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Legal news from Thursday, August 4, 2011
by Dan Taglioli

The Mississippi Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge by the State Auditor to the state Attorney General practice of paying fees to hired private counsel directly out of litigation awards. State Auditor Stacey Pickering is appealing a lower court ruling last April upholding $10 million in fees paid to private lawyers …

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by Chris Morris

US President Barack Obama issued a directive Thursday barring war criminals and human rights violators from entering the country. Under the new proclamation, which took effect immediately, the Secretary of State determines which criminals or violators will be allowed into the US. Additionally, Obama commissioned the Atrocities Prevention Board, a panel assisting in deterring genocidal violence, which …

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by Chris Morris

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has vacated a previous ruling declaring Hazelton, Pennsylvania's immigration laws unconstitutional. Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act and Landlord Tenant Ordinance deny permits to businesses that employ illegal immigrants and fine landlords who extend housing to them. Last year, the Third Circuit rejected the laws [JURIST …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday ruled that former US attorney general John Ashcroft is entitled to absolute immunity from the claims of a Muslim American detained for two weeks after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The ruling is consistent with the …

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by Julia Zebley

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Montana ruled Wednesday that Congress' removal of the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA), not through amending it but through attaching a "wolf rider" to an appropriations bill, was legal. As a result, state hunting quotas …

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by Chris Morris

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday that former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld can be sued by a former US military contractor who claims he was tortured while imprisoned in Iraq. The man, whose identity remains concealed and who worked in Iraq as an intelligence …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A commission of the French Court of Cassation on Thursday ordered an investigation into the newly appointed Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, for her involvement in a $400 million arbitration agreement with French businessman Bernard Tapie. Tapie won a settlement with state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais [official website, in …

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by Julia Zebley

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced on Wednesday that their affiliates are sending approximately 375 requests for information in 31 states to reveal how law enforcement uses location data tracking on cell phones. Smartphones now come with built-in global positioning systems (GPS), allowing users' movements to be tracked by law enforcement agencies, sometimes prior …

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by Erin Bock

The UN Security Council (UNSC) released a statement Wednesday condemning human rights violations and use of force against civilians in Syria. The statement, delivered by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri of India serving as August president, conveyed the UNSC's regret regarding the civilian deaths that resulted from mass protests and stated that those who …

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by Zach Zagger

Ten human rights groups said Thursday they would boycott a UK government inquiry into allegations that its secret services were complicit in torture of detainees in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The groups, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International (AI), sent a letter to the Detainee Inquiry saying they would …

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