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Legal news from Tuesday, March 22, 2016
by Taylor Isaac

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Ohio Justice and Policy Center (OJPC) released a report on Tuesday with recommendations on reforming the criminal justice system in Ohio. The report details six headlines of focus: limit harsh, automatic punishments; prioritize rehabilitation; release innocent people from jail; decriminalize poverty; limit collateral consequences; …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in two cases. In Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax Free Trust, consolidated with Acosta-Febo v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust, the court is considering whether federal bankruptcy law preempts a Puerto Rico law intended to allow the commonwealth's public utilities to restructure their debts. The …

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by Taylor Isaac

Two human rights groups on Tuesday called for the US, the UK and France to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia due to accusations and evidence that the weapons are being used in attacks against Yemen. Amnesty International (AI) specifically addressed a letter to US President Barack Obama asking him to cancel a $1.29 …

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by Alonso Diaz

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo that employees may pursue their class action claim against the company. Workers at a pork processing plant in Iowa filed suit against Tyson alleging that denying them overtime compensation violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). Specifically, the employees' work …

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by Brittany Felder

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in Sturgeon v. Frost that an Alaskan hunter may use his hovercraft in a federal preserve, holding that the "Ninth Circuit's interpretation of the statute in question is inconsistent with both the text and context." The court was tasked with determining whether National Park Service (NPS) regulations …

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by Brittany Felder

In her first report to the UN Human Rights Council, UN expert Ikponwosa Ero noted the increasing violence against people with albinism triggered by fallacious "witchcraft" beliefs. Those with albinism are reportedly being hunted, killed and dismembered with machetes for witchcraft rituals because people believe that they are inhuman ghosts. Some have even had their graves …

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by Alonso Diaz

Rita Izsāk-Ndiaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, said Monday that at least 250 million people worldwide face "appalling and dehumanizing" discrimination based on caste and similar systems of "inherited" status. Presenting a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Izsāk-Ndiaye stated that the stigma from caste follows individuals throughout all aspects of life including access …

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by Alexandra Farone

The US Supreme Court on Monday held unanimously that a congressional 1882 Act of purchase did not diminish the size of the Omaha Indian Reservation. Nebraska v. Parker dealt with the town of Pender, Nebraska, and whether it sits inside the Omaha Indian Reservation, which would make it subject to the tribal liquor …

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by Alexandra Farone

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz on Monday applauded the Brazilian government for its actions taken to recognize indigenous peoples' rights but stressed that further measures needed to be taken. In particular she praised the demarcation framework and the pro-active role of the National Indian Foundation of Brazil (FUNAI). However, …

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by Bradley McAllister

After a two-day reading of the verdict, the Donetsk municipal court in southern Russia on Tuesday sentenced a Ukrainian pilot to 22 years in prison for complicity to murder two Russian journalists and illegal border crossing. Nadezhda Savchenko has been charged with complicity in the killing of two journalists, with prosecutors accusing her of providing coordinates …

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by Jacqueline Jones

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday requested a postponement of a hearing scheduled for Tuesday to determine whether Apple must comply with an order to unlock the San Bernadino shooter's iPhone. The DOJ stated that they may have another method to unlock the shooter's phone and therefore would not need Apple to comply …

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by Jacqueline Jones

The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeld called Tuesday on Denmark to be more inclusive to all of its citizens. The Special Rapporteur stated, "the Government has to play a leading role in further developing a fair and inclusive Danish society, in which members of religious communities, as well as secular …

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by Alexandra Farone

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases on Monday. In Wittman v. Personhuballah the court heard arguments regarding an election district plan for Virginia's Third Congressional District. This district was altered in 2012 in a manner that increased the already majority-African American population, and the district court …

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