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Legal news from Tuesday, March 26, 2013
by Samuel Franklin

Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda denied charges at his first appearance before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday. Ntaganda is accused of 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, pillage, using child soldiers and other crimes. After a court official read out the charges, Ntaganda said …

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by Blake Lynch

The Maryland House of Delegates on Monday approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana by a vote of 108-28. The bill would also create a state commission to manage medical marijuana programs at participating academic medical research centers. While the amount of distribution centers that would be created is uncertain, neither the University of …

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by Blake Lynch

Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe on Monday vetoed a bill that would have required citizens to show photo identification prior to voting. The requirement of photo ID for casting a ballot additionally calls for Arkansas to provide free photo IDs to voters without such items. Beebe rejected the bill citing unnecessary costs [veto …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the first of two cases the court will hear this week on same-sex marriage. In Tuesday's argument, the court considered the validity of Proposition 8, a California referendum that revoked same-sex marriage rights. Same-sex marriage …

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by Peter Snyder

Egypt's top prosecutor issued arrest warrants on Monday against five activists for their alleged involvement in recent clashes between protesters and the Muslim Brotherhood. The warrants were issued against activists opposing the Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi following violent clashes that occurred Friday outside the Brotherhood's headquarters, in which more …

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by Samuel Franklin

A coalition of international human rights groups on Monday criticized the trial of 94 activists in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The joint endeavor is led by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, the International Federation of Human Rights, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. …

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by Peter Snyder

Michel Djotodia, leader of rebel forces behind a coup in the Central African Republic (CAR), declared in a radio address Monday that the country's constitution is dissolved and he is now the nation's leader. Djotodia, a leader of the Seleka rebel alliance that seized the country's capital over the weekend and caused …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

Rengan Rajaratnam, younger brother to former Galleon Group hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Monday pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring with his brother to trade on non-public information concerning Clearwire Corporate and Advanced Micro Devices Incorporated in 2008. Rengan was charged with six counts of securities fraud and one count of …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases on Monday, including a new affirmative action case. The court will hear Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action [cert. petition, PDF; docket] on whether a state violates the Equal Protection Clause by amending its constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential …

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by Julie Deisher-Edwards

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin tendered her resignation to Governor Tom Corbett on Monday. Melvin and her sister were convicted in February of corruption for misusing state-paid staffers to do campaign work to aid Melvin in winning a seat on the bench. Pennsylvania Bar Association president Thomas Wilkinson commented on …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in two cases. In Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter the court is considering whether an arbitrator acts within his powers under the Federal Arbitration Act or exceeds those powers by determining that parties affirmatively agreed to authorize class arbitration based solely on their …

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