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Legal news from Thursday, April 21, 2011
by Alexandra Malatesta

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff on Wednesday asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court to decide whether crosses placed beside highways as memorials to deceased Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) troopers is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion. The petition seeks review of an August ruling by the US Court of …

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by Jennie Ryan

Idaho Governor CL "Butch" Otter (R) issued an executive order on Wednesday prohibiting implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in the state. Executive Order 2011-03 bars "every executive branch department, agency and institution of the State" from establishing any program or rule that would implement provisions of the …

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by Julia Zebley

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday ended the country's 48-year-old state of emergency, following the legislature's approval of the bill earlier this week. In several decrees issued Thursday, al-Assad also abolished the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC), developed in the wake of the state of emergency to prosecute those deemed a …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin on Tuesday signed into law House Bill 1888, prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks. The law allows abortions past the 20-week mark only in certain extenuating circumstances where the mother faces death or serious injury. The legislation is based on evidence suggesting that a fetus can feel pain …

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by Daniel Richey

The US Department of Defense (DOD) announced Wednesday that high-value Guantanamo Bay detainee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri will be subject to capital charges and tried in a military court. According to the Pentagon, the chief prosecutor for the DOD's Office of Military Commissions plans to charge al-Nashiri with …

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by Drew Singer

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on Wednesday went on trial for a second time on corruption charges, including one that he tried to sell President Barack Obama's vacant US Senate seat. Blagojevich tried to avoid the trial last month, but a federal judge declined to formally rule on his request to cancel …

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by Drew Singer

A faction of the European Parliament on Wednesday requested that the European Union review Hungary's new constitution, which the country's national assembly approved on Monday. Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, wrote in his request that the review would …

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