Legal news from Thursday, September 29, 2005
20:09 EDT

[JURIST] California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Thursday followed through on his promise to veto [JURIST report] the gay marriage bill [AB 849 text] passed by the California Assembly [JURIST report] earlier this month. In a veto statement [PDF] issued late Thursday in Sacramento Schwarzenegger said he supports the current rights and [read more]

20:09 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been released from federal prison [JURIST report] after agreeing to testify to a grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's identity, according to legal sources. Her time at the Alexandria Detention Facility [official website] in Virginia [read more]

20:09 EDT

[JURIST] Trial preparations commenced Thursday in federal court in Houston for the first federal civil trial involving the Merck-manufactured Vioxx [JURIST news archive] painkiller. Earlier this month, New Orleans-based US District Judge Eldon Fallon, charged with managing the hundreds of federal civil suits involving the withdrawn prescription drug, decided to [read more]

19:09 EDT

[JURIST] The White House said Thursday that President Bush will probably wait until next week to announce his next nominee to the US Supreme Court. Bush was earlier expected [JURIST report] to announce his nominee to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [Wikipedia profile] almost immediately after the Senate confirmed [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] ruled [judgment] unanimously Thursday that provincial governments can pass laws to recover health care costs incurred in taking care of people sickened by smoking. Canadian tobacco companies had challenged the constitutionality of the 1998 Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act [read more]

18:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Thursday approved by 229-193 legislation that would overhaul the 1973 Endangered Species Act [official website]. Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) [official website] steered the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA) [PDF summary] through the House Resources Committee last week [JURIST report]. If [read more]

16:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's states brief, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in separate decisions today that a state law [decision text] banning live sex shows and a local ordinance [decision text] that requires nude dancers to stay four feet away from customers both violate the state constitution [text] guarantee of free [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] The New Orleans police department Thursday launched an investigation into police officers' alleged participation in looting that occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. News reports filed in the wake of the hurricane placed some officers at the scene of some of the heaviest looting in [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Canadian holding company Ravelston Corp. will plead not guilty to US fraud charges alleging the company participated in a scheme to swindle more than $32 million from US-based Hollinger International [corporate website]. Ravelston, the holding company of former Hollinger CEO Conrad Black [CBC profile], and other former Hollinger executives [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Federal prosecutors in Miami have asked the full US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] to reconsider a decision [JURIST report; PDF opinion] by a three judge panel to throw out the convictions of five accused Cuban spies [advocacy website] for spying for Cuban leader Fidel [read more]

15:09 EDT

[JURIST] Following this morning's confirmation vote [JURIST report] in the US Senate, John Roberts [JURIST news archive] has been sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States at a ceremony at the White House. Justice John Paul Stevens administered the oath of office. CBS News has more.5:39 PM ET [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] The Japanese government Thursday proposed providing relief for asbestos victims in a plan that will have companies involved in asbestos-related activities picking up most of the cost. The bill mandates compensation for workers handling asbestos [JURIST news archive], their families and residents near businesses who have suffered from asbestos-induced [read more]

14:09 EDT

[JURIST] Belgium has issued an international arrest warrant for Hissene Habre [Wikipedia profile], the former leader of Chad [CIA backgrounder], lawyers said Thursday. Habre, rumored to be in exile in Senegal, is wanted for crimes against humanity that were allegedly committed during his 1982-90 rule of the African country. Under [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Algerians voted Thursday in a referendum [AP key points; BBC backgrounder] that seeks to bring peace to Algeria after a 13-year-long civil war. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika [official profile in French] says the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation seeks to close the wounds of the battle between Islamic [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Bayou Group hedge fund founder Samuel Israel, III and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Marino on Thursday pleaded guilty to fraud charges for their roles in a scandal that has led to the collapse of the fund [JURIST report] and wiped out investors' money. Both Israel and Marino pleaded guilty [read more]

13:09 EDT

[JURIST] Lawrence A. Franklin [Wikipedia profile], an analyst for the US Department of Defense, plans to plead guilty to charges [JURIST report] that he provided classified information to an Israeli official and a pro-Israeli lobbying group, according to the US District Court clerk's office in Alexandria, VA. Franklin's indictment [PDF [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] In the first case of a transfer from a UN tribunal [ICTY press release] to a Balkan country, Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Stankovic [UN indictment, PDF] has been moved from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] in The Hague to be tried in [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein has ordered the release of photographs and videotapes of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive], despite government arguments that the images could damage America's image in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ruling comes in an ACLU lawsuit [ACLU case backgrounder] [read more]

12:09 EDT

[JURIST] The defense lawyer for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] has filed a motion petitioning the Iraqi High Criminal Court, previously called the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website], to delay the first of Hussein's several expected trials set to begin on October 19 [JURIST report]. Khalil Dulaimi said he only [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate has approved the nomination of Judge John Roberts [JURIST news archive] to serve as the 17th Chief Justice of the United States by a vote of 78-22 [roll call vote]. Roberts is expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the White House later today.Previously [read more]

11:09 EDT

[JURIST] The United Nations Wednesday defended its decision approving Tunisia to host a UN summit on Internet access in the developing world, despite protests that the country is unfit due to repeated allegations of press and civil society abuses. The Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG) [official website] issued a report [PDF [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle [official website] has said that he will veto a ban on human cloning [PDF bill text] approved by the state senate Wednesday by a margin of 21-12. The ban, previously approved by the Wisconsin Assembly [JURIST report] in June, would prohibit reproductive cloning and Doyle [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] The European Union [official website; JURIST news archive] will hold a meeting Sunday to discuss Austria's objections to beginning negotiations with Turkey [JURIST news archive] on the country's proposed membership to the EU [EU enlargement backgrounder]. All 25 of the EU nations must agree on a negotiating mandate before [read more]

10:09 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's international brief, the current president of the UN Security Council [official website], Philippine Ambassador Lauro Baja [official profile] condemned the renewed violence in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive] of Sudan [government website], and warned that the Security Council was seriously concerned by the continued violations of [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] A Tokyo court dismissed a lawsuit against Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi [official website, English version] Thursday that claimed his visits to a Shinto war shrine violated Japan's constitutional separation of religion and state. The court denied the plaintiffs' requests for 3.9 million yen ($34,433) in compensation and ruled [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [Wikipedia profile] Wednesday strongly criticized a ruling from a US immigration judge [JURIST report] earlier this week that Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] would not be handed over to Venezuela or Cuba for prosecution on alleged terrorist acts because he [read more]

09:09 EDT

[JURIST] President Bush granted pardons [JURIST backgrounder; Wikipedia backgrounder] to 14 people Wednesday, according to a list released by the US Justice Department [official website; DOJ Pardon Attorney website]. Among those pardoned was a mineworker union member who was convicted for bombing a West Virginia coal mine in 1990 following [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profile] has said the US is still seeking to improve the extradition [Wikipedia backgrounder] of terror suspects from European governments. Mueller on Wednesday said more efficient measures were needed to increase the intelligence value of suspects and to bring justice to the victims of [read more]

08:09 EDT

[JURIST] International representatives and Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki [official profile] have called for a halt to violence that continued to escalate among rival groups over constitutional reforms [JURIST report] to be voted on in November [JURIST report]. A statement signed by 26 countries, including the US, Japan, Canada and the [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] More than 1,100 political prisoners continue to be held by the military government in Myanmar [Wikipedia backgrounder], despite pledges by the government to release dissidents as part of democratic reforms, the UN Special Rapporteur to Myanmar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro [official website] reported Wednesday to the UN General Assembly [official [read more]

07:09 EDT

[JURIST] US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] said Wednesday he opposed legislation [JURIST report] that would withhold US dues of more than $130 million until the UN adopted US-backed reforms. Bolton appeared before the US House International Relations Committee [official website], his first congressional appearance since his [read more]

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