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 Attorneys General from seven states filed a lawsuit [text, PDF] in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] Tuesday challenging the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The seven states in the lawsuit include Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia. The lawsuit claims that DACA violates the Administrative Procedure Act's notice-and-comment requirements and the Take Care Clause of Article II of the Constitution. It also states...
Health care activists filed a complaint [complaint, PDF] Monday against Maine's Department of Health and Human Services for its failure to expand Medicaid after voters had approved its expansion in November. The citizens of Maine voted in November to enact the Medicaid Expansion Act. The Act was effective on January 3, 2018, and provides that "the department shall submit a state plan amendment ... ensuring MaineCare eligibility for people under 65 years of age" within 90 days of the effective...
The California Supreme Court issued a ruling[opinion, PDF] Monday making it more difficult for employers to classify their employees as independent contractors. In order for an employee to be classified as an independent contractor, the court ruled that the employer must show three things. First, the employer must show that the employee is not under the "control and direction" of the employer. Second, the employer must show that the employee performs "work that is outside the usual course of the...
A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, led by California, filed suit [petition, PDF] against the Trump administration Tuesday to defend an Obama-era rule on vehicle emissions standards. The existing regulations would have required vehicles to meet certain fuel-efficiency standards for model years 2022-2025. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] reached a determination [press release] last month that the rules should be reconsidered. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, "the Obama Administration's determination was wrong. ... Obama's...
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, on Monday expressed concern [press release] over violence against civilians in Myanmar's Kachin State. A reported 10 civilians were killed and several more severely injured and wounded in the northern part of the state. An estimated 5,000 have also forced out of their homes near the border in the last three weeks. The Kachin State military reportedly has "carried out aerial bombings, and used heavy weapons and...
UN human rights experts called [press release] for a retrial on Monday following flawed trial procedure and due process violations in the conviction of four men sentenced to death in the Bahraini High Military Court in December. The four men, Mohamed AbdulHasan AlMutaghawi, Fadhel Sayed Radhi, Sayed Alawi Husain and Mubarak Adel Mubarak Mahanna, are civilians convicted on charges related to "participating in a terrorist cell and attempting to assassinate Bahrain's Defence Forces Commander-in-Chief." All four men were sentenced to...
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Friday dismissed [order, PDF] a civil suit brought by Paul Manafort [BBC profile] alleging that the Department of Justice exceeded its authority in appointed the Special Counsel headed by Robert Mueller and that the Special Counsel, even if permitted to exist, exceeded its authority. The court dismissed Manafort's suit because his case relies on the Administrative Procedure Act [text] as the law being violated and...
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] on Friday reversed an injunction against the Texas voter ID law [SB 5], allowing it to be enforced for the upcoming midterm election. The Fifth Circuit had previously remanded SB 14, the first attempt by the Texas State Legislature at a voter's ID law in 2014. The Texas legislature then modified SB 14, resulting in SB 5. The Fifth Circuit determined that the district court had abused its discretion...
The US Supreme Court [official website] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] in three cases Monday, including a dispute over a settlement in a Google privacy case and a Missouri death penalty case. In Frank v. Gaos [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the question before the court is, "in what circumstances a cy pres award of class action proceeds that provides no direct relief to class members supports class certification and comports with the requirement that a settlement binding class members must...
UN human rights experts expressed concern [press release] Friday regarding the effects of structural racism in the UK. The UN experts pointed to reports indicating individuals of African and Caribbean descent are more likely to die while in law enforcement or government custody. The data on which the UN experts relied was released by the Metropolitan Police in August 2017. The report indicated that detainees of African and Caribbean descent were twice as likely to die following use of restraining...
Following a month of violent clashes between the Palestinian protesters and the Israeli military, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Friday urged [statement] the Israeli government to address its military's use of excessive deadly force against Palestinian civilians. Over the past month, 42 Palestinians have been killed, and more than 5,500 injured. More than 1,700 of the incidents involved use of live ammunition by Israeli soldiers. Palestinian children were also participating in the protests. Four...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: A new report [text, PDF] by IGARAPÉ Institute outlines the continuing rise in crime in Latin America and demands urgent solutions. According to the report released Thursday, crime rates will continue to rise until new innovative preventive programs are implemented. [more] An Istanbul court on Wednesday sentenced [Anadolu news] 14 journalists from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet Daily [media website] to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges. According to Turkish state news agency...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: The US House Intelligence Committee [official website] released its final report [report, PDF] absolving the Trump campaign from involvement in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. In the almost 250-page report, Republicans concluded that the year-long investigation has produced no evidence that the Trump campaign aided in Moscow's efforts. [more] Louisiana senators voted 31-1 Tuesday to approve a bill [SB181 materials] that would ban abortions at 15 weeks. Mississippi approved...
The US House Intelligence Committee [official website] released its final report [report, PDF] absolving the Trump campaign from involvement in Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. In the almost 250-page report, Republicans concluded that the year-long investigation has produced no evidence that the Trump campaign aided in Moscow's efforts. While the committee found no evidence that the Trump campaign "colluded, coordinated, or conspired" with the Russian government, the report still points to questionable judgment by both sides of the...
A new report [text, PDF] by IGARAPÉ Institute outlines the continuing rise in crime in Latin America and demands urgent solutions. According to the report released Thursday, crime rates will continue to rise until new innovative preventive programs are implemented. Currently, Latin America is home to 8 percent of the world's population yet experiences 33 percent of the world's homicide. Highly concentrated in the region with Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela, the area accounts for 1 in 4 homicides globally....
An Istanbul court on Wednesday sentenced [Anadolu news] 14 journalists from opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet Daily [media website] to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges. According to Turkish state news agency Anadolu, the CEO, editor-in-chief and several journalists received sentences between four and eight years "on charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist group without being members." "At the first hearing in the case in July 2016, the suspects were indicted for sponsoring the The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) [BBC...
UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] on Friday praised [press release] Ethiopia for its willingness to openly discuss human rights challenges after completing his second official visit within the year. Zeid's invitation to the country came after a recent transition of power from former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn [BBC profile], who abruptly resigned in March, to the new leader Abiy Ahmed [BBC profile]. Throughout 2017, Ethiopia has experienced unrest in the Oromia region with...
Louisiana senators voted 31-1 Tuesday to approve a bill [SB181 materials] that would ban abortions at 15 weeks. Mississippi approved [JURIST report] a similar 15-week abortion ban in March, drawing an immediate legal challenge. An amendment to the Louisiana bill on the Senate floor means that the Louisiana bill would not go into law unless and until the Mississippi law is upheld by the courts. The Louisiana bill must still face approval in the House. Current Louisiana law prohibits abortions...
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] Wednesday in Trump v. Hawaii [transcript, PDF; audio], challenging the latest version of President Donald Trump's ban on entry to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries. When granting certiorari [JURIST report] in January, the court agreed to consider the following questions presented [cert. petition, PDF] by the government:1. Whether respondents' challenge to the President's suspension of entry of aliens abroad is justiciable.2. Whether the Proclamation is a lawful...
Twenty-one humanitarian organizations issued a joint statement [text, PDF] on Tuesday condemning the Greek government's decision to reinstate a migrant "containment" policy after it was struck down by the nation's highest administrative court. Amnesty International, Oxfam, and Human Rights Watch [advocacy websites] were among the groups that called the action a challenge to the rule of law in Greece. The groups called on the Greek government to rapidly expand safe accommodation and access to services on the mainland and create...

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