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Legal news from Thursday, May 1, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday dismissed an appeal of an injunction suspending a Washington state law that would require pharmacists to dispense Plan B emergency contraceptives, the so-called "morning after" pill. US District Judge Ronald Leighton's injunction effectively creates a "refuse and refer" system, allowing …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

The US House of Representatives voted 414-1 on Thursday to pass the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), a bill aimed at preventing employers and health insurers from discriminating against people who have a genetic predisposition to disease. Under the measure, employers would be barred from basing hiring and firing decisions on genetic …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

A scheduled May 10 referendum on a new constitution proposed by Myanmar's ruling junta is a "sham" designed to legitimize military rule, according to a report released Thursday by Human Rights Watch (HRW). HRW criticized the military government for arresting opposition activists and repressing media coverage in the lead-up to the …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

An Argentine human rights activist whose Wednesday disappearance sparked a nation-wide manhunt was released by his captors Thursday. Juan Evaristo Puthod, who was held at secret prisons during Argentina's "Dirty War", had previously testified about the treatment of political prisoners under the country's 1976-83 military junta, prompting fears that he had been kidnapped in …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Tyco International Wednesday reached an agreement with the state of New Jersey to settle a lawsuit alleging that insider trading at the company cost the state $100 million in state employee pension funds. Under the settlement terms, Tyco will pay $73 million to New Jersey and claims will be dropped against Tyco chief legal officer …

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by Bernard Hibbitts

The leaders of Pakistan's coalition government reached agreement in Dubai on Thursday on the details of a deal on restoring superior court judges removed in November under President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency, according to local media reports. GEO-TV said that the agreement would be formally announced at a press conference Friday, as under the rules of …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The number of surveillance and search warrants approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) increased again in 2007 to a record 2,370 warrants, according to a report released Wednesday by the US Department of Justice. The 2007 figure was up nine percent from 2006, when the FISC approved 2,176 warrants. The number …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US military personnel - including Army psychologists and medics - continued to use or support "abusive" interrogation tactics even after such methods were prohibited by a 2003 memorandum, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Wednesday. According to documents obtained by the ACLU pursuant to a 2004 Freedom of Information Act request, psychologists and …

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by Jeannie Shawl

The US Justice Department will share internal legal opinions authorizing the use of harsh interrogation tactics with members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John P. Elwood told a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Elwood's comments came during a subcommittee hearing on "Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic and Accountable …

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by Jeannie Shawl

US District Judge Beverly Martin on Wednesday rejected a challenge to Georgia's lethal injection protocol, ruling that the state's execution procedures were similar to Kentucky's method, determined by the Supreme Court to be constitutional. Convicted murderer Jack Alderman had argued that the Georgia's lethal injection protocol is unconstitutional as it creates a substantial risk of pain, but …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

US Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher Wednesday announced her resignation effective May 23. Fisher served as the head of the DOJ's Criminal Division, which concentrated primarily on fraud and corruption cases under her tenure. AP has more.In 2005, US President George W. Bush used a recess appointment to name Fisher to the top post …

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