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Legal news from Wednesday, October 3, 2007
by Mike Rosen-Molina

New Turkish President Abdullah Gul Wednesday proposed amending a law that makes it a crime to insult Turkish national identity. Gul said at a Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg that the law had hindered Turkey's attempts to join the EU, and that he expects the ruling AK Party will soon …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Wednesday that reported Pakistani promises to drop pending corruption charges against her amount to "disinformation" and indicated that talks with President Pervez Musharraf on a possible power-sharing agreement have broken down. Pakistani officials said Tuesday they had agreed to drop charges …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a certiorari petition Wednesday asking the US Supreme Court to hear a challenge of the government's domestic surveillance program that was rejected by the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in July. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia Wednesday upheld marriage laws limiting polygamy, despite teachings in the predominantly Islamic country's largest religion allowing men to take up to four wives. Under Indonesian law, a man can only take a second wife if his first wife gives permission, or if his first wife …

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by Caitlin Price

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in New York Board of Elections v. Torres, 06-766, to consider whether the procedure by which the state of New York currently selects its trial judges violates the First Amendment rights of both candidates and voters. State election …

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by Gabriel Haboubi

A California appeals court ruled Tuesday that domestic partners, like married couples, can inherit real estate from one another without an increase in property taxes. The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento found that the California Legislature and the state Board of Equalization were within the bounds of the California Constitution …

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by Caitlin Price

US Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) listed what he described as topics of "concern" to be addressed in the upcoming Senate confirmation hearings for former federal judge and US Attorney General nominee Michael B. Mukasey in a Tuesday letter to Mukasey. Leahy encouraged Mukasey to directly answer questions …

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by Brett Murphy

The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of a class of Pennsylvania Wal-mart workers on Wednesday, awarding the employees an additional $62.3 million under a state law which demands that pay not be withheld for over 30 days. Last year, the class won a $78.47 million verdict against Wal-mart [corporate website; JURIST news …

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by Brett Murphy

Chinese lawyer Li Heping was captured and abused by unknown assailants for representing clients lodging complaints against the government of China, Li told AP Wednesday. Li said he was abducted by a group of men, forced into a car, and beaten with batons for hours in the basement of an unknown building. His attackers allegedly told …

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by Brett Murphy

The US Court of Military Commission Review has denied a motion by Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr to reconsider its decision to send Khadr's case back to a military tribunal. The appeals court ruled last month that charges against Khadr should be reinstated, after a military commission judge dropped the …

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by Brett Murphy

Five families whose relatives died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have reached a settlement agreement with American Airlines, Boeing, and a passenger screening company in the families' negligence lawsuit, lawyers said Tuesday. The families decided to bring an individual action against the companies instead of accepting money from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund [official …

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by Brett Murphy

The UN Human Rights Council passed a motion Tuesday criticizing Myanmar for its recent crackdown on peaceful protests in the country. The motion came on the same day that Myanmar arrested at least eight truckloads of people in Rangooon during a middle of the night roundup. The UN rights council motion calls for the immediate …

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by Brett Murphy

Two American military contractors go on trial Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the torture of prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights brought a racketeering lawsuit in 2004 against two civilian defense contractors, Titan and CACI International, accusing the companies of conspiring to …

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by Brett Murphy

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has stayed the lethal injection execution of an inmate who was scheduled to be put to death Wednesday, giving state officials 30 days to answer questions about whether lethal injection constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. The US Supreme Court last week stayed the execution of another Texas inmate, days after Texas …

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