Legal news from Thursday, November 10, 2005
19:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] voted 49-42 late Thursday to block Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees from challenging their imprisonment in US federal courts. The legislation, proposed [JURIST report] by GOP Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website], conflicts with the 2004 US Supreme Court ruling in Rasul v. [read more]

19:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile], Anthony Kennedy [OYEZ profile] and Stephen Breyer [OYEZ profile] Thursday briefly debated the possibility of media cameras in the chambers of the US Supreme Court [official website] during an ABA symposium [event website]. Senators predicted [JURIST report] Wednesday that recently [read more]

18:11 EDT

[JURIST] The Ethiopian government on Thursday released 2,417 prisoners held without charge in connection with a violent confrontation with police that left 42 people dead last week. The riot occured during a protest against alleged ballot fraud said to have been orchestrated by the Coalition for Unity and Democracy [official [read more]

17:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice has submitted a body of proposed laws to Congress that would strengthen federal intellectual property enforcement, US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile] announced Thursday during remarks at an anti-piracy meeting [official text] in Washington, DC. Gonzales said that the Intellectual Property Protection Act [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Pentagon spokesperson has said that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] is authorized to override the new Department of Defense Directive [PDF text; JURIST report] released Tuesday requiring all interrogations of detainees to be conducted in a humane manner. The authority to override the directive comes [read more]

16:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana [official website] Jim Letten has announced that his office is conducting a criminal investigation into alleged corruption of individuals involved in the design, construction and maintenance of the flood barriers of the New Orleans levee system, which failed during Hurricane Katrina [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Representatives of the NAACP [advocacy website] and the ACLU Voting Rights Project [advocacy website] testified before the US House Judiciary Committee [official website] Wednesday as to how Congress should modify the Voting Rights Act [US Department of Justice backgrounder] when it comes up for renewal in 2007. The witnesses [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal grand jury has issued 31 new indictments against five former Enron [JURIST news archive] executives, five months after their original case ended in acquittal and mistrial [JURIST report]. Among those facing charges are Joseph Hirko, the former co-chief executive of Enron Broadband Services, and Rex Shelby, a [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against a Michigan law [PDF text] that banned retailers from selling or renting violent video games to minors. US District Judge George Steeh ruled Wednesday that the statute could not be enforced until a lawsuit filed by the Entertainment Software Association [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Kevin Martin [official profile], the new chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission [official website], is preparing to release a number of backlogged indecency fines in the coming weeks after months of inaction as agency officials work to speed up the investigation and penalty process. The Commission has been [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] The United States military has again denied several allegations [JURIST report] that forces used white phosphorus [CDC factsheet; GlobalSecurity.org backgrounder] against Iraqi civilians during a 2004 military assault on the insurgent-controlled city of Fallujah. The military did, however, confirm a report on Italian state television that coalition forces had [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] An Iraqi government spokesman said Thursday that the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] can appoint new defense lawyers in the cases of former dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and his aides if the current lawyers fail to appear for the next hearing. "Defence lawyers have said they will [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The United States has written the blueprints for a new constitution in Bosnia [government website; CIA backgrounder] that aims to create a more centrally governed parliamentary democracy, the Guardian reported Thursday. The text is the result of seven months of secret negotiations between US officials and Bosnian politicians and [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Pat Roberts (R-KS) [official website], has told Senate leaders that Congress should not push for a probe into the leak of classified information on secret prisons to the Washington Post until the Department of Justice finishes its own investigation [JURIST [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] As Australia's parliament begins debating tough new anti-terrorism laws [JURIST report], Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official profile] said Thursday that he is considering revoking the citizenship of Australians who are convicted of terrorism crimes. Howard and Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official profile] are looking into ways to deport [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] Turkey can ban the wearing of headscarves in public and private universities, the European Court of Human Rights [official website] ruled Thursday. In its judgment [text; press release], which is not subject to appeal, the court rejected Leyla Sahin's arguments that the ban unlawfully discriminated against her religious beliefs [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Several members of the US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] predicted in a hearing [agenda and testimony] Wednesday that a bill [text] to allow the televising of US Supreme Court proceedings will soon be passed by Congress. The bill would require that Supreme Court proceedings be broadcast unless a [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommitee on the Constitution [official website] approved a proposed constitutional amendment, the Marriage Protection Amendment [PDF text], in a 5-4 vote Wednesday. The amendment, which defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, will now go before the full judiciary committee [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [official website] has proposed legislation that would block suspected foreign terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] from using US courts to challenge their detentions. The amendment to the 2006 defense appropriations bill [bill summary] currently before the US Senate could be voted [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke [official profile] is taking the blame for a defeat [JURIST report] Wednesday in the UK House of Commons [official website] of a key provision of the British government's proposed Terrorism Bill [text] that would have authorized the detention of terror suspects without charge for [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Senate Democrats Wednesday launched their first concerted effort to challenge the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito [official profile; US News profile] to the US Supreme Court by requesting information regarding a 2002 case he participated in involving mutual fund company Vanguard [corporate website], with which he had a [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted two men on charges that they sought to smuggle three surface-to-air missiles into the US for use abroad. Chao Tung Wu and Yi Qing Chen were charged under a 2004 anti-terror law [text], marking the first time it was used, and face [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Department of Defense [official website] said Wednesday that it will not seek the death penalty in the cases of any of the five newly charged Guantanamo Bay detainees or the four previously charged, including David Hicks and Salim Ahmed Hamdan [charge sheets, PDF]. The Pentagon had previously [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] on Wednesday reaffirmed that the US meets international standards in its treatment of terror suspects, despite rising debate [JURIST report] over the issue. Rice told [transcript of remarks] an American Bar Association international law gathering [Rule of Law symposium] that the [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Wednesday granted Turkey [JURIST news archive] the sought-after "functioning market economy" status in its bid to join the EU, but it warned the government that a stronger stance on torture and human rights was needed. Winning market status for its economy is a [read more]

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