Legal news from Monday, June 20, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] A panel of the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [opinion] Monday that portion of a California law giving consumers the right to block banks from selling their personal information to other institutions is preempted by federal law. The court considered whether the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The controversial confirmation of UN ambassador nominee John Bolton. [JURIST news archive] stalled in the Senate again late Monday after Republicans failed, in a 54-38 vote, to gain the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and commence a roll call. Earlier today, President Bush called on Senators [JURIST report] [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's corporations and securities law news, General Electric Company [corporate website] has been subpoenaed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. In a press release issued Monday, GE said that the subpoena is part of an on-going government probe into the reinsurance and [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] In a closed door meeting Monday, US District Judge Gladys Kessler [profile] urged the government and tobacco company executives to settle the multibillion dollar racketeering lawsuit filed by the Justice Department 5 years ago. In the suit, the government alleges that tobacco manufactures violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the Supreme Court of New Jersey [official website] ordered its criminal practice committee to assess whether financial records should be given more protection as a matter of public policy. In upholding the conviction of a woman whose bank records were subpoenaed and shown to a [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Monday's international brief, Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere [Wikipedia profile] has announced that Kenya [government website] would actively be seeking to obtain one of the two permanent regional seats for Africa under the current proposed reform plans [JURIST report] for the UN Security Council [official website]. [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Adelphia Communications Corp. [corporate website] founder John Rigas has been sentenced to 15 years for bank fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy.5:02 PM ET - AP is reporting that former Adelphia chief financial officer Timothy Rigas has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bloomberg has more. [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] Having last week reached a deal [JURIST report] on Sunni representation on the parliamentary committee to draft the Iraqi constitution [JURIST news archive], Iraqi politicians are now debating over who exactly should be named to the new seats. Sunni leaders have submitted a list of 15 candidates for the [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] A new report [PDF] released by the World Health Organization [official website] on Monday urges countries to pass laws protecting the mentally ill, a group categorized by a WHO press release as "among the most vulnerable and the least legally protected". The report says almost a quarter of all [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush on Monday demanded a vote in the Senate on his nomination of John Bolton [JURIST report] as the US Ambassador to the United Nations, and White House officials would not rule out the possibility of a recess appointment [CRS backgrounder, PDF] to sidestep the Senate if necesary. [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Presbyterian Church (USA) [official website] has formally adopted 11 changes [press release, summary of amendments] to its constitution in an effort to prevent and deal more harshly with sexual abuse by members of the clergy. The changes, to be incorporated into the church's Book of Order [PDF text] [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] The British Department of Health [official web site] Monday began an 11-week program [official site] to survey the public on a proposed smoking ban [BBC backgrounder] that would prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars that serve food, and enclosed public places in England. The DoH is asking citizens what exemptions [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] Prosecutors on Monday summoned former Romanian President Ion Iliescu [Wikipedia profile] to testify in a criminal investigation into deadly riots by coal miners [Wikipedia backgrounder] in the 1990s. Iliescu refused to appear personally and instead sent his lawyers, who asked for a continuance to review evidence. No charges have [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] An Afghan government official said Monday that Afghan security forces have arrested three young Pakistani men on charges of planning to assassinate US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad [Wikipedia profile]. The men were arrested Saturday in the province of Laghman, a day before a scheduled trip by Khalilzad to the area. [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court Monday declined to consider whether hundreds of criminals sentenced prior to US v. Booker [JURIST report; opinion] - a landmark ruling on federal sentencing guidelines - should receive reduced prison sentences, despite Justice Department urging that the dispute be heard. AP has more. The Court [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] In two related cases, the US Supreme Court ruled Monday that states are permitted to impose registration fees on trucks and other commercial vehicles that travel at least part of the time on a state's roadways. Read the Court's opinion [PDF text] in American Trucking v. Michigan Public Service [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] In an article [excerpt] published Monday in GQ magazine, young US soldiers given the job of guarding former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein say they found him to be friendly, talkative, and a "clean freak." Three soldiers from the Pennsylvania National Guard [official website] provided details such as what snacks [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A partial recount of votes in last Friday's Iran presidential election was ordered by Iranian electoral authorities Monday after reformist candidates accused military organizations of rigging the first round of voting [JURIST report]. The close first election resulted in a run-off election planned for June 24 between former president, [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] A spokesman for South Africa's National Prosecution Authority [official website] announced Monday that former South African deputy president Jacob Zuma [ANC profile] will be charged with two counts of corruption. After one of Zuma's advisors, South African businessman Schabir Shaik [Wikipedia profile] was found guilty [JURIST report] on charges [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] Human rights watchdog group Amnesty International [advocacy website] released a new report Monday detailing and assailing the UK's detention of asylum seekers, which it said is "inappropriate, unnecessary, disproportionate and, therefore, unlawful" and has led to mental illness and even suicide attempts. The report concludes that in 2003 the [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled Monday in a 5-4 decision that public defenders had wrongfully failed to review records showing evidence of mental retardation and a troubled childhood in the case of Pennsylvania death row inmate Ronald Rompilla. In the second death row sentence overturned [JURIST report] in as [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The CEO of CardSystems Solutions Inc. [corporate website], the corporation responsible for a security breach [JURIST report] that may have left up to 40 million credit card owners vulnerable to credit card fraud and identity theft, said Monday that the data stolen was improperly kept and that the records [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Two reformist newspapers in Iran have been banned after publishing a letter from defeated opposition candidate Mehdi Karoubi claiming the first round of presidential elections was rigged [AFP report]. The Aftab Daily [official website, in Arabic] and the Eghbal Daily, the newspaper of the main reformist party, the Islamic [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Ten men have gone to trial so far in Sudan [JURIST news archive] on charges of rape and robbery in the troubled Darfur region [BBC backgrounder], according to the head of Sudan's special court [JURIST report], which began proceedings last Saturday. The Sudanese court was formed by the national [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Court of First Instance [official website] President Bo Vesterdorf is planning to move the Microsoft EU antitrust case [JURIST report] from the current panel headed by Judge Hubert Legal to a panel headed by himself. The proposed change comes after Judge Legal published an article in the French journal [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Former President Bill Clinton said in a Financial Times interview [transcript] published Monday that the US government should "close down or clean up" Guantanamo Bay prison [FT report]. On the weekend leading GOP Senator John McCain also pressed for change if not closure, urging the United States [NJ Star-Ledger [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] Medecins San Frontieres [NGO website] said Monday that the Sudanese government has dropped charges [MSF press release] against two aid workers accused of publishing false information in a report detailing widespread rape [PDF text] in the volatile Darfur region. The group received word Sunday that the charges were dropped [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] A federal court in Burlington, Vermont is expected to hear opening statements Monday in the first death-penalty case in the state since 1957. Vermont does not have a death penalty but Donald Fell was charged under a federal capital murder law after abducting one of his victims, Terry King, [read more]

07:06 EDT

[JURIST] With many predicting a retirement announcement from current Chief Justice William Rehnquist [CNN profile] when the US Supreme Court's current term ends June 27, advisors to President Bush are said to be concentrating on three possible replacements: Judge John Roberts of the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals [profile], [read more]

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