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
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled [text, PDF] on Friday that the executive branch may continue to withhold a Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] memo that established the legal basis for telephone companies to give customers' calling records to the government without a subpoena or court order. The classified memo was issued by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) [official website] in January 2010. The FBI [official website] denies [NYT...
[JURIST] Tunisian members of parliament rejected Islam as the main source of law for the country on Saturday as they voted to establish a new constitution. The Islamist-led party and secular parties overcame [Reuters report] intense debate about Islam's role in the country before beginning to draft the new constitution. The National Constituent Assembly adopted [SBS report] only 12 of the proposed 146 articles despite a January 14 deadline for the completion of the new constitution. The first clause of...
[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Friday filed an appeal to a federal district court ruling [opinion] that held that the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] program of collecting phone call data is likely unconstitutional [JURIST report]. In December Judge Richard Leon granted in part the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, but he stayed his order pending appeal. The DOJ has asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official...
[JURIST] The respondents challenging Utah's ban on same-sex marriage on Friday filed a brief [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court opposing the state's request to stay [JURIST report] the district court's ruling striking down the ban pending appeal. The respondents argue that the state must meet an "especially high burden," because it is asking that a circuit justice grant a stay of the district court's judgment pending appeal to the court of appeals, when the court of appeals itself...
[JURIST] A Turkish court on Saturday ordered the release of three Kurdish lawmakers charged with having links to militants after ordering the release of two others on Friday. A judge in Diyarbakir ruled [Reuters report] that the detainment of Selma Irmakand and Faysal Sariyildiz, Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party members of parliament, and independent member Kemal Aktas violated their rights as elected officials and released them. On Friday a judge in Diyarbakir ordered the release of Gulser Yildirim and Ibrahim...
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Nepal rejected legislation on Saturday that proposed amnesty for those responsible for serious rights abuses during the country's civil war. A Maoist-led government proposed [Enca report] the legislation last year as part of a planned Truth and Reconciliation Commission [text, PDF] aimed at healing the wounds from the civil war. Justices Kalyan Shrestha, Girish Chandra Lal and Sushila Karki [official websites] said the government must amend [Nepal Republica report] the amnesty provisions in Section 25...
[JURIST] The US government filed a motion [text, PDF] Friday asking the US Supreme Court [official website] to remove the stay [text, PDF] on the contraception mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text; JURIST backgrounder] that was put in place by Justice Sonia Sotomayor earlier this week. The government argues that the motion for an emergency injunction filed by Little Sisters For the Poor [advocacy website] was granted improperly because the group has no legal basis,...
[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] ruled [text, PDF] on Thursday that an immigrant in the country illegally may be admitted to the state bar. The court admitted Sergio Garcia based on a new California statute [Business and Professions Code section 6064, PDF] which grants the court discretion to admit any individual "who is not lawfully present in the United States" that fulfills all the requirements for admission. Garcia, who was born in Mexico and brought to the US...
[JURIST] A leader in Bangladesh's main Islamist party was charged on Tuesday in connection with war crimes during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War [Bangladesh News backgrounder] with Pakistan. Abdus Subhan, who was arrested last September, was formally charged after Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICTB) conducted an investigation. However, human rights groups say that the tribunal, which was set up in 2010 to investigate abuses committed in that war, does not meet international standards and supporters of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami...
[JURIST] Former civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] was released from prison on Tuesday after a federal judge ordered the "compassionate release." Judge John Koeltl granted the motion [JURIST report] after it was filed Tuesday, finding that Stewart's terminal health condition qualified her for "compassionate release." Stewart was released [AP report] from Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, and arrived in New York Wednesday afternoon, where she was greeted by supporters and relatives. Stewart...
[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of New York [official website] on Tuesday upheld [opinion, PDF] New York's strict gun law as constitutional but struck down a provision prohibiting gun owners to load more than seven rounds into a magazine. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act [text, PDF], known as the SAFE Act, was enacted in January 2013 [JURIST report] and is among the most restrictive gun laws in the country....
[JURIST] The Utah Attorney General [official website] filed an application for stay [text, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday to block same-sex marriages pending the state's appeal of a US district judge's December 20 decision [JURIST report] striking down the state's ban. Three similar applications to the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit have been rejected [JURIST report]. The attorney general argues that the district court's decision to strike down the ban on same-sex...
[JURIST] Indian President Pranab Mukherjee [official website] on Wednesday signed into law a landmark anti-graft bill passed by parliament in December. The new law [AFP report] creates a corruption ombudsman with extensive power to prosecute politicians and civil servants to create a "bribe-free India." The bill was approved by parliament [AFP report] with support from both the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) [party website]. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [official website] called the law, under which he...
[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] announced Tuesday that three Uighur Muslim detainees were transferred [press release] to Slovakia from the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The detainees, Yusef Abbas, Saidullah Khalik and Hajiakbar Abdul Ghuper, were the last three members of the Chinese ethnic minority being held at the facility since their 2001 capture in Pakistan. US District Court Judge Ricardo Urbina declared [JURIST report] in 2008 that the detention of the Uighurs was unlawful, though the...
[JURIST] The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a complaint challenging the US government's search of a laptop without reasonable suspcion. The complaint was filed [press release] by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) on behalf of dual French-American citizen Pascal Abidor, who had his laptop searched and confiscated at the Canadian border,...
[JURIST] US Supreme Court [official website] Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an emergency temporary injunction [order, PDF] on Tuesday blocking the enforcement of the contraception mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text; JURIST backgrounder] against the religious group Little Sisters For the Poor [advocacy website]. Little Sisters filed a motion [text, PDF] for an emergency injunction Tuesday after the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] declined to issue an injunction [order] earlier that...
[JURIST] A federal judge on Tuesday approved the release of former civil rights lawyer Lynne Stewart [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] after the director of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) filed a motion requesting her sentence be adjusted to time-served. Judge John G. Koeltl granted the motion after it was filed Tuesday, finding that Stewart's terminal health condition qualified her for "compassionate release." Koeltl previously denied [decision, PDF] a similar motion, but indicated that a motion from the BOP could...
[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] on Monday announced that they had filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [DOJ backgrounder] seeking information on the extent of governmental use and interpretation of Executive Order 12,333 [federal backgrounder], which permits US government surveillance abroad to protect national security. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website], named the National Security Agency (NSA),...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] on Tuesday urged [press release] King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz [official profile] of Saudi Arabia to reject the country's recently-passed counterterrorism law. HRW alleged that the law's definition of terrorism is overly broad, and will impose unfair restrictions on free speech and unduly criminalize any speech critical of the Saudi Arabian government or society. HRW stated that the law abridges several fundamental rights: "Saudi Arabia's denial of the rights to participate in public affairs,...
[JURIST] An Egyptian court Monday sentenced 139 supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to two year prison terms on a variety of charges including rioting and sabotage. The protestors were arrested [AP report] during a July 15 protest in Cairo, where Morsi's supporters demanded his reinstatement. Morsi was ousted [JURIST report] from office as president in early July, when the Egyptian military took control of the government and suspended the nation's constitution. Egypt has faced...

Pages