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Legal news from Wednesday, November 5, 2008
by Eric Firkel

Michigan became the thirteenth US state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use Tuesday after voters passed Proposition 1 by 63 percent to 37 percent. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act urged by the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care will go into effect 10 days after the election results are certified later this month. The …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Voters in Nevada Tuesday approved a ballot initiative that would restrict the state's ability to use eminent domain law to acquire private property. The initiative includes amendments to the Nevada State Constitution which provides that all property rights are fundamentally constitutional, that property transfers between private parties is not public use, that …

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by Steve Czajkowski

Members from all parties of the German parliament passed a resolution Wednesday seeking to counter anti-Semitism in the country. The measure requires the government to develop a report on anti-Semitic behavior and feelings in the country, and to provide funding for school programs designed to combat anti-Semitism. The legislation was …

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by Andrew Gilmore

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases. In Negusie v. Mukasey, the Court will consider whether the so-called "persecutor bar" in the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA), which prohibits the Attorney General or Secretary of Homeland Security from granting asylum …

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by Andrew Gilmore

Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic refused to answer questions at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Wednesday about war crimes committed during the 1994 Yugoslav civil war at the appeals hearing of Momcilo Krajisnik. Krajisnick, a former Bosnian Serb parliamentary leader, is appealing a conviction …

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by Joe Shaulis

Washington is in line to become the second US state to permit physician-assisted suicide after voters there Tuesday supported Initiative Measure 1000, which would allow terminally ill, legally competent adults to obtain lethal prescriptions without exposing themselves, their physicians or others to criminal penalties. The measure is modeled on neighboring Oregon's Death with Dignity …

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by Joe Shaulis

A constitutional amendment effectively banning same-sex marriage appeared to pass in California with most of the vote counted Wednesday, while voters in Arizona and Florida Tuesday approved similar measures. In California, Proposition 8, which was placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, amends the state constitution to provide that "nly marriage …

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by Joe Shaulis

Voters in two US states with large immigrant populations on Tuesday defeated ballot measures dealing with illegal immigrants, according to unofficial results. In Arizona, an initiative would have revoked the business licenses of employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants and would have strengthened penalties for identity theft. As of 3 PM EST …

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by Safiya Boucaud

The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced former Japanese administrative vice defense minister Takemasa Moriya to two and a half years in prison for accepting bribes and committing perjury. In April, Moriya pleaded guilty to accepting approximately $126,000 worth of illegal benefits from military contractor Yamada Corporation, and to giving false …

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by Joe Shaulis

A ballot measure to prohibit governmental agencies from discriminating or granting preferences on the basis of race and sex appeared to win approval from Nebraska voters Tuesday, while the outcome of a similar proposal in Colorado remained unclear midday Wednesday. In Nebraska, Initiated Measure 424 would amend the state constitution to prohibit the state …

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by Joe Shaulis

Voters in California and South Dakota Tuesday rejected ballot measures that would restrict access to abortion, In California, Proposition 4 would have amended the state constitution to require that a physician notify a parent or legal guardian of an unemancipated minor who has sought an abortion and wait 48 hours before performing the …

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by Caitlin Price

Israeli deputy permanent representative to the UN Daniel Carmon on Tuesday accused the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of "targeting Israel in an obsessive and discriminatory fashion" and "fail to uphold the basic standards of human rights in an impartial, universal, non-selective, and objective manner." Addressing a plenary session of …

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by Andrew Morgan

A panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Tuesday suspended its review of Guantanamo Bay detainee Yasin Muhammed Basardh's status as an "enemy combatant," saying it may lack jurisdiction over the case. Basardh had petitioned the court to review a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) determination that he …

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by Caitlin Price

Several members of the anti-drug trafficking force of Mexican President Felipe Calderon, including Interior Secretary Juan Camilo Mourino Terrazo, were killed Tuesday when their airplane crashed in Mexico City. Former chief drug crimes prosecutor Jose Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, four Interior Secretariat employees, and three crew members were also killed …

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by Ximena Marinero

A judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Tuesday dismissed a suit filed by three Hispanic residents of the Dallas suburb of Farmers Branch to change the city council election voting system from at-large to district-based, a shift they say would result in more attention to Hispanic interests on …

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by Leslie Schulman

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Tuesday reasserted that the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in the Congolese province of North and South Kivu in the wake of renewed fighting there and that his office intends to punish those responsible. Moreno-Ocampo, who met Friday with …

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by Leslie Schulman

The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Tuesday announced the transfer of one Guantanamo Bay detainee to Somaliland. DOD hailed the move as proof of the effectiveness of its review processes and of US desire not to hold detainees any longer than necessary. The Department reports that approximately 60 detainees at Guantanamo …

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