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Legal news from Thursday, March 22, 2012
by Brandon Gatto

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) on Tuesday ruled that the Supreme Court of Chile violated a Chilean woman's right to equality and non-discrimination when it took away her children on the basis of her sexual orientation. Karen Atala, a Chilean judge, was stripped of custody of her three daughters …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The president of Mali was removed from office on Wednesday after Malian soldiers took control of the government and suspended the constitution. After removing President Amadou Toumani Toure, the soldiers announced the suspension of the constitution and a national curfew. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that he was "following [the events in …

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by Jamie Reese

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Board of Pharmacy on Wednesday appealed a February ruling on access to emergency contraception. The appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit argued that the US District Court for the Western District Court of Washington decision should be overturned …

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by Jennie Ryan

A Brazilian federal prosecutor on Thursday filed criminal charges against Chevron, Transocean Limited and 17 executives in relation to an oil spill that occurred late last year. The indictment charges the companies and a number of their executive officers with environmental crimes, as well as charges of damage to public property. A 2,400 barrel oil spill [Global …

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by Katherine Getty

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU-PA) on Wednesday sued the Solanco School District in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on behalf of an 11-year-old girl who is required to submit to a drug test. The new school policy requires that students who participate in extracurricular activities submit to random, suspicionless drug tests. As …

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by Jennie Ryan

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Malaysian lawmakers on Thursday to observe international human rights standards when devising the country's new security act. Malaysia's Internal Security Act of 1960 (ISA), which allowed the imprisonment of individuals deemed to be national security threats for up to two years without trial, was repealed last year. In a …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The European Commission on Thursday referred Hungary to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for violations of EU rules related to the taxation of telecommunications operators. Article 12 of the EU's Authorisation Directive contains specific rules for member nations regarding the administrative charges a state can impose on telecommunication network and …

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by Keith Herting

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri declared a state statute banning the burning of the American and Missourian flags unconstitutional on Wednesday. Judge Carol Jackson heard a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri after a resident …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Vasquez v. United States on whether the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit violated the Supreme Court's precedent on harmless error. Alexander Vasquez was convicted on drug-related charges on a considerable amount of untainted evidence. However, the prosecution submitted tapes, …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled Wednesday that an ordinance passed in 2008 by the Texas city of Farmers Branch, prohibiting illegal immigrants from renting housing in the city, is unconstitutional. The law required prospective renters to attest to being in the country legally, and landlords …

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by Sarah Posner

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled unanimously in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency that landowners can bring a suit directly against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency's order not to build on residential property that is protected wetlands. This case gives citizens the right, under the Administrative Procedure …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) on Monday signed the Drug-Free Workplace Act, which allows state employers to randomly test up to 10% of their workforce. The act does not create a "duty" to test, but allows state employers to dismiss or discipline employees the first time they test positive for drugs. State employers can conduct the …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last week ruled that the right of a person in a same-sex partnership to adopt his or her partner's child is not protected by the European Convention on Human Rights. The case involved a French woman who was denied her request to adopt her …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Wednesday in Missouri v. Frye that the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel applies during "all 'critical' stages of the criminal proceedings," including considerations of plea offers that lapse or are rejected. Respondent Galin Frye was offered two deals by prosecutors during proceedings for driving …

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by Matthew Shames

Over the past couple weeks, several people have asked why JURIST needs to raise funds. You can read all the details on these pages, but the most direct answer is that it all comes back to budget cuts. Due to general economic circumstances completely outside of our control, we are anticipating a significant reduction in funding (meaning several …

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