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Ireland voters reject plan to eliminate nation's senate

Voters in Ireland on Saturday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have abolished the country's Senate [official website], dealing a defeat to Prime Minister Enda Kenny [official website]. Kenny had personally campaigned for the amendment [AP report], saying that the Senate was toothless, undemocratic and unnecessary in light of recent budget woes. Irish voters defeated the referendum [Irish Times report] by a margin of 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent. After the referendum was defeated, several Irish politicians, including Senator Sean Barrett [official website] called on Kenny to reconsider his political strategy [Irish Independent report]. The referendum's rejection is seen as a major political loss for Kenny and his Fine Gael party [party website].

Ireland has garnered international attention recently for several landmark pieces of legislation. In July Irish President Michael Higgins [official website] signed the country's first abortion bill into law [JURIST report], legalizing the practice in exceptional cases where doctors deem a woman's life at risk. In November voters in Ireland approved a constitutional amendment [JURIST report] on children's rights that changes existing wording in the constitution to make certain rights more explicit. In June 2012 Irish voters approved [JURIST report] the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance [text, PDF] aimed at improving fiscal discipline and promoting greater financial information disclosure between EU member states.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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