Legal news from Wednesday, April 13, 2005
21:04 EDT

[JURIST] In a major setback for the country's political opposition, Pakistan's Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed petitions contending that the dual role of General Pervez Musharraf [official website] as Pakistan president and army chief of staff is contrary to the provisions of the Pakistan constitution [text]. The judgment is considered a [read more]

20:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US House Ways and Means Committee [official website] approved a massive energy bill Wednesday. The Enhanced Energy Infrastructure and Technology Tax Act of 2005 [text and background materials] includes industrial tax breaks, extends the use of ethanol for farmers, and gives authorization for oil drilling in an Alaska [read more]

19:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives voted 272-162 [roll call vote] late Wednesday to permanently repeal federal estate taxes in 2010 and beyond. The federal government is estimated to lose $290 billion in tax revenue over a decade if the bill, HR 8 succeeds in the Senate. Many Democrats see [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] The Senate Foreign Relations Committee [official website] confirmation vote on the nomination of John Bolton [official profile] as US ambassador to the UN was delayed Wednesday after Democrats asked for more time to question State Department officials who have worked with Bolton. During a nomination hearing earlier this week, [read more]

16:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] rejected a challenge to Louisiana's anti-abortion license plates, saying that federal courts lack jurisdiction in the dispute because the case amounts to a tax dispute that belongs in state court. Abortion rights groups challenged Louisiana's "Choose Life" plate, [read more]

15:04 EDT

[JURIST] The UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] has called on the international community to take action against the defamation of religions, especially the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities after the September 11th attacks. In a resolution [Commission press release] adopted Tuesday by a 31-16 vote, with [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Stephen Johnson [EPA profile], President Bush's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency [official website], received approval from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee [official website] Wednesday. The committee's 17-1 vote in favor of Johnson's nomination sends the nomination to the full Senate for consideration. Sen. Thomas Carper, [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) [union website], the largest US grocery union, has filed a complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. [corporate website] with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) [official website] to determine whether the company bribed employees to block union [read more]

14:04 EDT

[JURIST] Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski [official website] and a bipartisan group of state senators introduced legislation [Kulongoski press release] Wednesday that would recognize civil unions for same-sex couples and would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. The text of Senate Bill 1000 is not yet available online, but Kulongoski says [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] A British court Wednesday convicted suspected al Qaeda operative Kamel Bourgass of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance by the use of poisons and/or explosives to cause disruption, fear or injury in a plot to spread ricin [BBC News backgrouder] and other poisons in Britain. British authorities suspect that [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Eric Rudolph [Wikipedia profile], who last week agreed to plead guilty [JURIST report] to the Atlanta Olympic bombings, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 1998 Birmingham abortion clinic bombing [indictment, PDF], which killed two people and left over 100 wounded. Under the plea agreement, Rudolph will receive four consecutive life [read more]

13:04 EDT

[JURIST] Senator Arlen Specter [official website], chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website], has criticized Justice Department and FBI officials for failing to provide the committee details about their demands for records and their use of roving wiretaps and secret search warrants authorized under the USA PATRIOT Act [PDF [read more]

12:04 EDT

[JURIST] Lawyers for six Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday asking a judge to force the Department of Justice and Department of Defense to comply with their Freedom of Information Act [text] requests for documents, including medical and psychiatric records, on its treatment of the [read more]

11:04 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the UN General Assembly has approved the text of a draft global treaty designed to prevent nuclear terrorism.11:35 AM ET - The approval of the text comes at the end of a seven-year negotiating process characterized by tensions between nuclear and non-nuclear powers. Under the [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] ruled in favor of the State of Florida [official website] Tuesday in allowing the state to continue to require released convicted felons to apply to a state agency for restoration of their voting rights. Florida is one of 14 states [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] In an unexplained decision, the Supreme Court of California [official website] late Tuesday blocked the release of files concerning some 117 priests from the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [official website] alleged to have committed sexual abuse. The Archdiocese had been prepared to release the files as early as [read more]

10:04 EDT

[JURIST] The French Parliament has adopted a bill which will allow patients to decide to discontinue medical treatment, even if that decision will ultimately lead to their death. The bill [text and materials in French], passed Tuesday night by the Senate [government website in French] and already approved by the [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko [official profile] cancelled her scheduled weekend visit to Russia [government website in Russian] Wednesday, following statements by Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov [MosNews profile] that Russia would not withdraw an international arrest warrant out against Tymoshenko. Russian prosecutors have charged Tymoshenko with criminal bribery [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] The United States submitted a draft resolution to the UN Commission on Human Rights [official website] Tuesday criticizing the human rights record of Cuba [government website]. The US annually submits a similar resolution as part of its efforts to keep up international pressure on the communist Latin American nation. [read more]

09:04 EDT

[JURIST] The State Council of China [government website] released a 41-page report Wednesday claiming significant progress in the promotion and protection of human rights. The document reported over 1,500 investigations and prosecutions of government officials alleged to have violated human rights in the country in 2004. Read the ful text [read more]

08:04 EDT

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the European Parliament has approved the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union in 2007. 8:32 AM ET - The European Parliament [official website] voted 497-93, with 71 abstentions, in favor of Romania's accession to the European Union [official website] and 522-70, with [read more]

07:04 EDT

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that he would not seek to amend the Russian constitution [English translation] so that he could run for a third consecutive term. Russia's constitution does not allow the president to serve more than two consecutive terms but does [read more]

00:04 EDT

[JURIST] Here's a run-down of law-related events, expected developments and live webcasts on JURIST's docket for Wednesday, April 13.The US Senate [official website] convenes at 9:30 AM ET today, when it will consider H.R. 1268 [bill summary], the Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations bill. Watch a live webcast of the session. The [read more]

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