Legal news from Friday, October 1, 2004
20:10 EDT

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appealed Florida's gay adoption ban to the US Supreme Court on Friday. The primary argument advanced by the ACLU is that the 1977 law violates the equal protection clause by singling out homosexuals as a class. Florida is the only state with a complete [read more]

20:10 EDT

The first annual administrative reviews of the release status of enemy combatant detainees at Guantanamo Bay are likely to begin in November, according to Navy Secretary Gordon England, speaking at the Pentagon Friday. Detainees are currently going through a two-step process. In step one, a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) [read more]

16:10 EDT

The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that federal prosecutors unduly stretched the US Constitution's Commerce Clause in their attempt to federally prosecute Florida resident James Maxwell for possession of child pornography. The prosecution offered no evidence that Maxwell transported the illegal pornography across state lines but rather [read more]

15:10 EDT

Bosnian Marko Boskic, 40, was arraigned in federal court in Massachusetts Friday and pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied on his US immigration applications for refugee and permanent resident alien status. A federal grand jury issued an indictment a few days ago after it found that Boskic did [read more]

14:10 EDT

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Friday unanimously upheld the 2002 murder convictions and life sentences imposed on Bobby Frank Cherry. Cherry, an ex-member of the Ku Klux Klan, was indicted in 2000, 37 years after a 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls, ages 11-14. Read about [read more]

13:10 EDT

In Friday's corporations and securities law news, PeopleSoft Inc. announced it has fired Chief Executive and President Craig Conway because of a loss of confidence. The company named its founder and chairman, Dave Duffield, as the new CEO. The move is seen as paving the way for a deal with [read more]

13:10 EDT

The Department of Justice announced Friday that it will not appeal a court ruling striking down its challenge to software giant Oracle's proposed hostile takeover of Peoplesoft. The decision ends DOJ's antitrust challenge that began in February and fueled speculation about the possible merger. Oracle still faces obstacles, having not [read more]

11:10 EDT

Thailand's foreign minister, Surakiart Sathirathai, has emerged as the frontrunner among the possible candidates to succeed Kofi Annan as Secretary-General of the UN when Annan's term ends in 2006. Sathirathai received the endorsement of the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) earlier this week. The Straits Times has more [read more]

11:10 EDT

A former US Air Force official was sentenced Friday to nine months in prison for arranging a $250,000 executive position with Boeing Co. while serving as the second-ranking weapons buyer in the Air Force and handling billions in dollars of contracts with the company. Darleen Druyun, the highest-ranking military official [read more]

11:10 EDT

AP is reporting that Judge M. Langhorne Keith of the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia has dismissed charges against convicted "DC sniper" John Allen Muhammad in the second capital murder trial against him (he was previously tried and convicted on charges laid in Prince William County). Judge Keith held [read more]

10:10 EDT

As anticipated earlier on JURIST's Paper Chase, the Spanish government Friday approved a draft law to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill still requires approval by parliament before it will take effect. Under the proposed law, same-sex couples will be able to adopt children, divorce and continue to receive pension benefits [read more]

10:10 EDT

Manitoba and New Brunswick Friday became the first Canadian provinces to implement smoking bans effective in all enclosed public places. While the ban in New Brunswick is expected to cost the province some of the $100 million in tobacco taxes it makes each year, Premier Bernard Lord said it would [read more]

10:10 EDT

The Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation of accounting practices at Fannie Mae, the latest development in a brewing crisis for the mortgage giant. The criminal probe was confirmed Friday by an anonymous source. The accounting irregularities under suspicion are the alleged delay of reporting expenses to ensure [read more]

09:10 EDT

A British man held for over two and half years since being detained in Pakistan alleged that he has been tortured by US forces in an uncensored letter released Friday. In the letter, dated July 12, Moazzam Begg protested his detention and demanded to know the charges against him. Begg [read more]

09:10 EDT

The Environmental Protection Agency inspector general has said a rules revision by the agency relaxing requirements that older pollution sources update their controls has harmed the country's efforts to cut smog and air pollution levels. In a report released late Thursday, Inspector General Nikki L. Tinsley criticized the agency's decision [read more]

07:10 EDT

Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Friday, October 1.Today is the birthday of US Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He turns 80 and becomes the second-oldest chief justice in the nation's history, surpassed only by Roger Taney, who stayed on until he [read more]

06:10 EDT

In Friday's US law and business press, the ABA Journal reports on how summary jury trials are still seeking acceptance.... The New York Law Journal reports that an ethics complaint against a NY attorney is raising questions about an attorney's right to publicly disseminate a misconduct complaint.... The New York [read more]

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