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Legal news from Thursday, September 19, 2013
by Laura Klein Mullen

Zimbabwe's high court on Thursday ordered the release of 21 activist members of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) 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 Glen View 29, who have been imprisoned in connection with …

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by Samuel Franklin

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin overturned the conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) on Thursday, concluding that the state failed to prove proceeds of criminal activity in its money laundering charges against DeLay. A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to overturn the conviction, holding that …

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by Samuel Franklin

Arizona's Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that the existing ban on driver's licenses for immigrants participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be extended to anyone whose deportation has been deferred. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, a litigant in the lawsuit challenging the original ban, the expansion …

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by Theresa Donovan

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) stated in a report released on Wednesday. The report describes human rights violations, such as pillage, rape and torture, that …

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by Theresa Donovan

The US Department of Labor (DOL) on Wednesday issued guidance 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). The guidance states that the terms "spouse" and "marriage" in Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act …

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by Lauren Laing

The Brazil Supreme Court 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 after it was discovered that, as top aides to former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, they had paid off legislators …

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by Sung Un Kim

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Wednesday that California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard 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 and transportation. Thus, out-of-state manufacturers argued that they are discriminated …

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by Sung Un Kim

Iranian lawyer and prominent human rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh 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 the 2009 mass protests were also released on …

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by G. Redd

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday denied New York City's motion to stay her order regarding the New York City Police Department (NYPD) 'stop-and-frisk' policy. Judge Shira Scheindlin initially ruled that the methods used by the NYPD were a …

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by G. Redd

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Wednesday that use of the "Like" button on Facebook is constitutionally protected free speech under the First Amendment and cannot be used against public employees. Five former appointees for the sheriff's office in Hampton, Virginia, sued the sheriff for choosing not to reappoint …

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