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 High Court [official site] of Zimbabwe ruled [Tweet of judgment] Saturday that the military takeover that ousted ex-president Robert Mugabe [BBC profile] was constitutional and not considered a coup. Last week the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) [party website] demanded the resignation of 93-year-old Mugabe when he dismissed former vice president and now current President Emmerson Mnangagwa [BBC profile] in an apparent attempt to consolidate power to his wife, Grace Mugabe [BBC profile]. This triggered a backlash...
Former chief of staff Leandra English filed a suit [complaint] on Sunday in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] against the Trump administration over the currently vacant director position at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website], to which US President Donald Trump seeks to name budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting director. Former director Richard Cordray formally resigned on Friday and named English as his temporary replacement [press release]. Trump immediately sought to...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: Former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladić was sentenced to life imprisonment [judgment summary] Wednesday by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict from 1992-1996. [more] [JURIST] Venezuelan Supreme Court justices currently in exile have filed a complaint [Supreme Tribunal of Justice materials, in Spanish] with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] accusing President Nicolas Maduro [Britannica...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker [official website] signed House No. [more] Speaking in a cabinet meeting on Monday US President Donald Trump announced [remarks] that the US is re-designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism nine years after it was removed from the list. Trump stated, "Today the United States is designating the North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. [more] Nebraska regulators voted [decision, PDF] on Monday to...
The US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] struck down [opinion, PDF] as unconstitutional Texas SB 8 [text, PDF], which effectively banned the country's most commonly used procedure of second trimester abortion known as "dilation and evacuation." (D&E). Referring to earlier Supreme Court [official website] decisions in Gonzales v. Carhart and Stenberg v. Carhart, the court ruled that SB 8 imposes "an undue burden upon a woman's right to have an abortion and are therefore unconstitutional...
UN Secretary‑General António Guterres [official website] on Monday expressed grave concern [press release] about increases in human trafficking in an open UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] debate in New York. Guterres listed Da'esh, Boko Haram, Al‑Shabaab and the Lord's Resistance Army [BBC backgrounders] as some of the terrorist groups forcing women and children into de-humanizing servitude. Reminding UNSC of the disturbing images of African migrants being sold as “goods” in Libya, Guterres stated of these terrorist groups: Their brutality...
The US District Court for the District of Maryland [official website] on Tuesday granted [order, PDF] a preliminary injunction against President Donald Trump's [official profile] transgender military ban [text]. The development follows another preliminary injunction [JURIST report] partially granted by the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] in October, which partially blocked portions of the ban, but allowed the portion of the directive halting expenditures for sex reassignment surgery to remain in effect.. This injunction is...
The Federal Trade Commission (FCC) released a plan [text, PDF] on Tuesday to dismantle regulations that require equal access to the internet, often called net neutrality [JURIST backgrounder]. The proposal would repeal internet regulations put in place by the Obama Administration and allow for internet service providers to block access to certain websites. The proposal, made by FCC chairman Ajit Pai [official website], seeks to repeal rules that prohibit high-speed internet providers from slowing down delivery of websites and prevent...
Former Bosnian Serb Army Commander Ratko Mladić was sentenced to life imprisonment [judgment summary] Wednesday by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] for crimes committed during the Bosnian conflict from 1992-1996. Mladić was found guilty of two counts of genocide, crimes against humanity (five counts: persecutions; extermination; murder; deportation; and inhuman acts) and violations of the laws or customs of war (four counts: murder; terror; unlawful attacks on civilians; and taking of hostages)....
[JURIST] Venezuelan Supreme Court justices currently in exile have filed a complaint [Supreme Tribunal of Justice materials, in Spanish] with the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] accusing President Nicolas Maduro [Britannica backgrounder] of crimes against humanity. The complaint was initially filed [Miami Herald report] with the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) by Hebert Garcia Plaza, a former member of the Maduro cabinet. However, the STJ stated that many of the actions alleged in the complaint could potentially qualify...
The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq ruled [court opinion, PDF, in Arabic] Monday that a referendum [JURIST report] on Kurdish Independence held on September 25 was unconstitutional. The court claims jurisdiction over the constitutionality of the referendum through Article 93 of the Iraq Constitution [text, PDF] which grants the court power to settle matters in application of federal law as well as decisions and disputes between the federal government and the governments of the regions. Reiterating their ruling on November...
Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin on Tuesday filed notice [text, PDF] of her intention to appeal the dismissal of her defamation suit against the New York Times [corporate website]. Palin filed suit in June, alleging that the paper defamed her [complaint, PDF] when it published an op-ed [text] that linked a political advertisement [text] circulated by Palin's PAC to the 2011 shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The ad was criticized for identifying vulnerable...
Two immigrants in Virginia filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Tuesday against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website] challenging the decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program [official website]. On September 5, Sessions and Duke announced [JURIST report] that DACA would be phased out over a two-and-a-half-year period, but applicants whose DACA had already expired prior to September...
International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda [official profile] made a formal request [text, PDF] on Monday to investigate alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by U.S. military and the CIA. The proposed investigation focuses on alleged crimes committed in Afghanistan by the U.S. military in May 2003, in addition to crimes at secret CIA detention facilities in Poland, Romania, and Lithuania since July 2002. The allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against...
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker [official website] signed House No. 2009 (H4009) [text, PDF] on Monday guaranteeing access to free contraception for women notwithstanding any future changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [text, PDF] that may be effected by Congress [official website]. This development follows President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13798 [text] titled Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty passed in May 2017 expanding the scope of employers with religious and moral objections to deny access to contraceptives. The Massachusetts...
The Trump administration on Monday asked the US Supreme Court [official website] to stay [text, PDF] a district court order preventing enforcement of Trump's revised travel ban [text] pending the outcome of an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website]. The travel ban was partially enjoined [JURIST report] last week by theNinth Circuit which allowed only a partial ban to take effect. In its request for a stay, the administration asserted that the ban was, the culmination...
The US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Monday struck down [order, PDF] as unconstitutional President Donald Trump's [official profile] Executive Order "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States" (Order 13768) [text], which prohibited federal funding to cities that did not cooperate with federal immigration officials. The decision comes in response to motions for summary judgment filed by the county of Santa Clara and the city and county San Francisco challenging Section...
The City of Chicago announced in a press conference [video] on Friday that they would file a federal lawsuit against US Steel [corporate website] alleging that the company had violated the Clean Water Act [materials] and accusing the company of allowing two toxic spills to take place in recent months. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel [official website] said, "It's unacceptable and it's not an accident that U.S. Steel did not report the incident to the EPA, because they think that, in...
The Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed a lawsuit on Monday against AT&T, DirecTV, and Time Warner on Monday seeking to prevent [complaint, PDF] the companies' proposed $108 billion merger. The DOJ alleges that the companies' merger would violate section 7 of the Clayton Act [text, PDF], which prohibits asset acquisitions that create monopoly-like restraints on competition. Because the merger has yet to commence and the case's readiness for court proceedings may be challenged, the DOJ brought suit under...
Speaking in a cabinet meeting on Monday US President Donald Trump announced [remarks] that the US is re-designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism nine years after it was removed from the list. Trump stated, "Today the United States is designating the North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago." The president said that, "This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea ......

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