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 Delaware legislature [official website] approved a bill [SB5 materials] on Tuesday that guarantees access to abortion. The bill, which was previously approved by the state Senate, was approved by a vote of 22-16 after five hours of debate and discussion. The bill ensures that the provisions of Roe v. Wade [LII materials] remain legal at the state level should the historical case be overturned. Under Delaware's current laws [AP report] abortions are only permitted if the mother's health is...
Former FBI Director James Comey [JURIST news archive] issued the following prepared remarks on Wednesday in advance of his June 8, 2017, testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee [hearing materials]. The hearings will begin at 10:00 am EDT. Statement for the Record Senate Select Committee on Intelligence James B. Comey June 8, 2017 Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee. Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe...
Texas Governor Greg Abbott [official website] signed a series of abortion regulations into law on Tuesday. Senate Bill 8 [materials] will require the burial or cremation of fetal tissue and bans the donation of fetal tissue. The legislation also bans so called "partial-birth abortion," which is already banned by federal law, as well as the dilation and evacuation procedure, a common second trimester abortion technique. Also Tuesday Abbott announced a special legislative session to take up additional abortion-related measures, as...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced [statement] charges [complaint, PDF] against a federal contractor Monday for leaking classified material to a media source. Reality Leigh Winner operated under Pluribus International Corporation in Georgia at the time she is alleged to have removed material from a US government facility. Winner maintained top secret clearance since February. She is charged with gathering, transmitting or losing defense material. Winner is suspected of transmitting a report to The Intercept, an online...
The New York Court of Appeals ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that a 2001 New York zoning ordinance that banned "adult" establishments from residential and most commercial and manufacturing zones was not a violation of the owners' First Amendment rights. The zoning ordinance classified adult eating and drinking establishments as "regularly featuring live performances characterized by an emphasis on specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities in any portion of the establishment." The ordinance classified adult bookstores as establishments with at...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission [SCOTUSblog materials] that claims for disgorgement in an SEC enforcement action are held within the five-year statute of limitations. The court was unanimous in its opinion that the SEC filing for disgorgement [Cornell LII backgrounder] to prevent unjust enrichment is limited as it is a penalty that requires a statute of limitations. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion, which reversed lower court's...
UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Dainius Puras, on Tuesday called for a revolutionary overhaul of the mental health care systems around the world. Presenting his report [materials] to the UN Human Righs Council, Puras noted that, in the current system, less than 7 percent of health care budgets globally are dedicated to mental health care. This has led to human rights violations, specifically, a denial of the right to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical...
Fugitive ex-governor of Quintana Roo, Mexico, Roberto Borge, was arrested on Monday in Panama. Borge, a member of President Enrique Peña Nieto's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), was taken into custody on charges of corruption. He was wanted [AP report] in connection with the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of state properties. Borge denies all charges. The ex-governor was apprehended with the aid [Reuters report] of Interpol [official website] as he was preparing to board a flight...
Philippine opposition lawmakers petitioned the Supreme Court [official website] on Monday to reject President Rodrigo Duterte's [BBC profile] imposition of martial law. Duterte declared martial law on May 23 when heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State [BBC profile] took over [JURIST report] large parts of Marawi City, a provincial capital in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Six House lawmakers, led by Representative Edcel Lagman [official profile], said [AP report] those allied with Duterte should have held joint sessions...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Town of Chester v. Laroe Estates, Inc. [SCOTUSblog materials] that as-of-right intervenors must have independent Article III standing to intervene under Rule 24(a)(2) [LII materials]. Justice Samuel Alito delivered the opinion of a unanimous court. In 2012 Steven Sherman, a land developer, filed suit against the Town of Chester for obstructing plans for a subdivision, costing Sherman $5.5 million and nearly bankrupting him. Laroe, Sherman's investor, filed to intervene...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Honeycutt v. United States [SCOTUSblog materials] that forfeiture is limited to property the defendant actually obtained as a result of the crime or "tainted property." The court held that the Comprehensive Forfeiture Act of 1984 [text] limits property to the definitions within the act and rejected the government's argument that the standard should be the background principle of conspiracy liability that the conspirators be responsible for each other's...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton [SCOTUSblog materials] that a church-affiliated hospital's pension fund is exempt from the federal pension law. The court held that under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) [materials], a defined-benefit pension plan maintained by a church-affiliated organization qualifies as a "church plan," even though it was established by the healthcare facility, not the church. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court:ERISA provides (1)...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in Carpenter v. United States [docket; cert. petition, PDF] to determine, "[w]hether the warrantless seizure and search of historical cell phone records revealing the location and movements of a cell phone user over the course of 127 days is permitted by the Fourth Amendment." The Stored Communications Act (SCA) [text] allows the government to obtain records without a showing of probable cause whenever it "offers specific and...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday affirmed [order list, PDF] a lower court decision striking down a North Carolina state House and Senate redistricting effort as racial gerrymandering that disproportionately impacted black voters. The court affirmed the order by summary disposition. Also Monday the court vacated [opinion, PDF] an order requiring North Carolina to hold special elections, finding that the lower court failed to perform an adequate analysis:Although this Court has never addressed whether or when a special...
[JURIST] Hector Trujillo, a Guatemalan judge who served as general secretary for Guatemala's soccer federation, pled [Reuters report] guilty Friday to fraud and conspiracy in the FIFA [official website] scandal. Judge Trujillo entered the plea before US District Judge Pamela Chen [official bio] in the Eastern District of New York [official website]. Trujillo has agreed to pay back $175,000 that he received as kickbacks in exchange for marketing for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Trujillo could face up to...
[JURIST] Israel has occupied the West Bank through human rights abuses for the past fifty-years, stated [report] Human Rights Watch (HRW)(advocacy website) Sunday. According to HRW, Israel has violated international humanitarian law during the occupation through "unlawful killings; forced displacement; abusive detention; the closure of the Gaza Strip and other unjustified restrictions on movement; and the development of settlements, along with the accompanying discriminatory policies that disadvantage Palestinians." Israel claims that the human rights abuses were committed to ensure Israeli...
[JURIST] The United Nations Security Council [official website] decided on Friday to expand [press release] existing sanctions placed on Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and applied those sanctions to 14 individuals and four organizations. The expansion of resolution 1718 (2006) [text] will impose an asset freeze and travel ban on those that new resolution 2356 (2017) [text] names as being involved in North Korea's alleged nuclear program. North Korea's biggest ally and permanent member of the Security Council,...
[JURIST] President Donald Trump [official profile] made a series of tweets [Twitter page] on Saturday to profess the need for his travel ban stemming from the London attack [Reuters report]. Trump also phoned British Prime Minister Theresa May [official website] to offer condolences and give support if Britain would need it, according [Reuters report] to a White House statement. Currently seven people have died from the Saturday night attack as a van drove into crowds of pedestrians on the London...
The California State Assembly [government website] passed two bills [Courthouse News report] on Thursday which, if passed by the senate, will strengthen protections for undocumented immigrant students in public schools from kindergarten through college. Assembly Bill 699 [text] passed by a 60-13 vote [vote count, text], with seven members not voting, and will provide numerous protections for students attending K-12 public schools in the state. Assembly Bill 21 [text], passed by a narrower 55-23 vote [vote count, text] with two...
The city of Austin filed a lawsuit [Complaint, PDF] on Thursday joining San Antonio and two other Texas cities in challenging the constitutionality of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4) [text, PDF], a new immigration enforcement law signed [JURIST report] by Governor Greg Abbott [official website] early last month. The San Antonio lawsuit [Complaint, PDF], filed on the city's behalf by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund [advocacy website] (MALDEF), alleges that the bill violates [text, PDF] the First,...

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