Legal news from Thursday, February 6, 2014

[JURIST] On Wednesday, a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] ruled that a law [text] banning the formation of graduate student unions was unconstitutional. Judge Mark Goldsmith found that the law violates the Michigan constitution's [text] "change of purpose" clause. The law … [read more]

[JURIST] Michigan Governor Rick Snyder [official website] unveiled [press release] a new state budget on Wednesday that would allocate state funds to be used to cover Detroit [official website] workers' pensions, currently the subject of controversy in the city's bankruptcy proceeding. The plan sets aside $17.5 million annually for 20 … [read more]

[JURIST] Attorneys for the State of Utah seeking to overturn a federal court decision that struck down a state ban on gay marriage filed a brief [text, PDF] on Tuesday with the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website]. In December a judge for the US District … [read more]

[JURIST] New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [official profile] dropped former mayor Michael Bloomberg's [BBC profile] appeal [JURIST report] on Friday to the judge-ordered reform [JURIST report] of New York's stop-and-frisk program. Police Commissioner William Bratton supported [Huffington Post report] de Blasio's decision to drop the appeal. Bratton believes … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [official website] published a response letter [text; PDF] Thursday declining to define “Natural” in the context of food labeling. The letter was in response to three cases involving allegations of false advertising of food products; more specifically, whether food products containing bioengineered … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] claimed Wednesday that the execution-style killing of four Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) counter-terrorism forces members is the latest indication of a systematic murder campaign [press release] amounting to crimes against humanity. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), a group … [read more]

[JURIST] The Syrian Foreign Ministry [official website, in Arabic] on Wednesday entered into agreements with the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) [official website] to dispose of chemical weapons within the country. The announcement of the agreement came from Russian officials and was also announced … [read more]

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