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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[JURIST] Individuals blocked from entering the US by President Donald Trump's original travel ban order can reapply for visas, under the terms of a settlement [text, PDF] reached Thursday. Those who have a right to reapply are to be informed and notified of legal services that can aid them. The two main plaintiffs in this case [ACLU backgrounder], Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, had been detained [complaint, PDF] at JFK airport last January after the first travel...
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas [official website] on Thursday ruled [opinion, PDF] that the United States Department of Labor [official website] overstepped its authority when it increased the minimum salary level for exempt employees from $23,660 annually to $47,476 annually. The court found that Congress had intended to exempt employees who work in a "bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity" from overtime pay requirements. The court determined that by focusing exclusively on the employee's...
Kenya's Supreme Court [Official website] ruled 4-2 Friday to invalidate [materials] the recent presidential election. President Uhuru Kenyatta was reelected after winning 54 percent of the votes in the recent election, which was held on August 8. The petition [text, PDF], filed on August 18 by Raila Odinga, who won 44 percent of the vote, alleged that the election failed to comply with several of the requirements established under Kenya's constitution. It also contends that the 2.6 percent of votes...
UN Special Rapporteur Yanghee Lee [official profile] on Thursday expressed grave concern [press release] for Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as the "cycle of violence" against them worsens. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled to Bangladesh and nearly 18,000 more [BBC report] are attempting the same in response to the violent outbreak that ensued in Myanmar last week. Military action against this Muslim population commenced last Friday after a group of Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 police stations. An estimated 400 people [Reuters...
Ohio Governor John Kasich [official website], Republican, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper [official website], Democrat, sent a letter [text] to Congress Thursday proposing a plan to preserve the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [text, PDF] to stabilize the healthcare market [AP report]. The governors suggest preservation of the ACA's unpopular individual mandate provision, noting that it may be the "most important incentive for healthy people to enroll in coverage." Young, healthy people in the healthcare market lowers overall healthcare insurance prices....
Senior District Judge Charles Breyer [official profile] of the Northern District of California [official website] on Thursday blocked [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit filed by the state of Wyoming against Volkswagen AG (VW) [corporate website] over the diesel emission scandal. The court determined that because Volkswagen's illegal conduct occurred during the manufacturing process and impacted the US on a national level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [official website] would be better situated to both regulate VW and handle legal matters pertaining...
[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Florida [official website] on Thursday denied [opinion, PDF] a petition by State Attorney Aramis Ayala [official website] challenging Governor Rick Scott's [official website] power to reassign her death penalty eligible cases. Ayala announced in March of this year that she would no longer be seeking the death penalty [JURIST report] in cases handled by her office. In response, Scott issued numerous executive orders assigning Ayala's ability to prosecute such cases to State Attorney for Florida's...
A judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Texas on Wednesday temporarily blocked [order, PDF] the implementation and enforcement of Texas Senate Bill 4 (SB4) [text, PDF], which sought to ban so-called "sanctuary cities." Judge Orlando Garcia enjoined the state of Texas from enforcing, endorsing or otherwise implementing various sections of SB4 that would have prohibited local agencies from enforcing policies that bar officers from inquiring as to an individual's immigration status even during routine traffic...
[JURIST] Thailand's Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday cleared former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva [BBC bio] and his then-deputy Suthep Thaugsuban of murder and attempted murder during a crackdown in 2010 on anti-government protesters. More than 90 people were killed [Reuters report] during the crackdown. The court affirmed [Bangkok Post report] the two lower courts' decision that the Department for Special Investigation, which brought the case, did not have sufficient jurisdiction. The Supreme Court said that any proceedings must be...
[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] on Wednesday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a former West Point cadet's lawsuit alleging that superior officers violated her rights when she was allegedly raped by a fellow cadet. Plaintiff Jane Doe alleged that her Fifth Amendment right to equal protection was violated. In a 2-1 opinion, the court concluded that "adjudicating Doe's claim would require judicial interference into a wide range of military function, triggering the incident-to-service rule..." The...
[JURIST] Kyrgyzstan's Supreme Court [official website, in Kyrgyz] on Thursday upheld the rejection of a petition to put opposition leader Omurbek Tekebaev on the ballot for the October presidential election. Tekebaev was convicted [RFE/RL report] earlier this month for accepting bribes, which his party believes is a false conviction by the ruling party. He is currently serving eight years in prison. Although the petition collected about 39,000 signatures (9,000 more than required), the Central Election Commission said the signatures were...
[JURIST] Forces fighting Islamic State (IS) [Al Jazeera backgrounder] insurgents to regain lost territory in Syria must not sacrifice lives of civilians still trapped in the areas, UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] stated [UN press release] Thursday. Zeid had also previously urged [JURIST report] in May that civilians needed to be protected from airstrikes in Syria. According to Coalition report figures, from August 1 to August 29 the Coalition conducted 1,094 airstrikes on and near Raqqa...
Two human rights experts with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] issued a statement [press release] Wednesday detailing their concern over websites, including many news sites, that have been shutdown or blocked by the Egyptian government. According to the report, as many as 130 sites have been blocked, "including well-known sources of information as MadaMasr, RASSD, Al Watan and Huffpost Arabi, as well as the websites of human rights organizations such as Reporters...
A Pakistan anti-terrorism court declared former president and army general Pervez Musharraf [Britannica profile] a fugitive from the law [Reuters report] on Thursday concerning the assassination of former prime minister, and first female leader in the Muslim world, Benazir Bhutto [Britannica profile]. The court further ordered the seizure of Musharaf's property in Pakistan and acquitted five members of the Pakistan wing of Taliban for lack of evidence of their involvement in the assassination. However, Khawaja Mohammad Imtiaz, the special prosecutor...
A judge in Brazil issued a ruling [text, PDF, in Portuguese] Wednesday that temporarily blocks an executive order [press release, in Portuguese] from President Michel Temer [official website, in Portuguese] that would have opened large sections of the Amazon forest for mining. Temer's order [materials, in Portuguese] would have allowed mining of gold, copper, iron and other minerals and metals in the Renca area of the Amazon, which covers more than 17,000 square miles and has been protected by an...
Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly on Tuesday approved [press release, in Spanish] a decree rejecting the US economic sanctions and called for treason investigations into political actors for supporting the sanctions. The decree was passed unanimously [BBC report by the ANC. During the debate of the decree, members of the ANC denounced those who were critical of the government, including opposition party members and former supporters of the socialist government. Julio Borges, head of the opposition-controlled parliament, was accused of asking...
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump's constant criticism of journalists constitutes an attack on the freedom of the press. "It's really quite amazing when you think that freedom of the press, not only sort of a cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution but very much something that the United States defended over the years is now itself under attack from the President." Specifically referring to Trump's "fake news"...
A US grand jury indicted 19 people [text, PDF], including 15 Turkish security officials, on Tuesday for attacking protesters during a visit to the White House by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [official website] in May. The protesters gathered outside of the Turkish ambassador's home after he met with US President Donald Trump and were attacked by the 19 defendants. All are charged [AP report] with conspiracy to commit a crime of violence, and several others face additional charges...
The Guatemalan Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended President Jimmy Morales' [official twitter] order to deport the head of a UN anti-corruption commission from the country. The order came from the president two days after Ivan Velasquez, the Colombian prosecutor who leads Guatemala's International Commission against Impunity [official website], announced his pursuit to lift Morales' immunity from prosecution in order to investigate alleged illegal campaign financing. The Supreme Court quickly halted the deportation, stating [AP report] that the order was issued...
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis [official website] on Tuesday released a statement [press release] declaring that a panel will be established to determine how to implement President Donald Trump's "Military and Service by Transgender Individuals" Presidential Memorandum [text] and that all currently serving members of the military will remain serving under the current policy until the panel has provided a report of its recommendations. The panel will include experts from with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. The...

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