Legal news from Tuesday, February 21, 2006
21:02 EDT

[JURIST] The New York State Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] 5-2 Tuesday that an illegal immigrant's status as an undocumented worker does not preclude his ability to recover lost earnings. Illegal immigrant Gorgonio Balbuena was injured at his workplace in 2000, and he sued his employer for [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has said that the state of California has decided to postpone indefinitely the execution of condemned killer Michael Morales [NCADP profile], initially delayed late Monday after two anesthesiologists refused to take part [JURIST report]. Morales' death warrant had to be exercised by [read more]

20:02 EDT

[JURIST] In Tuesday's environmental news, the US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments in three cases that challenge the limits of the Clean Water Act (CWA) [text]. The court heard consolidated arguments in Rapanos v. United States and Carabell v. US Army Corps of Engineers [Duke Law backgrounder; merit [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge James Spencer Tuesday denied a US Department of Justice [official website] request to hold additional hearings [JURIST report] on the impact an impending shutdown of the BlackBerry [product website] wireless email network could have on government agency operations. A lawyer for plaintiff company NTP Inc. said [read more]

19:02 EDT

[JURIST] A lawyer representing Zacarias Moussaoui [JURIST news archive] said Tuesday he would seek to compel the testimony of US Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA) [official website], recently subpoenaed [CNN report] by the defense as a witness to the extent of the government's knowledge of the identities of 9/11 hijackers before [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Oregon Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday upheld [opinion text] a controversial property rights compensation law, reversing a circuit court decision and declaring the law constitutional. The law, known as Measure 37 [text; official backgrounder], requires the government to either provide compensation to landowners for reductions of property [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has said [press release] he will veto House Bill 1318 [text], a bill that would require voters to provide identification at the polls in order to vote. Noting that voter turnout in elections is currently dropping, he said the bill "places an unnecessary new burden [read more]

15:02 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Court of Appeals [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn [diocesan website] could use the statute of limitations as a defense in two sexual abuse cases. In one case the plaintiff argued that he suffered abuse from 1963 to 1970 [read more]

14:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Serbian government on Tuesday denied earlier reports that Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] had been arrested [JURIST report] and would be turned over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website]. Srdjan Djuric, the head of the [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in four cases Tuesday. In Cunningham v. California, the Court will consider whether California's determinate sentencing law is invalid because judges are able to impose increased sentences based on their own findings of fact rather than those of the jury. In Global Crossing [read more]

13:02 EDT

[JURIST] Three Ohio men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for planning terrorist attacks on US military overseas [press release], according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. The men were recruited by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile], who leads al Qaeda in Iraq, and were involved in recruiting other [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] Reuters is reporting that top Bosnian Serb war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile] has been arrested, according to Serbian news sources. Mladic's arrest has not been officially confirmed. The former general has been charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official [read more]

12:02 EDT

[JURIST] The Australian judicial inquiry [Cole Commission website] looking into allegations that leading Australian wheat exporter Australian Wheat Board (AWB) [corporate website] provided over $200 million in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's former regime [JURIST report] as part of the now-defunct UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive] has expanded its scope [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] The UK High Court [UK Court Service website] on Tuesday rejected a bid by three UK bankers to halt their extradition to the US to face fraud charges in connection with the Enron [JURIST news archive] scandal. The British government ordered the extradition of David Bermingham, Giles Darby and [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] British historian David Irving [BBC profile, personal website] has said he will appeal the three-year sentence he received after pleading guilty [JURIST report] Monday to charges of denying the Holocaust [JURIST report]. Irving was charged in connection to two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989, in which he [read more]

11:02 EDT

[JURIST] Minority voters in the United States still face unfair poll tactics and barriers that disenfranchise them, according to a major study [PDF; executive summary] released Tuesday by the National Commission on the Voting Rights Act [official website], a project of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law [advocacy [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] issued two decisions Tuesday, including a ruling in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao do Vegetal [Duke Law backgrounder], 04-1084, in which the Court held that a church congregation could use hallucinogenic tea as part of a religious ceremony [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Liberian and UN officials on Monday inaugurated a Truth and Reconciliation Commission [UN Mission in Liberia news release, PDF] to investigate human rights abuses during the country's war-torn rule from 1979-2003. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [BBC profile] presided over the swearing-in of the nine commission members, and she [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan [JURIST news archive] on Tuesday sentenced to death eleven members of Jund Allah, an Islam group linked to al Qaeda [JURIST news archive], after they were convicted of killing ten people in an attack on a convoy [BBC report] escorting Pakistani Lieutenant General Ahsan [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] Jacques Bernard, head of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council [official website], has fled the country in fear of his life two weeks after heavily disputed elections [JURIST report] returned President Rene Preval [Wikipedia profile] to office. Preval opponents threatened Bernard's life and burned down and looted his farmhouse over the [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] MSNBC is reporting that the US Supreme Court [official website] has agreed to consider a case concerning the constitutionality of the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act [PDF text].The Bush administration in September appealed [JURIST report] to the Supreme Court a ruling [PDF text; JURIST report] from the US [read more]

10:02 EDT

[JURIST] New York Gov. George Pataki and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich [official websites] have threatened to take legal steps to block an Arab company's takeover of operations in several major US ports. The governors cite security concerns associated with the acquisition that will leave Dubai Ports World [corporate website] in [read more]

09:02 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, Sudan has issued a formal protest to the UN Envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk over his lobbying for a UN peacekeeping force in the Darfur region [JURIST news archive], and has rejected the growing call for the African Union to hand over control of the [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The execution of Michael Angelo Morales [NCADP profile], scheduled to take place just after midnight Tuesday morning, was delayed after the two anesthesiologists on hand to ensure that Morales would not suffer excessive pain during the process refused to participate due to ethical concerns. Morales, convicted in 1983 of [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art [official website] is set to sign an agreement with the Italian Culture Ministry [official website] in Rome Tuesday under which the museum will return several pieces of looted Hellenistic art in exchange for Italy loaning it other works of "equal beauty and [read more]

08:02 EDT

[JURIST] The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art [official website] is set to sign an agreement with the Italian Culture Ministry [official website] in Rome Tuesday under which the museum will return several pieces of looted Hellenistic art in exchange for Italy loaning it other works of "equal beauty and [read more]

07:02 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers asked the UK law lords on Monday to allow anti-war activists convicted on trespassing charges related to protests of the Iraq war to argue in their defense that the war was illegal. Fourteen Greenpeace protesters [profiles] were convicted of aggravated trespass [Greenpeace press release] in 2004 for attempting [read more]

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