Legal news from Tuesday, March 27, 2007
20:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] Tuesday in the case of Credit Suisse Securities v. Billing [Duke Law case backgrounder; merit briefs], 05-1157, a case in which investors filed a class action lawsuit against underwriters and institutional investors for their alleged [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] The New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] voted Tuesday to reject proposed legislation [HB 607 text] which would have effectively ended the death penalty [JURIST news archive] in the state. Had it passed, the proposed law would have set the maximum penalty for capital crimes at life in [read more]

20:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Central District of California [official website] began jury selection Tuesday in the espionage trial of Chi Mak [CI Centre backgrounder], a Chinese-American engineer charged with conspiring to smuggle sensitive naval intelligence data to China [JURIST news archive]. The US government indicted [text, PDF] [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Iowa Senate [official website] on Tuesday passed SF427 [text], extending the state's civil rights protections to gay and lesbians. The controversial legislation would officially add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of groups protected from discrimination in Iowa. The bill now moves to the Iowa House [read more]

19:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) [advocacy website] Tuesday criticized the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) [official website] for its terrorist watchlist containing more than 6,000 names. A new LCCR report [text, PDF] entitled "The OFAC List: How [read more]

17:03 EDT

[JURIST] The late former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet [JURIST news archive; BBC profile] is under investigation for possibly ordering the murder of former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Montalva [EB profile] in 1982. Although Pinochet died of a heart attack [JURIST report] in December, an investigation is underway to determine whether [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday dismissed [press release] a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; ACLU case file] against former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] for authorizing torture and abuse of detainees by US personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. The suit asserted that Rumsfeld [read more]

16:03 EDT

[JURIST] Kosovan Prime Minister Agim Ceku [official website] Tuesday urged Serbs to accept a UN plan to have Kosovo govern itself as an autonomous, multi-ethnic society. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica [official website] responded that Kosovo "could never be independent" and calling the plan "an act of legal violence." The [read more]

14:03 EDT

[JURIST] Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Italy launched simultaneous raids on Tuesday in a massive anti-corruption investigation involving European public servants. Over 150 police officers took part in over 30 raids of homes, businesses and banking offices, as well as the European Commission and the European Parliament [official websites] in Brussels. [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] handed down decisions in two cases Tuesday, including Rockwell International v. US ex rel. Stone [Duke Law case backgrounder] where the Court held that individuals must be able to show that they are the "original source" of information concerning the [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] A French appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of French state railway company SNCF [corporate website] for the deportation of two Jewish men during World War II. An administrative court in Toulouse convicted [judgment, in French; JURIST report] SNCF last June. The lawsuit was brought by the family [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] FBI Director Robert Mueller [official profile] asserted Tuesday that the agency is able to properly use the surveillance powers granted it under the Patriot Act [JURIST news archive], telling senators at a US Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] hearing [materials and witness testimony] that a compliance program has been [read more]

13:03 EDT

[JURIST] An Illinois jury sided with Merck & Co. [corporate website] Tuesday in the latest Vioxx [FDA backgrounder; JURIST news archive] litigation, holding that the painkiller was not the cause of the 2003 death of 52-year-old Patty Schwaller. Schwaller's husband claimed that Vioxx contributed to his wife's fatal heart attack [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki [BBC profile] and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani [official website, in Arabic; BBC profile] announced plans Tuesday to present new legislation to the Iraqi National Assembly [official website] in upcoming weeks that would allow most members of Saddam Hussein's now-defunct Baath Party [BBC backgrounder] to [read more]

12:03 EDT

[JURIST] Rights violations being committed in Central Asia are comparable to abuses perpetrated in the former Soviet Union, according the annual report [press release; text] released Tuesday by the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). The IHF was particularly critical of Uzbekistan [JURIST news archive] and Turkmenistan [Wikipedia backgrounder]. [read more]

10:03 EDT

[JURIST] Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) [official website] has proposed amending a bill requiring girls to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus (HPV) [US CDC fact sheet], a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, to allow parents to opt out of the mandate more easily. Kaine announced his recommendation [read more]

08:03 EDT

[JURIST] The Egyptian government said Tuesday that voters overwhelmingly approved 34 amendments [JURIST report] to the country's constitution [text] despite low voter turnout in the referendum [JURIST report] overall. Egyptian Justice Minister Mamdouh Marei said that almost 76 percent of those voting cast their ballot in favor of the amendments [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] A senior aide of US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] has said that she will assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination rather than testify regarding the events surrounding the firing of eight US Attorneys [JURIST news archive]. Monica Goodling, the US Justice Department's liaison [read more]

07:03 EDT

[JURIST] Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] may be sentenced this week after pleading guilty [JURIST report] Monday to a charge of supporting terrorism [JURIST report] and could return home to serve his sentence by the end of the year, according to US military officials. Col. Ralph [read more]

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