JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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The Trump administration on Tuesday asked [motion, PDF] the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] to postpone ruling on the Obama administration's climate change regulations. This request came after President Donald Trump signed [JURIST report] an executive order [text] rolling back the Obama administration policies. The Clean Power Plan [text, PDF] was challenged during Obama's presidency by certain states and industry groups that rely on the coal industry. There is concern that a positive...
UN human rights experts called on the Russian Federation [press release] Wednesday to release protest3rs arrested during a peaceful demonstration Sunday. Protestors gathered following allegations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev amassed millions in a property portfolio through corrupt means. Dozens were arrested and a number of the protesters were subsequently sentenced to imprisonment and fines along with numerous journalists who had been covering the protests; the journalists were subsequently released. The experts added:Freedom of peaceful assembly is a right, not...
UN Secretary-General António Guterres [official profile] confirmed [UN News Centre report] Tuesday that the remains of two human rights investigators were found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan [statement] were members of the Group of Experts on the DRC and had been missing since March 12. Sharp and Catalan had been studying the causes of conflict and insecurity in the DRC in order to help bring peace to the country and its people. Guterres...
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice [official profile] on Tuesday vetoed [press release] Senate Bill 330 [text], an attempt to clarify the right-to-work law passed last year. Justice says the issue is currently before the courts and the process should not be interfered with as dictated by the Constitution. Justice called for the legislature [press release] to instead focus on the budget. He further stated that the right-to-work law is an "issue for the Supreme Court to decide" and interfering in...
An Ivory Coast court acquitted [HRW report] former first lady Simone Gbagbo of crimes against humanity on Tuesday. The court acquitted due to a lack of evidence and concerns on whether Gbagbo, who is already serving [BBC report] a 20-year prison term for undermining state security, received a fair trial. In November Gbagbo's preferred lawyers withdrew from the trial because the court failed to call high-profile witnesses that were considered essential to the defense. The court-appointed lawyers also withdrew their...
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania [advocacy website] reached [press release] a settlement with the School District of Lancaster Tuesday over the placement of newly arrived 17 to 20-year-old immigrant students. The lawsuit [complaint] states that the students, who knew little or no English, were prevented from attending the local high school, and instead required to attend the Phoenix Academy. In the complaint, Phoenix Academy is described as a private disciplinary school that did not have appropriate support...
The Tennessee Supreme Court [official website] on Wednesday upheld [opinion, PDF] the state's lethal injection protocols in a unanimous opinion. The court found [press release] that death row inmates failed to show that the current protocol violates their constitution right against cruel and unusual punishment. Executions have been stayed in the state while the legal challenge was pending with the last execution occurring in 2009. More than 30 condemned inmates filed the complaint stating [The Tennessean report] that the use...
Romania's High Court of Cassation and Justice [official website] on Wednesday upheld the 20-year prison sentence of Ion Ficior for crimes against humanity. Ficior was the commander of the Periprava labor camp from 1958 to 1963, during which approximately 103 political prisoners died. During his trial, former detainees accused him of beatings, providing limited access to food and medicine, overworking them, and having unheated cells. Ficior denies any wrongdoing and states he was merely following orders. The court also upheld...
The UK government triggered [materials] Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday, officially beginning the legal process of Britain leaving the European Union. British Prime Minister Theresa May stated shortly after signing the exit letter [NPR report], "The Article 50 process is now under way, and in accordance with the wishes of the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union." The process of ending the 44-year relationship between Britain the EU will take two years [CNN...
The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman [SCOTUSblog materials] that a New York state law that prohibited sellers from applying a surcharge to customers who paid with a credit card regulated the speech of the sellers. The law, New York General Business Law §518 [text], would punish violators with a fine up to $500 and/or up to one year in prison. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit had...
A Taiwanese human rights advocate, Lee Ming-che, is detained in China, suspected of harming national security, according to Chinese government officials. Lee disappeared [BBC report] on March 19 after entering Macau. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council PRC [official website] reported that Lee is being held in accordance with legal principles, but the government has not released any details. Rights groups and members of Lee's family are demanding [Reuters report] that the Chinese government either provide more information...
Lawyers for Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Mexican-born man detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website], despite being a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) [USCIS materials] program, have said that their client is expected to be released as early as Wednesday on a $15,000 bond [KCPQ report]. DACA recipients are granted permission to stay and work in the US without fear of deportation. ICE alleges that Ramirez Medina has gang ties and should therefore be...
The US Supreme Court [official website] on Tuesday heard oral arguments [transcript, PDF] in Lee v. United States [docket]. In Lee v. United States [SCOTUSblog materials] the court is considering whether it is expected that a non-citizen resident with strong ties to the US would reject a plea offer that would result in mandatory deportation, and therefore advice by counsel to the contrary would constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. The case is a result of an individual being counseled by...
US President Donald Trump signed [remarks] an executive order [policy] on Tuesday reforming the previous administration's energy policies. Trump stated [press release] that previous policies and regulations became burdensome to the energy industry and that by altering these regulations and policies wages will increase by more than $30 billion over the next seven years. The new order targets [Fox News report] the Clean Power Plan [text, PDF], which was implemented by the Obama administration to curb carbon emissions. Opponents to...
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Tuesday dismissed [opinion] a complaint from eight individuals scheduled for executions in Arkansas next month. Griffen granted the state's motion to dismiss the amended complaint, finding that he had no jurisdiction over the matter after the state's Supreme Court reversed his previous ruling [JURIST report]. Griffen wrote:As such, it is more than troubling, and more than shameful. It amounts to theft of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of this state and the...
The US House of Representatives[official site] on Tuesday voted [results] to repeal Internet privacy regulations. Following the Senate vote [JURIST report], the House voted 231-189 to approve HR 230 [materials], preventing the Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services [text] rule from entering into force. The rule would have prevented telecommunication organizations from selling or sharing information that would impact the confidentiality of customer proprietary information. The bill now goes to the executive branch for a...
[JURIST] Scottish lawmakers on Tuesday voted [parliamentary report] 69-59 in favor of holding an independence referendum. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon [official profile] had pushed for a referendum between 2018 and 2019 following the UK's move to leave the EU. Speaking about her plans last week, Sturgeon stated [press release], "Scotland stands at a hugely important crossroads. On the eve of Article 50 being triggered, not only is there no UK wide agreement on the way ahead - the UK Government...
[JURIST] In a settlement agreement [text, PDF] announced on Monday, the state of Michigan has agreed to allot $87 million to replace lead water pipes in the city of Flint. Among other things, the settlement provides that residents of Flint can receive lead testing of their water four times per year, are entitled to bottled water deliveries, and that water distribution centers would be established offering free bottled water. The settlement concludes a year-long lawsuit, but other litigation is still...
[JURIST] An anonymous Canadian government official on Monday announced the country's intention to legalize recreational marijuana by July 2018. The news [Telegraph report] follows public declarations from both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould [official profiles] to introduce legislation legalizing and strictly regulating the substance. Canada is expected to incorporate the advice of the marijuana task force, which has suggested that citizens be permitted to carry 30 grams of recreational marijuana and grow up to four marijuana...
[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Tuesday in Moore v. Texas [SCOTUSblog materials] that the factors considered by Texas in determining a defendant was not intellectually disabled do not comport with the Eighth Amendment [text] or court precedent. The case arose when Petitioner Bobby James Moore fatally shot a store clerk during a botched robbery when he was 20 years old, and was subsequently convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death. On a habeas challenge,...

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