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 US Senate [official website] on Tuesday approved [bill materials] HJ Res 111 [text], which cancels a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] rule related to arbitration agreements. The canceled CFPB rule, 82 FR 33210 [Summary], prevented providers of specified consumer financial products and services from requiring consumers to sign arbitration agreements that barred them from participating in class action lawsuits. The rule was enacted in July and became effective in September. HJ Res 111 will thus allow these...
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Tuesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-3 that a 17-year-old unidentified, undocumented immigrant has the right to obtain an abortion. A week earlier, the same court through a three-judge panel temporarily blocked [JURIST report] a lower court ruling permitting the teen immigrant to have an abortion, noting that it needed time to consider the emergency motion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website], as well...
Russia on Tuesday vetoed [press release] the UN Security Council's resolution [press release] to extend the UN Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapon (OPCW) [official website] investigation into the Syria chemical-weapons attack. In February Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that the Syrian government conducted "coordinated chemical attacks" on rebel-controlled portions of Aleppo. In the same report, HRW alleged that Russia has aligned itself with the Assad regime impeding UN investigations into the attacks. Further reports...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday ordered the dismissal [text, PDF] of Hawaii v. Trump [SCOTUSblog materials], the last remaining challenge of the now expired March 6 travel ban [JURIST news archive]. In the brief order, the court noted that the provisions of the original executive order "expired by [their] own terms," and thus the matter is rendered moot. As a result of the expiration of the order, the court vacated the judgement [text] of the US...
[JURIST] US President Donald Trump signed an executive order [text] Tuesday resuming the admissions of refugees into the US but introducing heightened vetting procedures. The order states that the prior executive order [JURIST news archive] barring refugee admissions from a number of Islamic nations is no longer in effect and "the Secretary of State may resume travel of qualified and appropriately vetted refugees into the United States, and the Secretary of Homeland Security may resume adjudicating applications for refugee resettlement."...
[JURIST] The Communist Party of China amended their constitution [text] Tuesday to add a section titled "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era." The party's "absolute" leadership over the military, the fight against corruption, Xi's "Belt and Road" development initiative, supply-side reforms, and market forces in resource were also addressed [Xinhua report] in the amendments. The party's constitution [USC backgrounder] is separate from China's national Constitution. The party's document governs party procedures the party is...
Quebec Minister of Justice and Attorney General Stéphanie Vallée on Tuesday released guidelines [text, PDF, in French] for the implementation of Bill 62 [text, PDF, in French], legislation requiring those who wear face veils to remove them when using public services. The bill passed by a vote of 66-5 last week [JURIST report] in the Quebec National Assembly [official website]. These guidelines provide further instructions concerning the implementation of the new enacted law. The guideline describes the law as requiring...
Microsoft [corporate website] announced plans to drop its lawsuit against the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Monday after the DOJ issued new guidelines in an effort to curb its practice of using secrecy orders to silence companies from alerting its customers when their personal information is accessed by the federal government. Microsoft's President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith stated [announcement] that the DOJ move is "an important step for both privacy and free expression" and the...
Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Monday urged French President Emmanuel Macron to raise human rights abuse [HRW report]s during a meeting with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi in Paris on Tuesday. Tuesday's meeting will be Macron's first meeting with al-Sisi and first opportunity to address Egypt's serious human rights violations, including what HRW described as "Egyptian security services' widespread and systematic use of torture, which likely constitutes a crime against humanity." HRW continued:Al-Sisi has presided over Egypt's worst...
A US district court judge in San Jose, California, on Sunday ordered [text] a retrial to determine how much Samsung owes Apple for infringing three iPhone 3Gs patents: "black rectangular front face of a phone with rounded corners," "the rectangular front face of a phone with rounded corners and a raised rim," and "the grid of 16 colorful icons on a black screen." Ten months ago, the US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that the previous judgment against...
The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) [official website] on Monday denounced [press release] the arrest of 30 opposition party members as part of a crackdown by President Joseph Kabila's [BBC profile] government. The men who were arrested belonged to opposition group, Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS). It has been reported that the meeting of the group was surrounded by police and military forces, leading to the subsequent arrests. Maman...
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] asked [press release] the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Monday to reconsider the denial of an abortion for a pregnant 17-year-old, identified as Jane Doe, being held in a Texas immigration facility. Doe is 15 weeks pregnant and has been seeking an abortion for several weeks. A federal judge gave her approval, but on Friday, a three-judge panel of the appeals court temporarily blocked...
Human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations sent a letter [text] on Monday to Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras urging him to end the "containment" of asylum seekers in island camp, which violates human rights, and transfer them to the mainland to provide adequate human needs and hear their asylum applications. More than 13,000 people are living in five camps on Greek islands as "checkpoints" until their asylum applications are processed permitted access to the mainland. According to the organizations, the...
Attorneys general from 17 US states urged Congress in a letter [text, PDF] Monday to abandon legislation that would require states to validate concealed-carry gun permits issued in another state, regardless of their own gun law restrictions. The attorneys general argue that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 [text, PDF] could "lead to the death of police officers and civilians, the proliferation of gun traffickers, and acts of terrorism and other mass violence." They further argue, "Under the legislation,...
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD) [advocacy website] on Friday filed a motion [text, PDF] to intervene in a lawsuit against the Board of Education of Frederick County [official website] over allowing transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. Anonymous individuals recently filed a lawsuit [Frederick Post report] challenging the school board's new policy, which allows students to use the restroom for the gender with which they identify. The ACLU-MD joined other advocacy organizations seeking to...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: The Guatemalan Constitutional Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday withdrew [text, in Spanish] the foreign ministry's [official website, in Spanish] warning to the head of the UN International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) [official Website], Iván Velásquez. [more] Iraq's Supreme Justice Council on Thursday ordered the arrest of Kurdistan Regional Government Vice President Kosrat Rasul on charges of "provocation" against Iraq's armed forces. The court order [BBC report] comes...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Day bomber, filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of Colorado alleging violations of his constitutional rights. Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate an underwear bomb [JURIST report] in an airplane bathroom on Christmas Day, 2009, argues that his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights are being violated at the Administrative Maximum facility (ADX) [NYT backgrounder] in Florence, Colorado....
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Day bomber, filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday in the US District Court for the District of Colorado alleging violations of his constitutional rights. Abdulmutallab, who attempted to detonate an underwear bomb [JURIST report] in an airplane bathroom on Christmas Day, 2009, argues that his First, Fifth and Eighth Amendment rights are being violated at the Administrative Maximum facility (ADX) [NYT backgrounder] in Florence, Colorado. At ADX Abdulmutallab is placed in solitary restrictive confinement...
The Guatemalan Constitutional Court [official website, in Spanish] on Wednesday withdrew [text, in Spanish] the foreign ministry's [official website, in Spanish] warning to the head of the UN International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) [official Website], Iván Velásquez. The foreign ministry had granted Velásquez a one-year renewal on his visa but warned [WP report] him to "refrain from interfering in the internal affairs." The purpose of the CICIG is to "investigate illegal security groups and clandestine security organizations in...
Iraq's Supreme Justice Council on Thursday ordered the arrest of Kurdistan Regional Government Vice President Kosrat Rasul on charges of "provocation" against Iraq's armed forces. The court order [BBC report] comes after Rasul has spoken out against the increased military presence of Iraqi forces in northern parts of the country. The Kurdish forces have been working with Iraqi forces in expelling Islamic State militants in the country, but fear that Iraq will begin to crack down on any independence notions...

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