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Legal news from Wednesday, March 28, 2012
by Matthew Shames

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP. Our spring fund drive ends on March 31 - that's only THREE days! Our annual goal is $30,000, so if we can raise another $1,100 during this drive, we'll be 25% funded. . .another $3,600 and we'll be 33% funded. Help make it happen! As previously mentioned, due to general economic circumstances completely …

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by Julia Zebley

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) revealed Tuesday that it received documents confirming that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) used a "Mosque Outreach" program to gather intelligence on Muslim-American citizens. Using a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the ACLU discovered that the FBI had been using the …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Wednesday in Vartelas v. Holder that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), a law designed to deny re-entry to immigrants who have committed certain crimes, cannot be applied retroactively to lawful immigrants if the date of his/her conviction occurred before the IIRIRA passed. …

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by Dan Taglioli

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Wednesday in Setser v. United States on whether a federal district court, in sentencing a defendant for a federal offense, has authority to order that the federal sentence be consecutive to an anticipated state sentence that has not yet been imposed. Petitioner Setser was indicted in a …

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by Dan Taglioli

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 Wednesday in Federal Aviation Administration v. Cooper that the phrase "actual damages" as found in the Privacy Act of 1974 [5 USC § 552a] is sufficiently ambiguous to prevent the authorization of lawsuits against the government for claims of mental and emotional distress. Respondent Cooper, a pilot, …

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by Max Slater

Two lawsuits challenging Wisconsin's voter ID law are heading to the Wisconsin Supreme Court after two appellate courts sent them to the state's high court on Wednesday. In the two cases, NAACP v. Walker and League of Women Voters v. Walker, the plaintiffs assert that Wisconsin's voter ID law is …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of unlawful assembly stemming from an incident at a protest last week. Besigye and other protesters were arrested last week after a police officer was killed while attempting to disperse the crowd. Besigye denies that any of the protesters were involved in …

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by Max Slater

The Arizona State Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that bans abortions after 20 weeks into a pregnancy, with an exception carved out only for medical emergencies. In addition to banning abortions after 20 weeks, the bill imposes other restrictions. It requires a woman seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound …

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by Saheli Chakrabarty

The Obama administration on Monday petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for an expedited en banc review of two test cases on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA excludes otherwise valid state same-sex marriages from recognition under federal law. In its request for …

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by Rebecca DiLeonardo

The former head of the Polish Intelligence Agency may face charges for his assistance of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in operating a secret prison in Poland. Zbigniew Siemiatkowski told a Polish newspaper on Tuesday that he could face charges for his association with the prison and the …

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by Katherine Getty

The Georgia Senate approved legislation on Tuesday that would make it a felony to assist in another person's suicide. HB 1114 was approved after the Georgia Supreme Court in early February struck down a 1994 law that banned publicly advertising suicide assistance. Under the new law any person with knowledge of a possible suicide …

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by Katherine Getty

Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday implored the Indian government to stop the execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana and ban all forms of capital punishment. AI claimed that if India allows the execution, the country's first since 2004, it would be moving backward and away from an international trend of eliminating the …

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by Jerry Votava

Judge Victoria Roberts of the US District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan on Tuesday issued an order dismissing the case against Hutaree militia members before it was submitted to a jury. Roberts held that the government did not sufficiently prove the elements of the charges of seditious conspiracy, …

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by Jaimie Cremeans

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday heard the second day of oral arguments in United States Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, the challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Tuesday's arguments focused specifically on the constitutionality of the "individual mandate" provision, which requires every …

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