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Legal news from Wednesday, February 27, 2013
by Michael Haggerson

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Shelby County v Holder to determine whether Congress exceeded its authority when it renewed Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Section 5 requires jurisdictions with a history of preventing minority groups from voting to receive …

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by Jerry Votava

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday decided in Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds to permit a class action lawsuit by shareholders against Amgen, a biotechnology company. The court ruled that plaintiffs did not have to prove the materiality of their claims of misrepresentation and omission during the …

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by Brandon Gatto

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Monday signed into law the country's most expansive education reforms in seven decades. In a deal reached by Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP) and two opposition parties, the reforms will attempt to create a new system of school standards for hiring and promoting …

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by Matthew Pomy

The UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories Richard Falk called Wednesday on the international community to investigate the death of Palestinian Prisoner Arafat Jaradat. Jaradat died while in interrogations at an Israeli facility. Initially, Israel claimed the cause of death was a heart attack, but this was not included in the preliminary …

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by Cynthia Miley

Businesses, cities, and other organizations filed two amicus curiae briefs with the US Supreme Court Tuesday in support of same-sex marriage. The groups urged the court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in US v. Windsor and Proposition 8 in Hollingsworth v. Perry. The businesses include …

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by Cynthia Miley

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act which would have banned all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of rape, incest or to save the mother's life. The bill was approved by the Arkansas House of Representatives last Thursday and approved by …

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by Keith Herting

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that the US-based anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) are modern-day pirates, clearing the path for Japanese whalers to pursue legal action against them. The decision overturns a lower court ruling which found against whalers Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR) [advocacy …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday in Clapper v. Amnesty International that a coalition of attorneys, journalists and rights organizations do not have Article III standing to contest Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) [50 USC § 1881(a) text]. The coalition was represented by the American …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Tuesday in Marx v. General Revenue Corp. that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(1) allows fees to be awarded in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) [PDF; 15 USC § 1692k(a)(3) text] even if the suit was brought in good faith. Petitioner Olivea Marx had a student …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The Bahrain Higher Criminal Court on Tuesday acquitted two police officers in the shooting death of a Shiite protester during the nation's pro-democracy protests in Manama that began in February 2011. Bahraini lawyer Mohammed al-Jishi who represented the protester's family, said the Bahrain court concluded the two police officers fired shots at Fadhel Matruk but …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday. In Maryland v. King the court heard arguments on whether the Fourth Amendment permits states to collect DNA samples from individuals charged with serious crimes, as allowed under Maryland's DNA Collection Act. The Chief Deputy …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Tuesday agreed to delay the trial of four Kenyans accused of committing crimes against humanity. Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, who is one of the four men charged, asked the ICC earlier this month to postpone his trial. Kenyatta, a former finance …

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by Jerry Votava

US Army Colonel Denise Lind, who is presiding over the prosecution of Bradley Manning, on Tuesday dismissed a defense motion arguing that Manning should be released based on a lack of a speedy trial. Lind indicated that Manning had been arraigned within the legal parameters, and the time between his arraignment …

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by Jerry Votava

The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday ruled that a lower court was correct in blocking a Florida law [Executive Order 11-58, PDF] that had required welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits. The US District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled …

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