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Legal news from Thursday, May 26, 2011
by Julia Zebley

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi on Thursday voided the Budget Repair Bill, Wisconsin's controversial measure limiting the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, for violating the state's open meeting rules. Sumi, the judge who temporarily enjoined the law, clarified that her …

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by Zach Zagger

The US House of Representatives passed the $690 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 Thursday, approving the basic funding plan with a 322-96 vote. The bill contains many controversial provisions such as prohibitions on the use of funds to transfer Guantanamo detainees to the US or other …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Wednesday restricted the use of the "inequitable conduct" defense for invalidating patents. Inequitable conduct previously allowed the judge to use his or her discretion in invalidating an otherwise valid patent if he or she believed the patent-holder had engaged in unfair practices when applying to …

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by Zach Zagger

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a pair of bills Wednesday that restricted state funding for abortions and banned them altogether after 20 weeks. Dayton vetoed Chapter 59 of Minnesota House File 936, which would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks based on "substantial medical evidence that an unborn child …

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by Julia Zebley

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana challenging a controversial Indiana immigration law. The law, inspired by an Arizona law, requires individuals to …

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by Zach Zagger

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama ruled Monday that environmental groups' lawsuit, challenging the government approval of oil drilling leases granted to the British Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico, may continue. The Southern Environmental Law Center and the Defenders of Wildlife …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Supreme Court Thursday ruled in Fowler v. United States that under a federal witness tampering statute [18 USC § 1512(a)(1)(C) text] the government must show there was a reasonable likelihood the witness would communicate relevant information to federal officers. Charles Fowler was convicted of killing a local …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-3 in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting that a controversial Arizona employment law is not preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The law imposes penalties on businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Chief Justice Roberts delivered …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 7-2 to dismiss Camreta v. Greene for mootness. The initial issue surrounded the circumstances for a warrant allowing officials to interview a minor, without parental notification, about abuse allegations. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Supreme Court Thursday ruled in United States v. Tinklenberg that time for pretrial motions, regardless of whether they actually delay or are expected to delay the beginning of a trial, is excluded from the time in which the accused must be brought to trial. Jason Louis Tinklenberg …

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by Zach Zagger

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that accused Arizona shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is not competent to stand trial due to mental illness. Judge Larry Burns for the US District Court for the District of Arizona made the ruling based on separate reports by psychologist Dr. Christina Pietz and psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Carroll who …

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by Dan Taglioli

Zimbabwe's High Court in Harare on Tuesday ordered the release of six prisoners accused of plotting to overthrow Zimbabwe's president. The former army officers have been in prison since 2007 after being accused of planning to violently topple President Robert Mugabe and replace him with the country's defense minister, Emerson Mnangagwa. The court held …

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by Julia Zebley

Serbian authorities have captured Ratko Mladic, it was announced Thursday, ending a 16-year manhunt for the former general colonel and commander of the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mladic was one of the two remaining at-large war criminals sought by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) …

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by Dan Taglioli

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday called for a peaceful resolution to the escalating conflict in Abyei, the disputed oil-producing region between North and South Sudan. Last week a convoy of UN peacekeepers transporting troops of the northern Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) was attacked just north of Abyei, which is claimed …

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by Erin Bock

The Colombian Senate passed a law on Wednesday to compensate citizens who have been victimized by ongoing civil turmoil. The Victims' Law and Land Restitution Law will provide financial compensation and restitution of land to victims of internal armed conflicts involving paramilitaries and guerrillas during the past 30 years. Individuals who feel …

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by Erin Bock

Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to terrorism charges for allegedly funding a terrorist training camp in the Indonesian province of Aceh to prepare Islamic radicals to carry out attacks in Jakarta. Prosecutors claim Bashir provided more than $62,000 to the group, which was allegedly planning attacks modeled after the …

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