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Legal news from Tuesday, June 9, 2009
by Andrew Morgan

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday condemned the violence perpetrated against civilians in Mogadishu, Somalia, during an uptick in fighting between government and militia forces over the weekend, as a violation of international human rights law. Calling the treatment of the civilian population "unacceptable," Guillermo Bettocchi, the UNHCR Representative …

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by Christian Ehret

Confirmation hearings for US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will begin on July 13, as announced Tuesday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. The committee released a schedule for the process that attempts to follow a time line of Justice Roberts' confirmation. The schedule foresees Sotomayor being …

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by Andrew Morgan

The US Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution on Tuesday heard testimony regarding the "legal, moral and national security impact" of long-term, indefinite detention without trial of terrorism suspects. Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said that the hearing was intended to advise the committee about "various proposals for preventive …

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by Christian Ehret

A Guantanamo Bay detainee was transferred to New York on Tuesday to face criminal charges for his alleged terrorist activities, marking the first time a detainee from the facility has been brought to the US for prosecution. Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, who has been held at the controversial detention facility since 2006, is …

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by Andrew Morgan

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Leon Panetta said Monday that the release of agency documents describing detainee interrogations would damage national security. In an affidavit filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Panetta said that the release of CIA records would be more …

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by Christian Ehret

FBI Director Robert Mueller said Monday that the FBI will continue investigating mosques when there may be evidence or information regarding criminal wrongdoings. Mueller's defense of such investigations followed a complaint sent to US Attorney General Eric Holder from the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan alleging that the FBI has …

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by Jay Carmella

A $15.5 million settlement was reached Monday between Royal Dutch Shell PLC and the families of nine Nigerian activists who were killed in 1995. The settlement came as the case was scheduled to go to trial in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Shell did not …

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by Jay Carmella

US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday ordered a temporary stay of the pending sale of Chrysler Group assets to Italian automaker Fiat. The stay allows the full Court more time to decide whether it will hear the case. Two groups filed emergency requests …

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by Eszter Bardi

The US Supreme Court denied certiorari Monday in Pietrangelo v. Gates, in which the Court was asked to review the US military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy [10 USC § 654 text; HRC backgrounder], under which openly gay servicemen and women are subject to discharge. Petitioners requested that the Supreme Court review the First …

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