Legal news from Monday, December 6, 2004
21:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Monday heard arguments in the case Miller-El v. Dretke (03-9659), reconsidering whether a black defendant was unfairly convicted and sentenced by a jury that included only 1 black juror). The Supreme Court ruled [PDF] 8-1 last year (Justice Thomas dissenting) that there was a strong [read more]

20:12 EDT

[JURIST] Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has certified the votes of the 2004 Presidential election. The official totals, including all absentee and provisional ballots are:Bush - 2,858,727Kerry - 2,739,952This is a Bush victory of 118,775 votes, not close enough to trigger an automatic recount under Ohio law. The Democratic, [read more]

20:12 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush has named Gerald Reynolds and Ashley Taylor to the US Commission on Civil Rights. Reynolds, formerly asssitant secretary of the office of civil rights in the Department of Education, is expected to replace Mary Frances Berry as chairman of the commission. Taylor, an attorney from Richmond Virginia, [read more]

19:12 EDT

[JURIST] In Monday's environmental law news, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) seeks comments on a proposed rule that would establish the Pine Island-Estero Bay Manatee Refuge in Lee County, Florida. The manatee is a protected species under both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Congressional negotiators have reached a deal with the chief Republican opponent of legislation which will revamp the country's intelligence agencies. The bill, which will go to a final vote, is meant to follow the recommendations of the 9/11 commission. President Bush has been pressing Congress for a swift resolution [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Military judge Colonel James Pohl ruled today that statements by President Bush and top military leaders relating to the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were not specific enough to taint the jury pool for next month's trial of Spc. Charles Graner Jr., the reputed ringleader in the case. [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] The Democratic Party has launched a probe into reported voting problems in Ohio. Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe indicated Monday that the party will pay for a panel to study complaints from Ohio voters about uncounted votes, long lines, shortages of ballots, understaffed polling stations and voting [read more]

15:12 EDT

[JURIST] Eight soldiers have filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Army's stop-loss program which requires troops to serve longer than the terms in their enlistment contracts. Under the stop-loss program, the Pentagon may extend enlistments during war or national emergencies. The program, which was invoked in June, may [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Ukraine's opposition and pro-government factions reached a compromise on Monday on changes to election law and constitutional amendments, allowing for a new election on December 26. The Ukraine parliament, which failed to pass an initially-proposed set of electoral reforms Saturday, will vote on the new legislative package Tuesday. AP [read more]

13:12 EDT

[JURIST] Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed has officially ordered a manual second recount of the ballots in the Washington governor's race. Republican governor-elect Dino Rossi, who defeated Democrat Christine Gregoire by 42 votes after the machine recount, called the hand recount a "sad and desparate" attempt to change the [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] Following up this story reported in Paper Chase yesterday, the US military on Monday took disciplinary action against 18 soldiers who refused to go on a mission in Iraq, believing it to be too dangerous. Although the military refused to release details of the sanctions, Article 15 of the [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected hearing an appeal by the Church of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan challenging the constitutionality of New York Penal Law 240.35(4) that bans the wearing of masks at public gatherings. The decision lets stand a January appellate court ruling[PDF] [read more]

12:12 EDT

[JURIST] Twelve homosexuals who were expelled from the US military because of their sexual orientation filed a lawsuit in Boston on Monday, challenging the constitutionality of the Pentagon's 11-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The complaint relies in part upon last year's Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw said in an interview Monday that he believed recently-proposed changes to the UN Charter (reported by JURIST's Paper Chase here) would allow for easier intervention in situations of human rights abuses like those that were taking place in Sudan and Iraq. Straw said that [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Defense Department says that coalition forces have found evidence that mosques, hospitals and cemeteries were used by insurgents in Fallujah as battlegrounds from which to attack Iraqi and coalition forces, contrary to international law rules. At a press briefing Friday, Army Brig. Gen. David Rodriguez cited evidence [read more]

11:12 EDT

[JURIST] In Monday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC has released a final rule relating to the registration of hedge fund advisors with the agency by February 1. Critics charge that the SEC does not have the legal authority to regulate hedge funds. However, the SEC responds that they [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] In a per curiam decision handed down Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the City of San Diego's decision to terminate a police officer who made and sold sexually explicit videotapes of himself in uniform did not violate the officer's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights to freedom [read more]

10:12 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Monday refused to hear an appeal in a challenge to the government's strategy in holding military commissions for detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Lawyers for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's former driver, had asked the Court to expedite the appeal, but the Court refused to [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey's parliament has approved another law designed to pave the way for talks on Turkey's membership in the European Union. The new criminal procedure bill, which will take effect on April 1, 2005, is the second leg of a three-part criminal reform initiative, the first part of which was [read more]

09:12 EDT

[JURIST] In his first public reaction to Friday's Supreme Court decision (reported here on JURIST's Paper Chase), outgoing Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said Monday that he will honor the Court's call for a repeat presidential runoff election. Kuchma also said Monday that he will continue to work for constitutional changes [read more]

07:12 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Monday, December 6.The US Supreme Court will hear 10 AM ET oral arguments in Wilkinson v. Dotson (case summary from Duke Law School), where the court will decide whether a prisoner can bring a [read more]

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