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Legal news from Thursday, June 30, 2011

[JURIST] US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] announced Thursday that he would continue investigating the deaths of two detainees [press release] who died during interrogations by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website]. Former attorney general Michael Mukasey had appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham in 2008 to … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday upheld [opinion, PDF] a 2008 decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) [official website] to list polar bears as "threatened" on the endangered species list because of melting polar ice caps caused … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] on Thursday rejected a motion by Google [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] to dismiss class-action lawsuits under wiretapping laws. Judge James Ware denied [AP report] Google's argument that when they collected information while creating their … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Sentencing Commission (USSC) [official website] voted unanimously [press release, PDF] on Thursday to implement the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act [S 1789 materials], which brings the sentences for crack cocaine more in line for those of powder cocaine. The retroactive sentencing will go into effect … [read more]

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Canada [official website] on Thursday declared that it would hear an appeal of convicted terrorist Mohammed Momin Khawaja [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. The high court granted an application for leave to appeal [judgment, PDF] filed by Khawaja challenging the life sentence imposed by the … [read more]

[JURIST] Samsung Electronics [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] filed a complaint [USITC docket] with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) [official website] on Tuesday seeking to prevent Apple [corporate website; Bloomberg backgrounder] from importing iPads and iPhones. Samsung claims Apple has violated five patents [Bloomberg report] related to smartphones and … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] passed the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act by 79-20 on Wednesday. The bill exempts 170 minor executive posts and 2,800 posts in the US Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Officer Corps [official websites] from requiring congressional confirmation. The bill … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui was indicted on Thursday on charges of money laundering and embezzling money from a secret diplomatic fund. Lee and a top aide, Liu Tai-ying, were charged with embezzling $7.79 million [AP report] from a National Security Bureau [official website, in Chinese] fund to set … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida [official website] struck down a campaign finance [JURIST news archive] law providing matching funds for campaigns choosing to use public financing. The decision closely follows the recent 5-4 Supreme Court [official website] decision issued earlier this … [read more]

[JURIST] Former Khmer Rouge head of state, Khieu Samphan [case profile, PDF], on Thursday promised to reveal information about of the communist Khmer Rouge regime [JURIST news archive; BBC backgrounder] that governed Cambodia during the 1970s. Samphan told the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) [official website; JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] criticized China [AFP report] on Thursday for welcoming Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [case materials; JURIST news archive] rather than arresting him to stand trial. Al-Bashir has been accused of crimes against humanity and genocide against Darfur [BBC backgrounder; JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] The UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) [official website] on Thursday released [press release] to Lebanese authorities an indictment [JURIST report] with four arrest warrants in relation to the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The warrants were issued for Mustafa Badreddine, … [read more]

[JURIST] The Rhode Island Senate [official website] on Wednesday approved a same-sex civil union bill by a vote of 21-16 [press release]. The bill [2011 - H6103, PDF] is identical to a version of the bill passed in the House of Representatives [official website], and Governor Lincoln Chafee [official website] … [read more]

[JURIST] The New Jersey Legislature [official website] Tuesday passed [materials] a bill [S 2576] to completely ban hydraulic fracturing [EPA backgrounder], or "fracking," a controversial technique used to release natural shale gas. The Senate passed the bill 33-1 and then it passed the Assembly later in the day 58-11 with … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed an appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] on Monday contesting a bankruptcy court ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive] is unconstitutional. DOMA is … [read more]

[JURIST] The Chinese government has implemented measures aimed at suppressing lawyers pursuing human rights cases [press release], Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF] Thursday. The report, entitled "Against the Law: Crackdown on China's Human Rights Lawyers Deepens," presents evidence that human rights lawyers have increasingly had their licenses … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday found [opinion, PDF] the individual mandate provision of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [HR 3590 text; JURIST news archive] constitutional. The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) [advocacy website], joined by four individuals, … [read more]

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