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Legal news from Wednesday, January 12, 2011
by Drew Singer

The state of Texas on Wednesday failed for the third time in two months at its attempts to block new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations governing greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the state's request to block the program, which allocates greenhouse gas emission …

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by Brian Jackson

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral argument in two criminal cases, one involving law enforcement creating exigent circumstances for entering a home without a warrant, and the other interpreting a provision of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) [18 U.S.C. § 924(e)]. In Kentucky v. King, the Court will determine whether …

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by Sarah Posner

The Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) on Wednesday ordered the US Department of the Interior (DOI) to reinstate Teresa Chambers as U.S. Park Police chief after determining her termination was unjustified. The MSPB ruled that Chambers was wrongly discharged in December 2003 for discussing with a Washington Post reporter that the …

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by Aman Kakar

The Italian Constitutional Court held hearings on Tuesday to determine the constitutionality of a law that grants temporary immunity to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for charges he currently faces in Milan. The law in question was passed in March and allows cabinet officials to postpone criminal proceedings against them …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that Washington state's "top-two" primary election system is constitutional. Judge John Coughenour of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington held that voters were not confused by the current version of Washington state's ballot, which allows candidates to list which political party they …

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by Matt Glenn

The US Supreme Court voted Tuesday to stay the execution of convicted murderer Cleve Foster until it decides whether to grant his petition for certiorari. Foster, a former Army recruiter, denies allegations that he shot and killed a 30-year old woman in 2002 and …

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by Daniel Makosky

The Illinois Senate, sitting in a lame-duck session, on Tuesday passed a bill abolishing the state's death penalty. The amended bill (SB3539), approved by the House last week, passed 35-22 and now proceeds to Governor Pat Quinn for his signature or veto. It marks the …

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by Eryn Correa

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court in the province of Punjab on Tuesday sentenced two men to life in prison for violating Pakistan's blasphemy law. Mohammad Shafi and his son Mohammad Aslam were convicted in the city of Dera Ghazi for having torn down and trampled a poster advertising a gathering marking the birthday of Prophet Muhammad …

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by Daniel Makosky

A federal judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Tuesday denied the habeas corpus petition of Guantanamo Bay detainee Abdul Razak Ali. The judge rejected Razak Ali's claim of mistaken identity and ruled that US officials acted on sufficient credible evidence of his association with al Qaeda …

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by Matt Glenn

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed emergency legislation Tuesday making it a crime to picket or protest a funeral. The move comes after Reverend Fred Phelps's Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; JURIST news archive] announced plans to picket the funeral of Christina Green, a 9-year-old girl …

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by Andrea Bottorff

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in J. McIntyre Machinery v. Nicastro on the ability of a state, under the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, to exercise specific personal jurisdiction over a foreign company that targets the US …

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