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Legal news from Wednesday, February 29, 2012
by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp. that the federal Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) [49 USC § 20701] preempts state-law design-defect and failure-to-warn claims because these claims fall within the field of locomotive equipment regulation preempted by the act. The petitioner, George Corson, contracted mesothelioma and passed …

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by Sarah Posner

The US House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday restricting the ability of states to take control over private property for public use under eminent domain. The Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2012 would effectively overturn the 2005 US Supreme Court decision in Kelo …

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by Max Slater

Former al Qaeda military commander Saif al-Adel was arrested at an airport in Cairo on Tuesday, according to the Egyptian media. Egyptian security officials detained al-Adel upon his arrival after noticing that his name appeared on the passenger list on a flight from Pakistan. Before he was taken away for questioning, …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

All three judges responsible for adjudicating the criminal prosecution of 43 non-governmental organization (NGO) employees withdrew from the case on Tuesday. It is not clear why the judges chose to withdraw, but Egyptian lawyer and rights activist Ahmed Seif al-Islam suggested it could be a result of political pressure. The case, tried in a Cairo Criminal Court, …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

Majid Khan, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner who is linked with al Qaeda, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to five terror charges including conspiracy, attempted murder and murder. Per his plea bargain, Khan must testify against fellow "high value" prisoners who are alleged to have been involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The …

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by Jennie Ryan

A panel of three judges in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas on Tuesday issued new voting maps for use in the 2012 elections. The new maps were issued after the US Supreme Court rejected Texas's interim redistricting maps in an emergency appeal filed to challenge …

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by Dan Taglioli

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday. In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the court heard arguments on whether three oil companies are immune from US lawsuits under the Alien Tort Statute of 1789 (ATS) for alleged torture and international law violations that took …

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by Katherine Getty

The UK has begun circulating a proposal for changes to the European Convention on Human Rights, which was leaked to the press on Tuesday. The proposal, entitled the Brighton Declaration, began circulating to member states last week. It is expected to be voted on in April when members states meet to discuss the future of the …

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by Jerry Votava

The Virginia Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would require a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound before the procedure. The bill was passed by the Virginia House of Delegates, and is a scaled-back version of a similar bill that was passed earlier …

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