Legal news from Friday, May 18, 2012
14:05 EDT

[JURIST] The Maryland Court of Appeals [official website], the state's highest court, ruled [opinion, PDF] 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 [JURIST backgrounder], the court ruled 7-0 that valid same-sex marriages performed [read more]

13:05 EDT

[JURIST] Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant [official website] on Thursday signed [press release] legislation [HB 921 materials] 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 [JURIST report] in the November election. Upon signing, [read more]

12:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee [official website] approved legislation [press release] Thursday that would suspend foreign aid to countries that host Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir [ICC materials; JURIST news archive] who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] on genocide and war crimes charges. [read more]

11:05 EDT

[JURIST] 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 [Article 5, XXXIII text] requiring public access to information. Speaking at a ceremony Wednesday to mark [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that a New York town council beginning its meeting with prayer is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. Town board meetings in Greece, NY [official website] are led with prayer, typically Christian-based, although the town [read more]

09:05 EDT

[JURIST] Brazil President Dilma Rousseff [official profile, in Portuguese] on Wednesday swore in seven members of a truth commission [press release, in Portuguese] 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 [Estadao report, in [read more]

08:05 EDT

[JURIST] Illegal immigrants [JURIST backgrounder] face constitutional and human rights violations in Georgia detention centers, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia (ACLUGA) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF; press release] Wednesday. The ACLUGA concluded that the suspected illegal immigrants live in squalor conditions, without access to appropriate medical care. It [read more]

07:05 EDT

[JURIST] Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin [official website] signed into law on Thursday a bill [H 464 materials] outlawing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking [JURIST news archive], 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 [read more]

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