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Legal news from Monday, May 4, 2009
by Safiya Boucaud

Judges for the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) on Monday rejected a motion for acquittal of all charges filed by lawyers for former Liberian president Charles Taylor. The Rule 98 motion for acquittal, which was submitted last month following the close of …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday ordered the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to reconsider its ruling upholding a $550,000 fine against CBS for the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" incident in which pop singer Janet Jackson's breast was briefly exposed during the 2004 Super Bowl telecast. The …

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by Caitlin Price

Japanese activists demonstrated Sunday on Japan's 62nd Constitution Day to voice opposing views about an approaching referendum on the country's pacifist constitution. Efforts to reform the constitution are particularly focused on Article 9, which has been interpreted to bar Japan from maintaining military forces and from using force in international conflicts …

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by Safiya Boucaud

A spokesperson for the German Interior Ministry said Sunday that the US has asked Germany to take in up to 10 detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The US government reportedly asked Germany and other European nations to accept detainees who cannot go back to their home countries …

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by Caitlin Price

A Spanish National Court judge on Monday ordered investigations to continue into alleged crimes against humanity committed in a 2002 Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip, despite heavy criticism from Spanish politicians and prosecutors. Last month, Spanish prosecutors urged the court to decline the case [El …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court on Monday granted certiorari in four cases. In two of the cases, the Court will consider juvenile life sentences. In Graham v. Florida [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether the Eight Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishments prohibits the imprisonment of a juvenile …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court issued four opinions Monday. The Court ruled unanimously in Flores-Figueroa v. United States that a federal "aggravated identity theft" statute [18 USC § 1028A(a)(1)] applies only to individuals who knowingly use another person's identification documents. The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

US Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said Sunday in an interview with ABC that he hopes to have a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter confirmed by the beginning of the Court's 2009 term in October. Leahy said, "It would be irresponsible if we didn't …

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