Legal news from Thursday, June 23, 2005
20:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court's Thursday ruling in Kelo v. New London [text] allowing local governments to expropriate private property for development [JURIST report] has sparked intense negative reaction from defenders of private property rights, with a number hailing this as a "dark day for American homeowners". David Keene, chairman [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] Mexico's House [official website in Spanish] voted for an constiutional amendment Thursday that expunges the death penalty language from the country's present constitution [document in Spanish] by a margin of 412-0. The amendment calls for the current language to be replaced with verbiage that prohibits legal executions, mutilations, and [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] The California Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that the membership configuration of the California Coastal Commission's [official website] does not violate the separation of powers clause of the state's constitution. Four of the commissioners are appointed by the governor while the remaining eight are selected by [read more]

19:06 EDT

[JURIST] US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] told the Senate Armed Services Committee [official website] in a heated hearing [witness list] on Iraq Thursday that a delay in Iraq's adoption of a constitution would be "an enormous disservice" while "coalition people are being killed. Iraqis are being killed." Rumsfeld [read more]

18:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's corporations and securities law news, Morgan Stanley [corporate website] has settled with stumbling Italian dairy giant Parmalat [corporate website]. Parmalat sued Morgan Stanley in February to recoup money Parmalat gave to Morgan Stanley shortly before the food maker's bankruptcy. Parmalat's press release is available. Reuters has more. [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a 4-3 decision that forgetting to register for Megan's Law [ CA Attorney General website] because of stress is an insufficient excuse. The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Court of Appeals, ruling that forgetting is only [read more]

17:06 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, in an immense demonstration of cooperation, over 200 African and international NGOs have made a collective appeal to the United Nations and the African Union [official website] to force Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [Wikipedia profile] and the Zimbabwean government [official website] to cease "Operation Restore [read more]

16:06 EDT

[JURIST] White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said [press briefing transcript] Thurday that President Bush was willing to consult to a degree with Senate Democrats if a vacancy in the Supreme Court should occur. With widespread speculation of at least one opening on the court after this term, other White [read more]

15:06 EDT

[JURIST] City officials in Jerusalem said Thursday that they will ban the annual gay pride parade planned for the city next week to prevent offending Jerusalem's conservative religious communities. Parade organizers sought an intervention from the Israeli Supreme Court [official website] claiming that the ban ammounted to a violation of [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The national prosecutor's office in the Netherlands announced Thursday that three people have been arrested as suspected members of a terrorist organization. The two women and one man, all in their early 20s, are alleged members of Hofstadgroep, the group thought to be responsible for the shocking murder last [read more]

14:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Kyrgyz prosecutor general's office said Thursday that Kyrgyzstan plans to deport a group of 29 Uzbek asylum seekers despite UN denunciation [JURIST report; UN press release] of four earlier deportations over the possibility that the returned individuals may face torture in Uzbekistan. A top Kyrgyz prosecutor referred to [read more]

13:06 EDT

[JURIST] A group of 50 Sunni Muslim religious, political, and tribal leaders Thursday endorsed a list of 15 men to sit on a special committee to help draft Iraq's new constitution [JURIST news archive]. The announcement ends any debate over whether improperly endorsed appointments [JURIST report] should be deemed invalid. [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Food and Drug Administration [official website] has warned Texas Governor Rick Perry [official website] that a law he signed requiring the Texas State Board of Pharmacy [official website] to provide information about Canadian pharmacies may violate federal law [FDA letter to Perry]. The agency would inspect up [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Military interrogators at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] had access to detainees' medical records until early 2003 and possibly later, and exploited information from the records during questioning, according to a new article in the New England Journal of Medicine [PDF full text]. The authors, Gregg Bloche of Georgetown University [read more]

12:06 EDT

[JURIST] Following the March Supreme Court ruling [JURIST report] that juveniles may not be sentenced to death, Texas Governor Rick Perry [official website] has commuted the sentences [official press release] of 28 offenders to life in prison. They will be eligible for parole after 40 years. Twelve other US states [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmad Chalabi [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] said on Thursday that the trial of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] will begin within 90 days, before the end of September 2005. The government had previously stated that they wanted the trial to begin before the constitutional [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] ABC News is reporting that ex-KKK member Edgar Ray Killen [JURIST news archive], now 80, has been sentenced to the maximum 60 years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers. Killen was found to have organized a group to kidnap, assault, [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] Following the Supreme Court's early June decision that Congress can criminalize the use of marijuana with a doctor's permission [JURIST report], federal agents executed search warrants and made arrests on Wednesday in raids on medical marijuana providers in northern California. Almost 25 different locations were searched, and in Sacramento [read more]

11:06 EDT

[JURIST] The Tokyo High Court [official site in English] overturned a 2001 Tokyo District Court ruling on Thursday that awarded compensation to the family of a Chinese man who was forcibly brought to Japan as a laborer during World War II. The lower court originally ordered compensation not for labor [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday in Kelo v. New London [Duke Law backgrounder] that a local government authority can expropriate private property - land, homes and businesses - for private redevelopment that confers economic benefits on the community such as more jobs and tax revenue so long [read more]

10:06 EDT

[JURIST] US lawmakers Wednesday called on the White House to encourage expansion of human rights and religious freedoms in Vietnam as Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai [Wikipedia profile] continued his landmark visit to the US, the first by a Vietnamese head of government since the end of the Vietnam [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Senate on Wednesday approved a bill which would provide for over-the-counter sales of emergency contraceptives. The current law requires a physician's visit, which State Sen. Nicholas Spano (R-Westchester) [official site], the bill's sponsor, said involves "frequent difficulties". Similar measures had passed New York's Assembly three years [read more]

09:06 EDT

[JURIST] A report [text, PDF] released Wednesday by the Democratic National Committee [party website] found problems during the voting process in Ohio during the November 2004 election, but also found no evidence of fraud. A large number of complaints were made about long lines, intimidation, and misfunctioning machines; these prompted [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Manfred Nowak [ICJ profile], the UN special investigator on torture, complained Thursday that the US was stalling on his request to visit detainees at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive]. A US spokeswoman denied any delay, however, and put the lack of response to the mid-April request down to the request [read more]

08:06 EDT

[JURIST] Iran's official news agency reported on Thursday that at least 26 people, including a military figure, have been arrested for suspected election violations commited during last week's first round of presidential voting. The close voting required a partial recount [JURIST report] and raised immediate allegations of fraud [JURIST report], [read more]

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