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Legal news from Wednesday, March 2, 2011
by Brian Jackson

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in two cases: one regarding the extent of immunity for a federal official and another regarding the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause. In Ashcroft v. Al-Kidd, former US attorney general John Ashcroft, appealed the decision of …

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by Daniel Makosky

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 6-2 in Pepper v. United States that judges may consider a defendant's post-sentencing rehabilitation as a permissible factor supporting a downward sentencing variance under 18 USC § 3553(a). Writing for the majority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that 18 USC …

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by Aman Kakar

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and 32 other organizations on Tuesday filed an amicus curiae brief in the US Supreme Court, supporting a class action discrimination lawsuit filed against Wal-Mart. The suit was filed 10 years ago by a group of female employees claiming systemic discrimination …

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by Sarah Posner

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Wednesday that it will launch an investigation into the recent violence in Libya. According to a statement, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo will make a formal announcement of the investigation Thursday. The Rome Statute enables the ICC to proceed with an investigation unless the crimes committed …

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by Hillary Stemple

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in Snyder v. Phelps that First Amendment protections extend to protesters at military funerals. Reverend Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church [WARNING: readers may find material at this church website offensive; JURIST news archive] have been traveling around …

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by Matt Glenn

The Malaysian Federal Court refused to dismiss a lawsuit Tuesday brought on behalf of indigenous peoples of Borneo who claim the Sarawat state government unconstitutionally took their land and sold it to businesses. The suit claims that the acquisitions, effected pursuant to the Sarawat land code, violate Article 5 of …

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by Daniel Makosky

California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Tuesday requested that the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit lift the stay order prohibiting gay couples from marrying while an appeal of the invalidation of Proposition 8, California's same-sex marriage ban, is pending. Harris argued that the appeal is …

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by Matt Glenn

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Tuesday that an EU directive allowing insurance companies to charge men and women different rates in some countries violates the Charter of Fundamental European Rights and must be struck down. Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/113/EC provides that, notwithstanding rules in the directive prohibiting discrimination, EU …

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by Julia Zebley

A Wisconsin circuit court judge extended an ex parte restraining order on Tuesday that the Wisconsin capitol building must be made open to the public during business hours, sought in light of recent protests that have caused officials to regulate entrance into the building. The Wisconsin State Employees Union Council 24 (WSUE) …

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by Julia Zebley

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy lost his final appeal to the Cambodian Supreme Court on Wednesday for charges of intentionally destroying posts marking the border between Cambodia and Vietnam and inciting racial discrimination through that act. The ruling upheld the conviction in absentia due to Rainsy self-imposed exile since 2005. At the …

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