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Legal news from Wednesday, December 1, 2010
by Ashley Hileman

The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted 32-24 in favor of a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions. The vote comes a day after the Illinois House of Representatives voted 62-51 in favor of the bill, which will now go to Governor Pat Quinn (D) for his signature. Quinn …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Milner v. Department of the Navy on the ability of the government to withhold information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The issue is whether 5 USC § 552(b)(2) (Exemption 2), which allows a …

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by LaToya Sawyer

A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a provision of the health care reform law requiring all individuals to maintain health insurance. The lawsuit, filed by Liberty University, alleged that Congress had exceeded its constitutional …

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by Sarah Miley

A French appeals court on Wednesday sentenced former Basque separatist leader, Jose Antonio Urrutikoetxea, to seven years in prison for association with a terrorist organization. Urrutikoetxea is a former member of the Basque regional parliament and led the ETA until 2006. He was convicted and sentenced in absentia by the court after …

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by Sarah Miley

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the destruction of a crop of genetically-engineered (GE) sugar beets because of the potential harmful effect the plants may have on surrounding flora, the first such order to be issued in the US. The suit was filed in September by Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety on behalf …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Spanish authorities announced Wednesday that they have arrested seven men in Barcelona suspected of aiding in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks that killed 166. Spain's Ministry of the Interior confirmed the arrests, as well as three additional arrests in Thailand. The seven suspects in Barcelona, …

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by Andrea Bottorff

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged the Indonesian government to repeal two Sharia laws that the group says violate human rights and international treaties. The laws, local to the Aceh province, require strict Islamic dress in public and prohibit unmarried men and women from being alone together. The report does not criticize …

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by Ann Riley

The US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 256-152 to authorize settlements between the US government and minority farmers for alleged discrimination. The settlements include $3.4 billion to resolve claims that the Department of the Interior (DOI) mismanaged funds held in trust for American Indian landowners, and $1.2 …

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by Ann Riley

The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Tuesday released an extensive report concluding that the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) [10 USC § 654; JURIST news archive] policy would only minimally effect military effectiveness, soldier retention and family readiness. The Pentagon found that the repeal of DADT would likely bring about …

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