Legal news from Wednesday, January 19, 2005
21:01 EDT

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Middle District of Florida Wednesday upheld a federal law allowing states to ban same-sex marriages. The ruling is believed to be the first to formally uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act [THOMAS text; Wikipedia article]. The case arose from the claims of [read more]

21:01 EDT

[JURIST] Defense lawyers representing 12 Kuwaiti nationals [Project Kuwait Freedom profiles] detained in Guantanamo Bay said Wednesday that their clients looked emaciated and had complained of abuse, including physical abuse, torture and humiliation. The attorneys, Kristine Huskey and Thomas Wilner, made the observations after their first interviews with the detainees [read more]

20:01 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Ukrainian Supreme Court has rejected a last appeal by losing candidate Viktor Yanukovych against the December 26 presidential election result. The decision definitively clears the way for formal publication of the election results in the official Holos Ukrainy and Uryadovyi Kuryer newspapers. The Maidan [read more]

19:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard Leon [official profile] Wednesday dismissed the claims of seven Guantanamo Bay prisoners who had contested the fairness of their continued detention. Judge Leon said in his opinion [PDF]: "To the extent that these non-resident detainees have rights, they are subject to both the military review [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Securities and Exchange Commission [official website] announced Wednesday that former ImClone Systems [corporate website] CEO Sam Waksal has agreed to pay $3 million to settle charges in the insider trading scandal that sent Martha Stewart to jail [JURIST coverage]. Waksal and his father will also be liable for [read more]

18:01 EDT

[JURIST] Updating a JURIST report from earlier today, Cpl. Daniel Kenyon, one of the three UK soldiers facing court martial [JURIST report] for the alleged abuse of Iraqi civilians, has blamed his commanding officers for giving orders that led to the alleged offences [BBC photos] at a camp outside Basra. [read more]

16:01 EDT

[JURIST] Incoming Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter [official website], R-PA, announced Wednesday that he is backing a proposed $140 billion fund to compensate asbestos victims and cap the damages liability of the companies targeted in asbestos lawsuits. Labor interests claim the fund is about $9 billion short of the amount [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] have forced a one-week postponement pf the vote on Alberto Gonzales' [official White House biography] nomination as attorney general because Gonzales hasn't answered all of the committee's questions. Gonzales submitted written answers to committee questions [JURIST report] yesterday, but those answers [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Two Russian men have unsuccessfully tried to register for a marriage certificate in Moscow in an effort to provide legal grounds to challenge the Russian family code [text, in Russian]. Next week, regional MP Edvard Murzin, who says he is not gay but is trying to promote gay rights, [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] US District Judge Richard Casey has dismissed Saudi Arabia, its defense minister and its ambassador to the UK as defendants in the litigation stemming from September 11th terrorist attacks, ruling that all have immunity from litigation. Judge Casey is considering pre-trial matters in eight consolidated cases brought by family [read more]

13:01 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, potential jurors for the trial of former WorldCom Inc. [corporate website] chief Bernard Ebbers were questioned today about any financial ties to the company and their knowledge of the case. Ebbers faces charges of conspiracy, fraud and making false filings to the [read more]

12:01 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated the an amendment to the state's constitution that bans same-sex marriage.12:53 PM ET - In a unanimous decision, the Louisiana Supreme Court [official website] has reinstated a state constitutional amendment [text, PDF] that would ban same-sex marriages and prevent [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] FOX News is reporting that the US Supreme Court has rejected Michael Newdow's bid for an injunction banning prayer at the Presidential inaugural ceremonies January 20th. Newdow asked the Court to intervene [JURIST report] after US District Judge John Bates denied Newdow's original petition [JURIST report] in a ruling [read more]

11:01 EDT

[JURIST] The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has voted to approve the nomination of Condoleezza Rice to be secretary of state. The nomination now goes for the full Senate for its formal approval. [read more]

09:01 EDT

[JURIST] A US general speaking from Baghdad Tuesday said that Iraqis would be able to vote in the cities of Fallujah [BBC profile] and Ramadi [Wikipedia profile], both scenes of repeated insurgent attacks against Iraqi and US targets, but that for security reasons the location of polling places would be [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] In Wednesday's international legal news, Viktor Yushchenko [BBC profile; presidential campaign website in Ukrainian], the pro-western reformer who led a popular charge to see the original November Ukranian presidential election results reversed on grounds of fraud, will most likely be inaugurated as the new president of Ukraine [official presidency [read more]

08:01 EDT

[JURIST] California prison officials executed three-time murderer Donald Beardslee Wednesday morning, the first execution in California in three years. Following a Board of Prison Terms recommendation [PDF], California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger [official profile] denied clemency to Beardslee, saying: The state and federal courts have affirmed his conviction and death sentence, [read more]

07:01 EDT

[JURIST] A British court martial has released over twenty pictures that seem to show British troops abusing Iraqi civilians. The photos emerged as three Royal Regiment of Fusiliers soldiers are facing nine charges [JURIST report, charge list from BBC News] for allegedly abusing looters detained at a camp outside Basra [read more]

05:01 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Wednesday, Jan. 19.The US Supreme Court will hear 10 AM ET oral arguments in City of Ranchos Palos Verdes v. Abrams [case backgrounder from Duke Law School], in which it will resolve a circuit [read more]

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