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 Supreme Court of India ruled [judgment, PDF] Tuesday that the national anthem does not have to be played prior to screening of films in theaters. An order on November 30, 2016, had required the playing of the national anthem before films in theaters. The court looked to the Constitution [text, PDF] of India which provides that "It shall be the duty of every citizen of India—(a) to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National...
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Monday, announced [press release] the termination of the Temporary Protected Status [text] (TPS) for El Salvador. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) [official website] established this designation for over 200,000 Salvadorans after the El Salvador's devastating earthquake in 2001. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act [statute], Nielsen indicated that the TPS designation was to continue so long as original conditions from the 2001 earthquake continued. Upon research and investigation by the DHS and...
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Monday in two original jurisdiction cases concerning state disputes over water rights and allocation. In the first case, the court heard arguments concerning water rights to the Rio Grande River. Texas filed the original complaint against New Mexico and Colorado, alleging [SCOTUSblog report] the states were violating the water allocation provisions of the 1938 Rio Grande compact. The US filed a complaint as an intervening party under authority from the...
The US Supreme Court on Monday denied review [order list, PDF] in two cases challenging a Mississippi law that would permit businesses and government employees to deny services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to protect those individuals' sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions. The bill, entitled "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination" [text], was passed in the Mississippi legislature in 2016. It primarily aims to "protect sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions" related to...
The US Supreme Court [official site] on Monday blocked the execution of Georgia inmate Keith Tharpe, ordering [opinion, PDF] the federal appeals court in Atlanta to examine claims that a juror voted for the death sentence because Tharpe was black. By a 6-3 vote, the court questioned a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit not to consider Tharpe's latest appeal involving claims of racial bias on the part of the juror. Tharpe was sentenced to...
The Supreme Court of India [official website] agreed [order, PDF] Monday to re-examine Section 377 [JURIST op-ed], which criminalizes sex between people of the same sex. In its order, the court noted that, "social morality also changes from age to age," and that it is necessary for the law to be separate from those changes to uphold the rights guaranteed by India's constitution. The petition called for a re-examination of the court's 2013 decision [JURIST report] that upheld the law...
The Trump administration asked [cert. petition, PDF] the US Supreme Court [official website] Friday to uphold the third version [text, PDF] of the administration's travel ban [JURIST news archive]. This petition comes just over a week after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] upheld an injunction [JURIST report] against the measure. The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit found that the executive action violated the Immigration and Nationality Act [materials], which requires the president to...
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] ruled unanimously [opinion, PDF] Friday that a Baltimore law [text] that requires pro-life pregnancy clinics to post signage in their waiting rooms stating that they do not offer or refer women for abortions, is unconstitutional. The court found the law violates the First Amendment [text], ruling in favor of the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns [advocacy website], which provides prenatal services and counseling for women regarding alternatives to...
Here's the international legal news we covered this week: The legal world is a busy place. [more] The Oslo District Court [official website, in Norwegian] ruled [judgment, PDF, in Norwegian] Thursday that the government may allow Arctic drilling. The ruling was a defeat for environmental groups Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic [advocacy websites, in Norwegian], which had argued that allowing the drilling would violate the country's obligations under the Paris Agreement [materials] on climate change as well as the...
Here's the domestic legal news we covered this week: The legal world is a busy place. [more] US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Thursday announced plans [press release] to make much of the US coast available for potential offshore drilling. [more] Lawyers for US President Donald Trump [official profile] on Thursday issued a cease and desist letter [text, PDF] seeking to prevent publication of a forthcoming book critical of his campaign and first year in office. [more] US...
The legal world is a busy place. Here are a few stories we didn't get to this week that we thought you might be interested in. A new law [text, PDF, in Icelandic] took effect in Iceland Monday, making it the first country to require equal pay for women. A court in Bangladesh issued an arrest warrant [PTI report] Tuesday for former prime minister Khaleda Zia on arson charges during an anti-government protest. UN human rights experts on Tuesday condemned...
US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Thursday announced plans [press release] to make much of the US coast available for potential offshore drilling. Zinke unveiled a 380-page Draft Proposed Program (DPP) [text, PDF] that includes 47 potential leases in 25 of the 26 planning areas. According to Zinke:Today's announcement lays out the options that are on the table and starts a lengthy and robust public comment period. Just like with mining, not all areas are appropriate for offshore...
The Oslo District Court [official website, in Norwegian] ruled [judgment, PDF, in Norwegian] Thursday that the government may allow Arctic drilling. The ruling was a defeat for environmental groups Nature and Youth and Greenpeace Nordic [advocacy websites, in Norwegian], which had argued that allowing the drilling would violate the country's obligations under the Paris Agreement [materials] on climate change as well as the Norwegian Constitution [text, PDF]. The groups had sued the government to invalidate drilling licenses. The court rejected...
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Wednesday urged [press release] Iranian authorities to investigate all deaths and injuries stemming from the recent protests. The mass protests began in late December in Mashhad, Iran's second largest city. Originally, protests were rallying against economic policies, but as the protests have spread throughout the country, the scope of the protests have expanded as well. Protests have turned violent at times, with multiple deaths and hundreds of arrests. Zeid...
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced [press release] Thursday that previous policies of non-interference with states that have legalized marijuana are "unnecessary" and called on US attorneys [memorandum] to enforce the Controlled Substances Act. Sessions has indicated that US attorneys should begin prosecution of those who cultivate, distribute or possess marijuana, launder money, or in any other way break national laws prohibiting marijuana. In the memo, the attorney general called marijuana "dangerous" and activity surrounding the drug to be a...
Lawyers for US President Donald Trump [official profile] on Thursday issued a cease and desist letter [text, PDF] seeking to prevent publication of a forthcoming book critical of his campaign and first year in office. The letter alleges that author Michael Wolff [bio] and his publisher, Henry Holt & Co. [official website], have exposed themselves to civil liability for "defamation by libel, defamation by libel per se, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference with contractual relations, and inducement of...
US President Donald Trump [official profile] on Wednesday revoked [executive order] the May executive order [JURIST report] that created the "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity." This order terminates the Trump administration's investigation into alleged voter fraud during the 2016 election. The administration cited [press release] the fact that "many states have refused to provide ... basic information relevant to its inquiry." The commission's investigation was fraught [NYT report], facing multiple lawsuits [JURIST report] asserting it failed to meet various...
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) [advocacy website] filed a complaint [text, PDF] on Wednesday alleging that the Department of Justice (DOJ) violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text] in failing to respond to their expedited request seeking communications concerning the DOJ's decision to release private text messages sent during the 2016 presidential campaign by two former FBI investigators who had previously worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation team. The request stems from DOJ's December...
Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign official who has been indicted for money laundering and making false statements, filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday against the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller [official websites]. The suit, filed under the Administrative Procedure Act [5 USC §§ 701 et seq.], challenges the DOJ's order appointing Mueller as special counsel as well as the scope of Mueller's investigations. According to the complaint, the order...
A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] ruled [order, PDF] Tuesday that the Trump administration must release or conduct bond hearings for 1,444 detained Iraqi immigrants. In a followup to his July nationwide stay [JURIST report] protecting the detainees from deportation, US District Judge Mark Goldsmith held that unless the government can show that a detainee poses an unreasonable risk of flight or danger to the community, they should be allowed to...

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