Legal news from Wednesday, April 2, 2014

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled 5-4 Wednesday in McCutcheon v. FEC [SCOTUSblog backgrounder] that limits on overall campaign contributions by individual donors are unconstitutional. The court previously held in Buckley v. Valeo [opinion] that limits on contributions implicate First Amendment interests but that limits may be imposed … [read more]

[JURIST] The High Court of Australia [official website] ruled [text] on Wednesday that a person can be legally recognized as gender neutral. "Norrie," who was born male but underwent a "sex affirmation procedure" in 1989, sought to be officially categorized as gender "non specific." Though the NSW Regisry of Birth, … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled Wednesday In Northwest Inc. v. Ginsberg [opinion, PDF] that federal aviation law preempts a state law claim for breach of contract. Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines for breach of implied covenant of good faith in dealing under Minnesota state contract law … [read more]

[JURIST] The death toll in the three-year Syrian conflict has exceeded 150,000, a British-based human rights group announced on Tuesday. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) [advocacy website], 150,344 persons have died since the uprising began in March 2011. The death toll includes 51,212 civilians, including 7,985 … [read more]

[JURIST] Thailand's Constitutional Court [official website] announced Wednesday that they will hear a case accusing Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] of misconduct for transferring her National Security Council [official website, in Thai] chief to another position. The complaint, filed by opposition leaders, accuses Shinwatra of violating … [read more]

[JURIST] Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act [SB 2681, PDF], pursuant to which the state would be prohibited from taking action that "burdens" a citizen's right to religious exercise if Governor Phil Bryant [official website] signs the measure into law. The law defines "burden" as … [read more]

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Wednesday urged the administration of US President Barack Obama [official website] to endorse the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty [text, PDF], which flatly prohibits land mines and requires their removal. HRW asserts that, while the US contributes to mine clearance and victim assistance … [read more]

[JURIST] Lebanon's parliament [official website, in Arabic] passed a law on Tuesday criminalizing domestic violence. The new law comes after a long campaign by woman's rights groups triggered [AFP report] by the death of multiple woman [AP report] allegedly from abuse by their husbands. Such domestic violence sparked large-scale protests … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday that the administration of Florida Governor Rick Scott [official website] violated federal law when attempting to remove "non-citizen" voters from the rolls in the 2012 presidential election. The court ruled that the voter purge … [read more]

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] urged global leaders Tuesday to commit to ensuring [press release] the protection of human rights and an end to mass atrocities. The Secretary-General spoke positively of progress that has been made in holding perpetrators of genocide accountable for their actions, especially with the … [read more]

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] on Tuesday in Loughrin v. United States [SCOTUSblog backgrounder], which raises the issue of whether prosecution under the federal government's anti-bank fraud statute [text] requires proof that the defendant intended to defraud the financial institution and expose it … [read more]

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