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Legal news from Thursday, September 19, 2013

[JURIST] Zimbabwe's high court on Thursday ordered the release of 21 activist members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) [party website] who had been detained for over two years in connection with the death of police officer Petros Mutedza. The individuals are among 29 activists, referred to as the … [read more]

[JURIST] The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin [official website] overturned [opinion, PDF] the conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [JURIST news archive] on Thursday, concluding that the state failed to prove proceeds of criminal activity in its money laundering charges against DeLay. A three-judge panel … [read more]

[JURIST] Arizona's Department of Transportation [official website] announced on Tuesday that the existing ban on driver's licenses for immigrants participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [materials] would be extended to anyone whose deportation has been deferred. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, a … [read more]

[JURIST] A coalition of rebel groups that has taken control in the Central African Republic has been deliberately killing a large number of unarmed civilians as well as destroying their homes and villages, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] stated in a report [text] released on Wednesday. The report describes … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Department of Labor (DOL) [official website] on Wednesday issued guidance [text] explaining that all legally married same-sex spouses in the US can now participate in employee benefit plans overseen by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) [official website]. The guidance states that the terms "spouse" and "marriage" … [read more]

[JURIST] The Brazil Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday ruled 6-5 that 12 former political and business leaders found guilty in the nation's biggest corruption trial have the right to a new trial. The defendants were convicted [JURIST report] after it was discovered that, as top aides to former president … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard [text, PDF] does not violate the Dormant Commerce Clause. The regulation requires reduction of carbon emissions for fuels. Emissions are measured by a "lifecycle analysis," which includes production … [read more]

[JURIST] Iranian lawyer and prominent human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh [JURIST news archive] was permanently released on Wednesday, after spending over two years in prison. Sotoudeh was serving six-year sentence for her September 2010 arrest and conviction for propaganda and harming national security. Other prisoners serving prison terms related to … [read more]

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] on Tuesday denied [opinion, PDF] New York City's motion to stay her order regarding the New York City Police Department (NYPD) [official website] 'stop-and-frisk' [JURIST report] policy. Judge Shira Scheindlin initially ruled [JURIST … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion] Wednesday that use of the "Like" button on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment [Cornell LII backgrounder] and cannot be used against public employees. Five former appointees for the sheriff's office in … [read more]

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