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Legal news from Wednesday, February 12, 2014
by Daniel Mullen

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled Tuesday that a 2011 North Carolina law that permits residents to display a license plate reading "Choose Life" is unconstitutional. North Carolina appealed to the Fourth Circuit after a federal district court judge struck down the law. The Fourth Circuit held that North …

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by Daniel Mullen

Residents of Fremont, Nebraska, voted on Tuesday to reaffirm Ordinance 5165, which prohibits harboring, hiring or renting to undocumented immigrants. The law was initially approved in 2010, but its implementation was delayed during a federal lawsuit over the law's constitutionality. Last year a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

Thailand's Constitutional Court on Wednesday rejected petitions filed by both the ruling and opposition parties accusing each other of attempting to overthrow the country's government during recent elections. The court cited insufficient grounds for either claim brought by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's ruling Pheu Thai Party or the opposition Democrat Party …

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by Elizabeth LaForgia

Spain's Parliament on Tuesday approved a bill that will diminish the powers of Spanish courts to pursue cases of genocide and other crimes against humanity committed abroad. The bill includes a clause to halt current investigations, including the arrest warrants issued on Monday for several former Chinese …

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by Peter Snyder

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced a moratorium on executions in the state. Under Washington law [RCW 10.01.120 text] the governor has the power to commute death sentences. In his remarks Inslee criticized the death penalty, stating the "system that falls short of equal justice under the law and makes it difficult …

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by Benjamin Minegar

A Pakistani judge on Wednesday ordered the nation's Interior Ministry to hand over anti-drone activist Kareem Khan for a court appearance slated for late-February. Khan reportedly brought legal action against the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pakistani government after a 2009 drone attack killed his son and brother. Sources indicate unidentified government forces …

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by Peter Snyder

The Virginia state Senate on Tuesday voted to repeal a 2012 law requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. The measure passed after Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam cast his vote in favor of repeal, breaking a 20-20 tie. After casting his deciding vote Northam released the following statement:I've …

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by Benjamin Minegar

Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday urged the international community to take immediate and effective action to halt the spread of sectarian violence and "ethnic cleansing" within the western part of the Central African Republic (CAR). AI reports that anti-Muslim militias have engaged in large-scale, recurrent attacks on Muslim civilian communities in retaliation for …

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by Samuel Franklin

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday struck down licensing regulations imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on tax preparers, holding that nothing within the text of the law or legislative history contemplates such a vast expansion of the IRS's authority. Writing on behalf of a …

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by Samuel Franklin

A Cambodian appeals court on Tuesday refused the release of 21 people arrested last month in connection with anti-government protests, a series of demonstrations comprised mostly of garment workers and rights activists. According to defense lawyer Sam Sokong, the court reasoned that the release of these detainees would negatively affect public order as well as efforts to …

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by Theresa Donovan

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday denied a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay detainees on a hunger strike. Shaker Aamer and three other detainees are currently engaged in a hunger strike to protest their …

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by Theresa Donovan

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday released a report outlining the prevalent trafficking and torture of Eritrean refugees for ransom by Sudanese and Egyptian individuals that has been occurring since 2010. Victims stated in the report that traffickers kidnapped and tortured them in order to extort money from their relatives. Various methods of torture used by …

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