JURIST Legal News

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A federal judge ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the Department of Defense [official website] must give the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] 72 hours notice before transferring an American detained abroad in order to allow for a legal challenge before the transfer happens. The ruling came from Judge Tanya Chutkan [official profile] in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] in the case of John Doe v. General James Mattis, the US Secretary of...
The president and first vice president of the European Commission expressed concern [press release] Wednesday about Romania's progress promoting the rule of law. The comments represent the Commission's reaction to the most recent report [text, PDF] of the Co-Operation and Verification Mechanism for Romania. When Romania joined the EU in 2007, along with Bulgaria, the European Commission created the Co-Operation and Verification Mechanism to assist the new member states with progress in judicial reform and corruption. Reforms in these areas...
The Alabama House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill [HB 17 materials] to eliminate special elections when there is a vacancy in the US Senate. Under HB 17 [text, PDF], when a vacancy occurred the governor would appoint a person until the next general election. Currently, the governor appoints someone who remains in office only until a special election. Rep. Steve Clouse [official website], sponsor of the new bill, explained [WTVY report] that the cost of elections is the...
The FBI [official website] released preliminary statistics [materials] Tuesday outlining US crime metrics from January through June 2017, which indicated a downward trend in violent crime and rise in the homicide rate. In the first half of 2017 the violent crime rate fell by 0.8 percent in comparison with the same period last year. In both 2015 and 2016 the crime rates had increased [JURIST report] modestly from historical lows, which was a campaign issue for President Donald Trump. In...
A newly declassified investigation has revealed that the US military knew about at least 75 reported human rights abuses by Afghan military and police but used a legal loophole to keep funding the Afghan units. These human rights abuses included murder and child sexual assault, according to a report released [official report, PDF] Tuesday by the US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR). SIGAR's investigation was prompted by allegations that were first reported [NYT report] by the New York...
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner [official website] participated in meetings involving his share of a $67.5 million settlement shortly after taking office in 2015, according to a newly-unsealed lawsuit [complaint] on Tuesday. Rauner claims to have no day-to-day involvement in his investments and publicly declared before taking office that he would give up his control [AP report] over his wealth management. The lawsuit alleges that Rauner invested $5 million as a limited partner in Kirkpatrick Capital to acquire a minority share...
[JURIST] The EU's Commission on Competition [official website] on Wednesday announced [official press release] a USD $1.23 billion antitrust fine against US chip maker Qualcomm [corporate website]. The commission charged Qualcomm with suppressing competition in the market for phone and table chipsets through contracts with companies such as Apple [corporate website] that contained. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said [statement]: "Qualcomm illegally shut out rivals from the market for LTE baseband chipsets for over five years, thereby...
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order [text, PDF] on Wednesday to expand access to medical marijuana in the state. The order, signed one week after Murphy took office, seeks to remove barriers to access for individuals with "debilitating medical conditions" that may be successfully treated with medical marijuana. The Department of Health and Board of Medical Examiners are now required to complete a review of New Jersey's medical marijuana program within 60 days and to recommend which...
[JURIST] Florida voters will have an opportunity to vote [petition form text, PDF] on an amendment to the state constitution [text] that would automatically restore voting rights to felons once they complete their sentences after election officials certified petition signatures Tuesday. Currently, Article VI Section 6 of Florida's constitution, the section which governs disenfranchisement, states that "[n]o person convicted of a felony ... shall be qualified to vote or hold office until restoration of civil rights." This provision makes Florida...
Crimes motivated by misogyny should be classified as hate crimes, according to a report [press release] released Tuesday by the Fawcett Society [advocacy website], an organization that campaigns for women's rights in the UK. The report is the result of the research their Sex Discrimination Law Review panel conducted on the effectiveness of sex equality legislation in the UK post-Brexit. The report discusses domestic violence, employment discrimination and a litany of other issues that women face in the UK. According...
Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a 134-page report [text] and a 15-minute video on Tuesday at the EU Parliament [official website] documenting widespread rights abuses and forced labor conditions in Thailand's fishing fleets. Titled "Hidden Chains: Forced Labor and Rights Abuses in Thailand's Fishing Industry," the report details the trafficking of migrant fishers from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia for fishing work in Thailand under conditions where the workers are prevented from changing employers, not paid on time or...
The Hanoi People's Court of Vietnam on Monday sentenced [press release, in Vietnamese] former politburo member Dinh La Thang to 13 years in prison for embezzlement and violation of state regulations. Thang had served as an executive for PetroVietnam (PVN), a state run oil corporation. Thang, along with another executive tried [VOA report, in Vietnamese], Trinh Xuan Thanh, were involved in embezzlement of funds from a thermal power project undertaken by PVN violating state regulations on economic management. The indiscretions...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday granted [order, PDF] the Department of Justice's (DOJ) [official website] motion to expedite consideration of a petition for direct review of a trial court injunction blocking the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [USCIS backgrounder] program. Earlier this month, the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] ordered [JURIST report] a temporary injunction blocking the Trump administration from ending the DACA program. Terming the government's...
Montana governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order [text] on Monday that will make companies provide nondiscriminatory internet services in order to obtain a contract within the state. The executive order takes effect starting July 1, 2018. Soon, Montana telecommunications providers are not to: block lawful content, speed-up or slow-down certain web pages, allow companies to pay for faster loading of their web content, or generally engage in any activity that hinders Montanans' access to equal and open internet. According...
Vermont became the ninth state to legalize recreational marijuana and the first to do so by legislation on Monday after Phil Scott signed the bill [text, PDF] passed earlier this month. The law legalized possession of marijuana equal to one ounce or less, two mature plants, or four immature plants for those 21 years and older. The law maintains several safeguards and limitations for users, and provides harsher punishment criminal marijuana related matters. Scott expressed these differences in the official...
The Supreme Court of Spain [official website, in Spanish] on Monday refused [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] to reissue the arrest warrant for Catalan ex-president Carles Puigdemont. Puigdemont fled [Guardian report] Spain in October after the Spanish government overtook Catalonia. He "faces possible charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds over his role in the push to split Catalonia from Spain." The prosecution requested the warrant be reissued international after he was reportedly in Denmark on Monday. The warrant...
[JURIST] Military judge James Pohl ruled [Miami Herald report] on Friday that no wrongdoing occurred when the prosecution destroyed a CIA secret prison, or "black site," on Pohl's orders. At the time Pohl gave the prosecution permission to destroy the site, the judge had a public protection order on any remains from the CIA black sites. According to Pohl, the defense attorneys failed to show that "the physical evidence is of such central importance to an issue that is essential...
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania [official website] on Monday struck down [opinion, PDF] the Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 [statute] as violating the state constitution. The plaintiffs in the League of Women Voters v. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania accused [JURIST report] the General Assembly of unfairly drawing voting districts to discriminate against Democratic voters. The court is giving the Pennsylvania General Assembly until February 9 to submit a new redistricting plan to the governor, and, if he approves it,...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] unanimously Monday in National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Defense [SCOTUSblog materials] that cases litigating the Clean Water Act [EPA materials] should be heard by federal district courts. At issue is the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, which expanded the definition of "waters of the United States" to include intermittent streams, wetlands and floodplains previously considered to be under the states' jurisdiction. In a number of disputes, parties filed lawsuits in...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-4 Monday in Artis v. District of Columbia [SCOTUSblog materials] that the "instruction to 'toll' a state limitations period means to hold it in abeyance, i.e., to stop the clock." The court was asked to determine how long the federal supplemental jurisdiction statute gives plaintiffs to refile in state court. Specifically, whether the statute provides plaintiffs with a 30-day window after the dismissal of their claims to refile, or if the...

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