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Legal news from Friday, March 22, 2013
by Addison Morris

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed the "Colorado Civil Union Act," which will allow civil unions for same-sex couples in the state. The legislation explicitly provides same-sex couples with many of the benefits held by married couples, including dependent insurance coverage and the ability to adopt a partner's child. It goes on to provide …

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by Samuel Franklin

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home. The three-judge panel unanimously overturned a 2012 district court ruling finding that the requirement violated the Second Amendment …

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by Alison Sacriponte

A Louisiana judge ruled on Thursday that a state law banning felons from possessing firearms is a violation of the State Constitution. The ruling cited a constitutional amendment that was passed last year through referendum, making the right to bear arms a fundamental right in Louisiana. The Orleans Parish public defenders office challenged the …

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by Benjamin Minegar

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) on Thursday filed a lawsuit in a New Mexico state court on behalf of two same-sex couples seeking the legal right to marry. According to the complaint, the country clerk denied the plaintiffs' application for marriage licenses in March solely because the couples were …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf was granted protective bail by the High Court of Sindh Karachi in Pakistan on Friday. AFP reports that Judge Sajjad Ali Shah set Musharraf's bail at approximately USD $3,000 for the 2007 dismissal of judges, the 2006 death of Baluch rebe Akbar Bugti and the …

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by Sarah Paulsworth

Congolese war crimes suspect Gen. Bosco Ntaganda voluntarily surrendered himself into the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday. The ICC is now in the process of transferring him to The Hague from Rwanda. The ICC issued two arrest warrants, one in 2006 and one in 2012, for …

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by Max Slater

India's upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, approved a bill on Thursday that imposes tough penalties on perpetrators of sex crimes. The bill, which was approved by the lower house earlier this week, increases the punishment for crimes such as rape, stalking and voyeurism. It imposes a jail term for up to …

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by Sarah Posner

A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Wednesday permanently blocked a key provision in Georgia's immigration law that criminalized knowingly transporting or harboring an illegal immigrant during the course of any other crime. Judge Thomas Thrash struck down this provision, reasoning that the US Court of Appeals for …

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by Max Slater

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced on Thursday that the UN will initiate a probe into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria. The Syrian government requested the probe earlier this week after anti-government forces carried out an attack on a village near Aleppo. Ban declared that the investigation will involve other …

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by Daniel Mullen

Canada's House of Commons on Wednesday approved a bill to outlaw discrimination against transgender individuals. The bill will go to the Senate, an unelected body, for final approval. The bill passed the House of Commons by a vote of 149-136 with the help of 16 conservatives despite opposition from the Prime Minister. The bill …

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by Daniel Mullen

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed three bills into law on Wednesday which seek to address gun violence. The Prohibiting Large-capacity Magazines [HB13-1224, PDF], Payment For Background Checks For Gun Transfers [HB13-1228, PDF], and Background Checks for Gun Transfers [HB13-1229] Acts were approved by both houses of the Colorado legislature despite unanimous opposition from Republicans in …

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