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Legal news from Thursday, June 20, 2013
by G. Redd

North Dakota Judge Wickham Corwin ruled Tuesday that lawsuits challenging two state abortion laws can be combined into one case. The first statute in question is a 2011 law that limits the drugs that can be used in abortions. The second is a recent statute that requires abortion providers to be affiliated with a hospital …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court ruled 6-2 Thursday in Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. that the government cannot withhold funding from HIV/AIDS organizations that do not actively denounce prostitution. Under the US Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 [22 USC § 7601], Congress appropriated billions …

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by G. Redd

North Carolina Governor Patrick McRory on Wednesday signed into law Senate Bill 306, repealing the Racial Justice Act (RJA) that allowed minority death row inmates to seek a reduced sentence. The 2009 law created an additional path to life imprisonment without parole for those sentenced to death row if they could …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 Thursday in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not permit courts to invalidate a contractual waiver of class arbitration on the ground that the plaintiff's cost of individually arbitrating a federal statutory claim exceeds the potential recovery. The …

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by Jaclyn Belczyk

The US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 Thursday in Descamps v. United States to limit the way sentencing courts can use prior convictions to enhance sentencing for federal crimes. The question before the court was whether Matthew Descamps' burglary conviction under California law could allow a conviction under federal burglary law, which had slightly …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday upheld a lower court's ruling that dismissed a challenge to Arizona's Proposition 100, a voter-approved amendment which denies bail to undocumented immigrants being held for serious felonies. The plaintiffs, represented by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney Cecillia Wang, argued …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

The Swiss government cannot reopen the corruption charges against Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari because the statutory limitations period has lapsed, Pakistan Law Minister Zahid Hamid announced Wednesday. Swiss authorities sent their position in February of this year, but the sealed letter was officially opened by Hamid Tuesday. The case against Zardari was closed in …

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by Peter Snyder

The government of Myanmar must do more to combat religious and ethnic discrimination against minorities or risk undermining the reform movement according to a statement made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay Wednesday. Pillay commended Myanmar President Thein Sein for statements on the need to end discrimination and violence but pointed …

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by Peter Snyder

A federal judge called Tuesday on members of Congress and the president to give serious consideration to formulating a different approach for the handling of Guantanamo Bay detainee cases. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released their opinion in the case of Abdul Al Qader Hussain v. Barack Obama [opinion, …

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