Legal news from Wednesday, February 2, 2005
21:02 EDT

[JURIST] Little more than two weeks after telling the Washington Post that he would not press the Senate to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, President Bush has publicly reversed course in tonight's State of the Union Address:Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, [read more]

21:02 EDT

[JURIST] The plaintiffs in a major lawsuit against former directors of WorldCom [Wikipedia profile] announced Wednesday that a proposed settlement under which the directors would have personally repaid company investors $18 million of a $54 million total has broken down. The collapse resulted from US District Judge Denise Cote's ruling [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives passed a resolution [THOMAS text] Wednesday urging the federal government to appeal a recent 3rd Circuit opinion [PDF] that struck down a law that prohibited colleges and universities to limit on-campus military recruiting because of its discrimination against homosexuals. The law, commonly known as [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] Senator John McCain [official Senate website] announced Wednesday that he was launching a new initiative to tighten campaign finance laws [press release] to curb big interest-group donations to congressional and presidential campaigns. McCain appears to have gained an ally in Senator Trent Lott [official Senate website], chairman of the [read more]

16:02 EDT

[JURIST] Malaysian officials extended Malaysia's amnesty for illegal immigrants [JURIST report] indefinitely Wednesday based on a request from Indonesia, according to Home Minister Azmi Khalid. Indonesia, whose citizens make up a majority of illegal immigrants in Malaysia, asked that the amnesty be extended in light of the recent tsunami disaster [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Members of the Idaho Senate [official website] voted against a proposal to ban same-sex marriages [text] Wednesday for the second consecutive year. The defeated measure would have amended the Idaho Constitution [text] to read: SECTION 28. MARRIAGE. Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled Wednesday that the Central Intelligence Agency [official website] should comply with Freedom of Information Act [text] requests made by the American Civil Liberties Union [advocacy website] and turn over its records concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq. The CIA had argued that [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, Putnam Investments [corporate website], the eighth-largest US mutual fund company, may have to increase the restitution it had agreed to pay investors as part of the massive securities fraud at the company. As part of an agreement with the SEC [official website] [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] A bill seeking to impose stricter standards on federal courts before they can issue subpoenas to reporters was introduced in the US House Wednesday. According to Congressman Mike Pence [official profile, press release on new bill], the Free Flow of Information Act seeks to make mandatory Justice Department guidelines [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Stock Exchange [market website] released a previously confidential report Wednesday that provides details of former Chairman Richard Grasso's compensation package. New York Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos ruled last week [opinion, PDF] that the so-called Webb report was not subject to attorney-client privilege, and the NYSE [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Kansas House of Representatives [official website] has given its preliminary approval to a proposed constitutional amendment [text, PDF] that would ban same-sex marriage and would prohibit the state from allowing civil unions or granting benefits normally associated with marriage to same-sex couples, by a vote of 89-28. A [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] A European Union [official website] spokesperson said Wednesday that the EU supports the UN proposal [UN Commission of Inquiry on Darfur report, PDF; JURIST report] to try those suspected of committing war crimes in Darfur at the International Criminal Court [official website]. Listen to recorded audio of EU spokesperson [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Federal appeals judge Michael Chertoff [JURIST report] told a Senate committee Wednesday that if he were confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security [official website] he would balance "the imperatives of security with the preservation of liberty and privacy." Testifying before the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Outgoing US Attorney General John Ashcroft [official profile, JURIST Newsmakers archive] took some parting shots Tuesday at a recent Supreme Court sentencing ruling and at critics opposed to renewal of the Patriot Act. Addressing a staunchly conservative crowd at Washington's Heritage Foundation [public policy website], Ashcroft argued that the [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The American Bar Association has called on President Bush to launch an independent investigation into "hundreds of alleged incidents of torture, even including murder, practiced against Iraqi civilians in U.S. military custody." In a letter to the President Tuesday, the lawyers' group expressed alarm at the reports, noting that [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] A second guard charged in the torture of inmates at Abu Ghraib [JURIST Hot Topic archive] pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges and was sentenced to prison time. Specialist Roman Krol, a Russian-born US citizen serving as an interrogator for the US Army, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and maltreating detainees [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi interim President Ghazi al-Yawer [BBC profile] has said that tens of thousands of would-be voters were unable to vote in the Iraqi elections [JURIST hot topic] because several polling places, including those in Baghdad, Basra and Najaf ran out of ballots. Abdul-Hussein al-Hendawi, head of the Independent Electoral [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Bosnian officials have asked the US government to hand over six men detained at Guantanamo Bay after families of the men staged a protest in Sarajevo [BBC News report]. The six, all Algerians, were arrested in October 2001 on suspicion of plotting an attack on the US embassy in [read more]

06:02 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Wednesday, Feb. 2.President Bush will deliver his 2005 State of the Union address [White House website] tonight at 9 PM ET, followed by a response by Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry [read more]

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