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Legal news from Thursday, May 15, 2008
by Mike Rosen-Molina

The Supreme Court of California Thursday overturned a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling 4-3 in In re Marriage Cases that the ban violated protections on the right to "form a family relationship" enshrined in the California Constitution. Rights groups said that the decision could lead to California becoming …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

UK ministers and MPs deadlocked Wednesday over a controversial proposed anti-terror bill [BBC Q/A] that would allow British authorities to detain terror suspects up to 42 days without charge. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has vowed to continue pushing for the bill's passage, despite staunch opposition. Opposition MPs and human rights groups have suggested alternatives …

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by David Hanna

Entertainment console and video game manufacturer Nintendo of America, Inc. was ordered to pay $21 million Wednesday to Anascape, Ltd., a small Texas video game company after losing a jury verdict in a patent infringement lawsuit concerning hand-held controllers for its Wii and Gamecube video game systems. Anascape filed a complaint against both Nintendo and Microsoft …

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by Mike Rosen-Molina

Myanmar's draft constitution has been approved with over 90 percent of 22 million eligible voters voting yes in Saturday's nation-wide referendum, the country's military government said Thursday. The regime has faced sharp international criticism for going ahead with the poll after a devastating cyclone earlier this month left at least 60,000 people …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform heard testimony on Thursday regarding potential abuse of the Defense Base Act of 1941 (DBA) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Act requires contractors working on military installations to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage for their employees, the cost of which is reimbursed …

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by Andrew Gilmore

UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin praised anti-terrorism efforts in Spain Wednesday, but urged Spanish officials to reform the country's legal standards for treatment of terror suspects. The Special Rapporteur's comments came in response to concerns over allegations of torture and ill-treatment [Amnesty …

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by Abigail Salisbury

US Solicitor General Paul Clement announced Wednesday that he is resigning from his post, effective June 2. Perhaps best-known for his Supreme Court advocacy of Bush Administration positions on rights and procedures at Guantanamo Bay, including such notable cases as Hamdi v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law …

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by Andrew Gilmore

US military judge Col. Ralph Kohlmann set June 5 as the tentative date for the military commission's arraignment of the five men charged with plotting the Sept. 11 attacks in an email to military defense attorneys Wednesday. The group, held at Guantanamo Bay, includes the alleged mastermind of the attacks, …

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by Abigail Salisbury

US Air Force Reserve Brig. Gen. Thomas Hartmann, a top Pentagon legal advisor on the Guantanamo military commission trials, said Wednesday that he will not resign despite questions concerning his objectivity. Hartmann serves as legal advisor to Susan J. Crawford, the Convening Authority for the military commissions, but last week was disqualified from participating …

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