Legal news from Friday, June 10, 2005
19:06 EDT

[JURIST] GOP House Judiciary Committee [official website] Chairman James Sensenbrenner abruptly adjourned a Committee hearing on the Patriot Act Friday, leaving Democrats objecting into dead air after their microphones had been turned off. The hearing [agenda] had been called at the request of Democrats, who had also invited the witnesses, [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] In Friday's report on law in the states, Circuit Judge P. Kevin Davey of Florida's 11th Judicial District [official website] today dismissed a lawsuit filed by five of Florida's larger school boards over changes in the way the state's education budget is divided. The lawsuit was originally filed by [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo [official profile] has said the the Khartoum government in Sudan has no choice but cooperate with the recently opened investigation [JURIST report] by the International Criminal Court [official website] into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Lahore High Court [official website] in Pakistan released 12 men Friday with ties to a highly publicized gang-rape, including six men who were convicted of rape and 6 members of the village council. The case centers around Mukhtar Mai [advocacy website; BBC profile] who was gang-raped in 2002, [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Illinois pharmacist Luke Vander Bleek has filed suit to oppose a state order that the emergency contraceptive "morning-after pill" be made available immediately. Vander Bleek, a Roman Catholic who owns two pharmacies, claims that the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act [text] that allows health care providers to [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Federal Trade Commission voted 4-0 Friday [FTC agreement, case history] to settle an anti-competitive practices complaint [Chevron press release] against Chevron [press release], allowing it to to acquire the Unocol [corporate website] energy company for $18 billion. The FTC complaint centered on the rights of Unocal to [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Italian referendum [JURIST report] scheduled for June 12-13 on whether to ease the country's restrictive laws concerning fertility treatment and stem cell research and to redefine the legal language that defines the beginning of life at conception seems likely to fail if the latest polls are correct. With [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Uganda's Court of Appeals [official website] Friday dismissed an appeal by death row inmates to ban capital punishment in the country but did find that laws mandating the death penalty for certain crimes are unconstitutional and require Parliamentary amendment. In a unanimous decision, Justice Galdino Okello [official profile] said [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Rwandan officials announced Friday they will not pursue criminal charges against fugitive Hutu rebels that were aged 14 or younger at the time of Rwanda's 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder]. Children as young as 10 years old took part in the slaughter of about 800,000 Tutsis [Wikipedia overview] and moderate [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] Bosnian Serb President Dragan Cavic [official profile] Friday denounced the brutal killing of six Bosnian Muslim youths by Serb paramilitaries recorded on video in Srebrenica in 1995 [JURIST report] and shown on Serbian television after being introduced in evidence last week at the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of three federal judges Thursday reaffirmed an earlier decision to reject a legal challenge to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan [official TX redistricting website], concluding the plan was consistent with federal law and the Constitution. In 2004, the US District Court for the Eastern District of [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] A father and son who were arrested in Lodi, California [JURIST report] on charges of lying to the FBI about attending an al-Qaida terrorist training camp, are challenging the government for releasing 2 significantly different affidavits to the media and to the court. The details in the first affidavit [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) [official website] Friday denounced [press release] the deportation of four Uzbek men from Kyrgyzstan and appealed to the Kyrgyz government to cease further deportation of asylum seekers until procedures determine if they are refugees according to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951 [PDF text]. [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Speaking in San Francisco Thursday, ACLU [advocacy website] national executive director Anthony Romero criticized parts of the Patriot Act and urged judicial review and public scrutiny of any investigations into alleged terrorism. Romero, who was responding in part to a pitch for renewal made yesterday by President Bush [JURIST [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer for Saddam Hussein said in a BBC interview [RealPlayer audio] broadcast Friday that his legal team had not yet received any list of formal charges, despite the Iraqi government's statement that the former Iraqi president's Saddam Hussein's trial could begin within months [JURIST report]. Issam Ghazzawi, a [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate confirmed Judges David McKeague [official website] and Richard Griffin [official website] to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Thursday by 96-0 [roll call] and 95-0 [roll call] votes, respectively. The confirmations came the same day Senators approved former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor's [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Senior Vice President at Berkshire Hathaway [corporate website] subsidiary General Re [corporate website] Richard Napier pleaded guilty Friday to helping international insurance giant AIG [corporate website] misstate its finances. Both Napier and former General Re executive John Houldsworth, who pleaded guilty Thursday [JURIST report] to the same charge, worked [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Washington-based monitoring group Human Rights First [advocacy website] has released a new report [PDF text; HRF factsheet] detailing a significant rise in violent hate crimes against Jews, Muslims, and immigrants in Europe. In France, anti-Semitic hate crimes rose 63% from 2003 to 2004. In Britain, violent anti-Semitic assaults [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The leading Sunni Muslim political grouping in Iraq rejected the Shiite-led Iraqi government's offer of an additional 13 seats on the country's constitutional committee Friday, sticking to its demand for 25 seats [JURIST report] and threatening to boycott negotiations on the charter if their demands are not met. Prime [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Financial giant Citigroup [corporate website] said Friday that it will pay $2 billion [press release] to settle a class-action lawsuit over its role in helping to engineer a massive accounting fraud at Enron [JURIST news archive]. The settlement will distribute payments to Enron investors who bought stock in the [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] In an apparent dig at the US, a veteran Spanish anti-terror judge emphasized the necessity of international cooperation, law and reason in the pursuit of terrorism Thursday in a special UN-sponsored meeting in New York [RealPlayer video]. Baltasar Garzon [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], an investigating judge for Spain's [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Nevada death row inmate Robert McConnell [advocacy profile] invoked an 11th-hour appeal Thursday night to avoid a scheduled execution at Nevada State Prison [official website], saying he didn't want to die. The former car salesman was sentenced to death for murdering his ex-girlfriend's fiance and told reporters he should [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A group of US navy veterans who survived a surprise attack by Israeli forces [US DOD photos] against their vessel during the Six Day War [Wikipedia entry] in 1967 are seeking a Pentagon investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes. Members of the USS Liberty Veterans Association [official website] claim [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a report [PDF] on the FBI's handling of intelligence related to the September 11 attacks released Thursday, US Department of Justice Inspector General Glenn Fine [official website] concluded that the FBI missed several opportunities to detect and prevent the terror strikes. In particular, the FBI failed to aggressively [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] Head of Bolivia's Supreme Court Eduardo Rodriguez was sworn in as president of the country late Thursday after the Bolivian Congress accepted the second resignation [JURIST report] of President Carlos Mesa [BBC profile]. Bolivia's third president in less than two years, Rodriguez accepted the position only after the Speakers [read more]

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