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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US President Donald Trump [official profile] signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [HR 1 materials] into law on Friday, making sweeping changes to US tax rates, exemptions and deductions. At the signing ceremony, Trump touted [text] what he sees as the law's promise, including providing incentives to business to invest in capital projects, increasing take-home pay for American workers and protecting "the family farmers and small-business owners who lost their business because of the estate tax." Regarding the provision...
The US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], on Thursday, granted a preliminary injunction to block the Trump Administration's policy allowing employers with religious or moral objections to deny women insurance coverage for contraceptives. In issuing the court's order, US District Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. [official profile] ruled that defendants, the Department of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, failed to pursue a necessary notice and comment process before implementing the new policy, denying citizens...
The US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Thursday dismissed [opinion] a case against President Donald Trump, which accused him of violating the Constitution's emoluments clause [materials]. The plaintiffs argued that Trump failed to adequately remove himself from his businesses, despite his legal obligation to do so, which harmed hotel and restaurant competitors in New York and Washington. The court stated that the plaintiffs failed to properly allege which of the president's specific actions...
US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on Thursday denied [order, PDF] the Trump Administration's bid to forestall transgender recruits from military service. Thursday's order merely denied the administration's plea to suspend an order by a federal judge in Baltimore requiring the Administration to allow transgender recruits on January 1. The government argued that it needed more time to implement this policy. The three-judge panel denied this request, stating in the brief order: Upon consideration of appellants' emergency motion...
The United Nations General Assembly [official website] on Thursday demanded [text, PDF] that all member states comply with Resolutions issued by the Security Council [official website] regarding the status of Jerusalem. The General Assembly described city as "a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant United Nations resolutions," and declared that "any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal...
The Ugandan parliament voted on Wednesday to eliminate the presidential age limit [press release] of 75 years. The controversial "Age Limit Bill" also extends the terms of office for the president and the parliament from five years to seven years. The bill would allow Uganda's current president, Yoweri Museveni, to run again for the presidency in 2023. The bill comes at a crucial time for the Museveni administration because Museveni would have been too old to run again by the...
The US Supreme court on Wednesday blocked [text, PDF] the district court's decision [text] to force the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn over more documents regarding former Secretary John Kelly's [official website] determination to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [official website]. The per curiam opinion states that the district court erred when it ordered further delivery of the documents and first needed to "resolve[] the Government's threshold arguments (that the Acting Secretary's determination to rescind...
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] on Thursday marked [official materials] its official closure with with a ceremony held in the Hague. The event marked the end of the ICTY's 24 year tenure trying those most responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions [text, PDF] committed within the territory of the former Yugoslavia during the early 1990s. Since its inception [JURIST news acrhive],...
The US House of Representatives voted 224-201 Wednesday to give final approval to the sweeping Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [HR 1 materials]. With the Senate's approval [JURIST report] earlier Wednesday, the legislation now moves to President Donald Trump for signature. The legislation had been approved by the House Tuesday but was sent back for a revote due to a procedural issue [JURIST reports]. Among the changes the bill would make are the the reduction of the corporate income tax...
Polish President Andrzej Duda signed judicial reform legislation [materials, in Polish; materials, in Polish] Wednesday, placing control over the courts into the hands of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party. The move came hours after the European Commission [official website] triggered [press release] Article 7 [text] of the Treaty on European Union against Poland over violations of the rule of law. The unprecedented move serves as a warning to the Polish government and could lead to sanctions and suspension...
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment] Wednesday that Uber must comply with existing transportation regulations. In doing so, the ECJ found that Uber operates more like a transportation company than an online platform that merely connects riders with drivers. This ruling will require Uber operating in an EU country to abide by the transportation regulations of an individual member state as opposed to the less restrictive e-commerce rules of the EU. In a press release [text,...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] dropped their appeal [motion, PDF] against minor Jane Roe on Tuesday night, which was preventing her from receiving an abortion. Jane Roe was being housed in a federally-funded shelter due to lack of authorization and was initially refused her abortion services through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) [official website]. At some point between Monday and Tuesday, Jane Roe was transferred to US Customs and Immigration Enforcement, which is controlled by the...
The US Senate [official website] on Wednesday voted 51-48 along party lines to approve a slightly modified version of the conference committee version [text] of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [H.R. 1 materials]. The bill underwent minor changes between Wednesday afternoon's passage [JURIST report] by the US House of Representatives [official website] after the Senate Parliamentarian struck three provisions [JURIST report] under the Byrd Rule [materials]. That procedural rule governs the content of bills that may be passed through...
The US Senate's vote on the sweeping tax bill [JURIST report] approved earlier today by the House of Representatives hit a procedural bump after the Senate Parliamentarian struck three provisions of the conference committee bill under the Byrd Rule [materials] governing the content of bills passed through the reconciliation process. The Parliamentarian found that the bill's short name, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, must be stricken in favor of the more official, if less punchy, "An Act to provide...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] on Tuesday detalied the "methodical massacre" [report] in the Rohingya village of Tula Toli, also known as Min Gyi, in Burma's Rakhine State on August 30, 2017. HRW alleges that Tula Toli was attacked by several hundred Burmese soldiers in uniform, as well as ethnic Rakhine villagers armed with machetes who trapped between 1,000 and 2,000 villagers along a river that surrounds the village. Survivors of the attack told HRW that the men were...
The US House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday voted 227-203 [roll call] to approve the conference committee version [text] of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act [H.R. 1 materials]. The vote split largely along party lines, with 12 Republicans and all 191 Democrats voting against the measure. The House and Senate need to approve the conference committee report, issued on Friday evening, in order to reconcile differences in the versions of the bill previously passed by both houses [JURIST...
The city of Detroit filed suit [complaint, PDF] on Monday in the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan [official site] against a number of pharmaceutical companies in relation to the distribution of prescription opioid drugs. Following the lead of other states [JURIST report] and municipalities [JURIST report], the 153-page complaint alleges that numerous manufactures and distributors of opioids, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals, McKesson, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Costco, have ignored the dangerous effects of the drugs...
A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] the Department of Health and Human Services [official website] from preventing two undocumented immigrants in federal custody from accessing abortion services. The government immediately appealed [notice, PDF] the decision. The two minors, referred to as Jane Roe and Jane Poe, were placed in a federally-funded shelter after entering the US without authorization. When they learned of their pregnancies, the women requested that they be allowed to receive an abortion using private...
Anti-virus and cybersecurity company Kaspersky Labs [corporate website] filed suit [complaint, PDF] against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] on Monday seeking to set aside an order directing all civilian agencies to stop using Kaspersky products. Kaspersky alleges that the review process contained in Binding Operational Directive BOD-17-01 [text] violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) [text] in two respects. First, they contend that their liberty interests under the Fifth Amendment [text] were curtailed without adequate due process, notice...
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf [official website] on Monday vetoed [press release] a bill [text, pdf] that would have placed stricter limits on abortion. The vetoed bill, SB-3, decreased the legal gestational age for an abortion from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. It also made the "dilation and excavation" method of abortion illegal, which the bill referred to as a "dismemberment abortion." Further, the bill did not make any exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Calling the measure "the most...

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