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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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...
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [court website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that a 90-year-old cross shaped monument in Maryland violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment [JURIST report]. The monument, erected in 1925 to honor 49 Prince George's County men who died during World War I, was challenged [complaint, PDF] by the American Humanist Association [advocacy website] in February 2014. A federal judge ruled [JURIST report] in 2015 that the presence and use of the...
A Brazilian congressional committee voted [vote record, in Portuguese] Wednesday to reject [press release, in Portuguese] corruption charges against President Michel Temer. The charges are related [BBC report] to a corruption case against meatpacking company JBS [corporate website]. The charges were rejected in a vote of 39-26 that fell largely along party lines. The full lower chamber still needs to vote on the matter, but they are expected to follow the vote of the congressional committee. In order to face...
[JURIST] Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif [BBC profile], his daughter and his son-in-law were indicted by an anti-corruption court on Thursday in connection to leaks that show his family had several offshore shell companies and his purchase of several high-end pieces of property in London. The leaked documents suggested [Reuters report] that Sharif's children had offshore assets that were not disclosed in the family's wealth statement and led to further investigation by a Joint Investigation Team, composed of officials...
[JURIST] The Kenyan High Court [official website] on Tuesday lifted [AfricanNews report] a government-imposed ban [Al Jazeera report] on protestation after numerous protests against the Kenyan electoral commission. The recent protests were organized by National Super Alliance (NASA), the political coalition that currently stands in opposition to the ruling Jubilee Party [party websites]. After many of the protests turned violent [Bloomberg report], Jubilee Party officials imposed a protest ban on the key business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu, all...
[JURIST] Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) [official websites] proposed a bipartisan bill [text] Wednesday intended to "stabilize individual market premiums for the 2018 and 2019 plan years and provide meaningful State flexibility." The bill is co-sponsored by 24 senators, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, and the draft currently proposed would stabilize funding of cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies. President Donald Trump had previously announced the end of the CSR payments [JURIST report]. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)...
[JURIST] Brazil's federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged [text, PDF, in Portuguese] individuals instrumental in obtaining Brazil's bid for the Olympic Games held last summer. Most notable of those charged of bribery are Carlos Nuzman [BBC report], head of Brazil's Olympic Committee, Leonardo Gryner, right-hand man of Nuzman on the committee, and Arthur Cesar de Menezes Soares Filho, former Trump Hotel Rio de Janeiro partner. Sergio Cabral, former governor Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state, was sentenced [JURIST report] to 14 years...
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Thursday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] a lower court ruling permitting a 17-year-old unidentified undocumented immigrant to have an abortion by her own choice. In her declaration statement [text, PDF] to the lower court, the teenager claimed that the government forced her "to obtain counseling from a religiously affiliated crisis pregnancy center" where she was "forced to look at the sonogram." The teenager further claimed: "I feel...
On Monday, the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina [official website] began trial [The Mountaineer report] in Common Cause v. Rucho, a consolidated partisan gerrymandering case brought by Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina, [organization pages] among others. The lawsuit challenges North Carolina’s newest map after the Supreme Court upheld a district court ruling that found two congressional districts were racially gerrymandered in Cooper v. Harris [SCOTUSBlog materials]. Last month, the court...
The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] upheld [opinion, PDF] a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] ruling on Tuesday that "it was not unreasonable for the FCC to gather more information from relevant parties before deciding whether to compel broadcasters to translate emergency alerts and broadcast them in languages in addition to English." The plaintiffs in the case included the League of United Latin American Citizens and Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council [advocacy websites]...
Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Tuesday accused [press release] Myanmar security forces of committing crimes against humanity in their expelling of the Rohingya Muslim population. The report, entitled "My World Is Finished": Rohingya Targeted in Crimes against Humanity in Myanmar [text, PDF], gives first-hand accounts of survivors fleeing the alleged genocide [JURIST report]. AI spoke with refugees, used satellite imagery and relied on local investigators to conclude that the Myanmar army, police officers and local civilians worked together to...
US veterans filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] in federal court on Tuesday against five big pharmaceutical firms for funding terrorist organizations in Iraq. The suit was brought by more than 100 US veterans and their families for injuries sustained in combating terrorist forces in Iraq. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website], accuses defendants AstraZeneca, GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Roche of violating several provisions of the federal Anti-Terrorism Act...
Germany's Constitutional Court [official website] on Wednesday rejected [judgment, in German] a petition to block the Bundesbank [official website] from participating in the European Central Bank [official website] plan to purchase bonds. The European Central Bank is currently purchasing 2.3 trillion euros ($2.7 trillion) worth of bonds in order to keep inflation rates at just under 2 percent. So far, the European Central Bank has already purchased 2 trillion euros worth of bonds. The case was brought before the Constitutional...
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] filed a federal lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Tuesday against international mining group Rio Tinto [corporate website] and two of its chief executives alleging fraud and deception in violation of federal law. The SEC's allegations stem from Rio Tinto's $3.7 billion acquisition of a coal mining company in Mozambique, led by defendants former Chief Executive Officer Thomas Albanese and former Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliot. According to the complaint, Rio Tinto, through Albanese...
Quebec's National Assembly [official site] on Wednesday approved a measure to ban those who wear face veils from using public services. The purpose of Bill 62 [text, PDF, in French] was to enforce compliance with the state's religious neutrality. Given the State’s religious neutrality, the purpose of this Act is to establish measures to foster adherence to such neutrality. For that purpose, the Act imposes a duty of religious neutrality, in particular, on personnel members of public bodies in the...
US District Judge William Alsup in California on Tuesday ordered [text] the Trump administration to turn over emails, letters, memoranda, notes, media items, opinions and other materials directly or indirectly considered in the final agency decision to rescind [press release] the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [USCIS materials] program. The plaintiffs successfully illustrated that defendants excluded highly relevant materials from the administrative record, rebutting the presumption that the record is complete. The defendants responded by saying that only select...
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [judgment] Wednesday that Greek police cannot enforce a blanket height requirement for police recruits because such a policy discriminates against women. Prior to Wednesday's ruling, Greece enforced a minimum height requirement of 1.7 meters (5 feet 7 inches) for entry into the police academy. In 2007, Marie-Eleni Kalliri, who is 1.68 meters tall, was denied enrollment to the police academy because she did not meet the height requirement. She then filed...
The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District [official website] on Tuesday vacated [opinion, PDF] a $72 million award to a woman who claimed that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) [corporate website] baby powder products containing talcum contributed to her ovarian cancer, finding that the court that awarded the amount had no jurisdiction. The court cited a Supreme Court case [JURIST report] that "non-resident[s] must establish an independent basis for specific personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the state." J&J is headquartered...

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