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Legal news from Friday, May 18, 2012
by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled Friday that a lesbian couple legally married in California can get a divorce in Maryland. Even though Maryland does not currently allow same-sex marriage, the court ruled 7-0 that valid same-sex marriages performed out-of-state should be recognized for purposes of divorce. The court …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant on Thursday signed legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at all elections. The bill enacts a constitutional amendment that was approved by 62 percent of Mississippi voters in the November election. Upon signing, Bryant said:This legislation is about protecting the integrity of Mississippi's …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee approved legislation Thursday that would suspend foreign aid to countries that host Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on genocide and war crimes charges. The provision is part of the Fiscal Year 2013 State …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The Brazilian Access to Information Act took effect Wednesday, increasing government transparency. The law will allow citizens to seek access to information that has previously been shrouded in secrecy despite a constitutional provision requiring public access to information. Speaking at a ceremony Wednesday to mark the swearing in of a truth commission that …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Thursday that a New York town council beginning its meeting with prayer is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Town board meetings in Greece, NY are led with prayer, typically Christian-based, although the town maintains that any faith is welcome to lead the council …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday swore in seven members of a truth commission who will investigate alleged human rights violations that occurred under the country's military dictatorship. On the same day, the commission held its first meeting, which dealt primarily with bureaucratic matters. The commission is …

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by Julia Zebley

Illegal immigrants face constitutional and human rights violations in Georgia detention centers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLUGA) reported Wednesday. The ACLUGA concluded that the suspected illegal immigrants live in squalor conditions, without access to appropriate medical care. It also documented overwhelming reports of due process rights being denied.Violations …

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by Sarah Posner

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law on Thursday a bill outlawing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, making Vermont the first US state to ban the controversial technique used to extract natural gas from the ground. Fracking is the process of injecting a high pressured mixture of water, sand and chemicals into …

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