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.
Subscribe to JURIST Legal News feed
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: [JURIST] The US Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved [press release] $51.35 billion in funding on Thursday for state and foreign appropriations [text, PDF], including $10 million to help fund the UN agency that oversees the Paris Climate Agreement. [more] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed [docket list] an amicus curiae brief [text] with the US Supreme Court [official website] Thursday in support of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, which was...
[JURIST] The US Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved [press release] $51.35 billion in funding on Thursday for state and foreign appropriations [text, PDF], including $10 million to help fund the UN agency that oversees the Paris Climate Agreement. In June President Donald Trump announced [JURIST report] that the US will no longer be part of the Paris climate accord. According to many experts, climate change [JURIST backgrounder] as a result of global greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most...
[JURIST] A Turkish court released a Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) [party website] parliamentarian Thursday, according to a HDP statement [press release]. Parliamentarian Ayhan Bilgen is the former speaker of the HDP and has been jailed over allegations of terrorism. This release follows a "Conscience and Justice Watch" at the Constitutional Court to protest and demand action [press release] for those they believed were unjustly and unlawfully imprisoned. The current Turkish government has removed and arrested [Reuters report] more than 150,000...
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] filed [docket list] an amicus curiae brief [text] with the US Supreme Court [official website] Thursday in support of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, which was charged with discrimination for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing their religious beliefs against gay marriage. The DOJ stated that a "custom wedding cake is a form of expression" and "forcing [the baker] to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that...
The US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Thursday that Wyoming Statute § 6-3-414(c) and Wyoming Statute 40-27-101(c) [text, DOC] are subject to First Amendment protections of free speech. The statutes, referred to as data-trespassing laws, define the crime of "civil trespass to access adjacent or proximate land" to occur if a personi) Crosses private land to access adjacent or proximate land where he collects resource data; and ii) Does not have: (A) An...
[JURIST] The Spanish Constitutional Court [official website] on Thursday suspended [judgment, PDF, in Spanish] the Catalan independence referendum. The Catalan Parliament [official website], the region's ruling coalition, passed the referendum law [Guardian report] on Wednesday despite recent tensions between the coalition and the Spanish government. The rapid action taken by the court forbids the Catalan Parliament from ignoring or avoiding the court's suspension, appointing election officials, creating any record-keeping system for the referendum vote or taking any action geared towards...
New Mexico filed a lawsuit [press release and complaint, PDF] Thursday against big opioid producing pharmaceutical companies, alleging the corporations are responsible for the Opioid Epidemic flooding the state and specifically small rural communities. Filed in the First Judicial District Court for Santa Fe County [official website], the lawsuit claims that major opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, Johnson and Johnson, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Actavis [corporate websites], falsely represented and downplayed the highly addictive nature of the...
[JURIST] A federal appeals court ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that elected public board commissioners in a county in Michigan did not violate the US Constitution by opening their sessions with Christian prayer and asking attendees to join in. In a 9-6 decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] acknowledged that legislative prayer is part of traditions of the country and stated that plaintiff has not met his burden of proof to succeed in a First...
[JURIST] New York's highest state court, the Court of Appeals [judicial website] ruled [opinion PDF] on Thursday that the state constitution does not guarantee a right to physician assisted suicide. The claim was brought by three terminally ill patients against the New York Attorney General. "Physician assisted suicide" was defined as "the right of a mentally competent and terminally ill person to obtain a prescription for a lethal dosage of drugs from a physician, to be taken at some point...
[JURIST] Judge Sidney Fitzwater of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas [official website] issued a temporary restraining order [text] on Wednesday prohibiting Dallas, Texas, officials from removing a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee. The restraining order came after the Dallas City Council [official website] voted [City Council press release] 13 to 1 on Wednesday to remove the statue immediately. The Sons of Confederate Veterans [advocacy site] filed a complaint the same day, alleging [Dallas...
An administrative court under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA court) [text] in Mumbai on Thursday sentenced [Reuters report] Feroz Abdul Rashid Khan and Taher Merchant to death and Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan to life imprisonment for their involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts [BBC backgrounder] that killed 300 individuals and injured hundreds more. A fifth accused individual, Riyaz Siddiqui, was sentenced to 10 years in jail. This development follows the conviction of six individuals [JURIST report]...
Eric Dreiband, a partner at Jones Day [professional profile] and former top attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission [official website], appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee [materials] on Wednesday to answer questions as he seeks confirmation as the head of the Department of Justice's civil rights division. Dreiband was nominated [materials] for the post by President Donald Trump on June 29. Critics of the nomination point to Dreiband's record defending large corporations in civil rights violation cases, including his...
The Australia High Court [official website] on Thursday unanimously dismissed [transcript, PDF] a legal challenge to a same-sex marriage postal survey, thereby allowing the general public to vote directly on whether same-sex marriage should be legalized. The focus of the legal challenge to the survey was more on a financial level than on a social level. The challenge to the postal survey was brought forth by proponents of marriage equality and concerned the $122 million appropriated for the purpose of...
The US House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved legislation [HR 3388 materials] to allow self-driving cars into the marketplace. The Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution (SELF DRIVE) Act will allow 100,000 autonomous vehicles into the market as long as they meet the federal regulation standards. The purpose of the bill is to speed up the testing of automation and determine the requisite safety standards, which have had issues in local courts [JURIST op-ed]....
Widespread human rights violations continue in war-torn Syria despite a decrease in fighting between warring parties, according to a report [text, PDF] released Wednesday by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, an investigatory branch of the UN Human Rights Council [official websites]. The alleged violations, characterized by the report as "unthinkable crimes against civilians," include "forced displacement, deliberate attacks against civilians, and the use of chemical weapons" such as sarin and weaponized chlorine. The report...
[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] reported [text] on Tuesday that security forces under the administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have systematically used torture methods against political detainees that likely amount to crimes against humanity. According to the report, officers have routinely used [HRW report] stressful positions, physical abuse, and even rape to punish detainees and force confessions. Such practices have reportedly been carried out in police stations and security offices across the country. Allegedly, the Interior Ministry...
[JURIST] The European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] ruled [text] on Wednesday that a 2009 antitrust case should be sent back to the lower court in order to reexamine the €1.06 billion fine placed on Intel [corporate website] in the matter. The EU General Court (EGC) [official website] previously found [WP report] in 2014 that Intel had violated EU competition law by using rebates to suppress computers using rival company AMD's [corporate website] chips in the European market. Intel...
Property owners in Harris County, Houston filed a class action lawsuit [amended complaint, PDF] against the federal government on Tuesday for releasing water from the Barker and Addicks reservoirs after Hurricane Harvey, causing flooding in their homes and businesses. The property owners did not experience flooding until August 28, after the worst of the rain had passed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [official website] said it needed to release water at that time to prevent [Reuters report] uncontrolled water...
Four UN human rights experts on Tuesday called on [press release] China to release a prominent human rights lawyer who has been detained since November 2016. The lawyer, Jiang Tianyong, is being tried for inciting subversion of the state's power. The UN's call for his release comes after Jiang's August 22 confession [JURIST report], which many believe was coerced and not authentic. Jiang has been detained without access to his family or a lawyer, which has fueled the widespread belief...
Brazil's Attorney General Rodrigo Janot [official website, in Portuguese] announced [press release, in Portuguese] Tuesday that former Brazilian presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, along with other senior members of the Worker's Party, were being charged [indictment, PDF, in Portuguese] with leading a criminal organization. The organization was allegedly involved in paying bribes to politicians through inflating state contracts. In total, roughly $480 million in bribes are believed to have been paid during the 2002 to 2016...

Pages