case. As a preliminary matter, the Court must determine whether the district court had the authority to hear a statewide challenge to Wisconsin's redistricting plan, as opposed to hearing the...
Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, was convicted and sentenced [RT report] by a Moscow court to 20 days in jail on Monday after for calling on his supporters to join him in an unauthorized rally in Nizhny Nov­gorod. Russian officials claim that the planned rally is one among many of Navalny's repeated violations [NYT report] of the law concerning public demonstrations, including a 30-day prison term handed down in July and a 15 day sentence [JURIST reports] in 2015. Navalny...
The Supreme Court began the October 2017 term with oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases, one concerning employment dispute arbitration and the other concerning criminal-removal in immigration proceedings. The first, Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis [SCOTUSblog materials; transcript], questions the applicability and scope of two federal statutes: the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) [text, PDF] and the Nation Labor Relations Act (NLRA) [text]. The question is whether arbitration agreements in employment contracts are "valid, irrevocable, and enforceable" [SCOTUS Blog]...
Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev [official website] signed [RFE/RL report] an agreement Monday demarcating 85 percent of the 1,280 kilometer Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. The Kyrgyzstan parliament [official website] had already approved the legislation early in September, but the president signing the "Draft Law on Ratification of the Agreement between the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek State Border" is a sign that the neighboring countries may be calming relations. The meeting of the two countries in early September...
Carles Puigdemont, leader of the Catalonia government, announced [BBC report] Monday that the autonomous Spanish region had "won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic" after conducting a heated referendum in the region, despite the action being opposed by many international actors. International critics of the election quickly rushed to denounce any decision of the vote. The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker [official website] stated [press release], "yesterday's vote in Catalonia was not...
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida [official website] on Friday blocked [opinion, PDF] a Florida law that would require individuals and groups that offer abortion advice to provide an in-depth explanation of the procedure, lay out potential alternatives, notify parents before making a referral or aiding a minor, and register with the state. The plaintiffs, including a minister, two rabbis, the Palm Beach chapter of the National Organization for Women and others, brought...
Germany's new same-sex marriage law took effect on Sunday, allowing Karl Kreile and Bodo Mende, a couple for 38 years, to be the first same-sex couple to marry in the country. The couple was married in a civil ceremony at the town hall in Schöneberg, Berlin. The law, which had strong public support, was enacted [JURIST report] in June by a large margin, making Germany the fifteenth European nation to legalize same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website] changed...
Bangladesh and Myanmar officials agreed on Monday to a plan for the repatriation of more than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Under the agreement [Myanmar Times report], refugees would have the option to return to Rakhine State and will only return "under safe conditions." According to the UN, Myanmar has engaged in ethnic cleaning [JURIST report] against Rohingya Muslims, causing many of them to flee to safety. Myanmar officials, however, deny...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: A Vietnamese Court began issuing verdicts [Vietnam Net report] and sentences Friday in an ongoing anti-corruption case for members of Ocean Bank, with former CEO Nguyen Xuan Son being sentenced to death for embezzlement. [more] The European Commission [official website] on Thursday released a set of guidelines [text, PDF] and principles for online platforms to detect and remove illegal content online. [more] [JURIST] China on Thursday announced [press release, in Chinese]...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: [JURIST] The Senate Budget Committee released [press release] the 2018 Budget Resolution Friday that aims to cut taxes but potentially add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. The budget could potentially pass the Senate [Reuters report] under current special rules that would require only 50 votes. Senator Mike Enzi [official website] of the budget committee stressed the need to balance spending and taxing. [more] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)...
[JURIST] The Senate Budget Committee released [press release] the 2018 Budget Resolution Friday that aims to cut taxes but potentially add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. The budget could potentially pass the Senate [Reuters report] under current special rules that would require only 50 votes. Senator Mike Enzi [official website] of the budget committee stressed the need to balance spending and taxing. "A pro-growth tax plan will move the U.S. economy forward, and help to produce better...
A Vietnamese Court began issuing verdicts [Vietnam Net report] and sentences Friday in an ongoing anti-corruption case for members of Ocean Bank, with former CEO Nguyen Xuan Son being sentenced to death for embezzlement. Other sentences include life in prison for Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of Ocean bank. The 51 officials and bankers who stood trial were accused of mismanagement leading to losses [BBC report] of USD $69 million. The charges implicated dozens of the men down the ranks,...
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) [official website] released a new regulation [press release] Thursday restricting drone flights near 10 major national monuments and sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore. The regulation will take effect October 5, but there are exceptions to the rule that must be cleared by the individual site and/or the FAA. There will be an interactive map available to those visiting the sites to ensure they are aware of the restricted locations. Those who...
The European Commission [official website] on Thursday released a set of guidelines [text, PDF] and principles for online platforms to detect and remove illegal content online. The guidelines consider a variety of illegal online content, including terrorism-related material, illegal hate speech, child sexual abuse material, and material related to trafficking in human beings, in addition to violations to intellectual property, illegal commercial practices online, and online activities of a defamatory nature. One guideline recommends online platforms to appoint points of...

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