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Legal news from Wednesday, March 23, 2016
by Bradley McAllister

Authorities in the US state of Texas on Tuesday executed a 33-year-old man accused of killing a city code enforcement officer. Adam Ward has been on death row in Texas since 2007. The US Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Adam Ward last October, despite arguments from his lawyers that Ward had an IQ below 70 and …

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by William Helbling

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday heard oral arguments in the case Zubik v. Burwell. The case consolidates challenges by several different religious institutions opposing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The plaintiffs argue that the contraceptive coverage mandate forces non-profit organizations to act against their deeply-held religious beliefs. The US Department of …

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by William Helbling

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Prime Minister Najib Razak alleging corruption and abuse of power. The lawsuit comes after allegations and formal charges were made against Razak for his actions in depositing state funds into his personal account. In January the Malaysian Attorney General's Office cleared the prime minister of corruption …

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by Alexis Wheeler

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović expressed concern Tuesday over the deteriorating human rights situation in Burundi. The violence has come with the emergence of armed groups opposed to the government and has the potential to disrupt the nation and the Great Lakes region in general. In a UN report, Šimonović acknowledged the …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

Police in east China's Shandong Province arrested 37 individuals on Tuesday who are suspected of participation in a national medical drug ring. A mother/daughter duo are suspected of buying and selling more than USD $88 million worth of vaccines since 2011. Three pharmaceutical companies have been implicated in the scandal and national Chinese authorities have authorized sweeping investigations …

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by Alexis Wheeler

France's highest court, the Court of Cassation, ruled Tuesday that phone tapped conversations between Nicolas Sarkozy and his lawyer were legal. Beginning in 2013, investigators recorded conversations between the former French president and his lawyer for a case involving suspicious Libyan funding for Sakozy's successful 2007 presidential bid. The conversations led investigators …

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by Mark Casper

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must provide information about potentially discriminatory tax-exempt applications given to tea party members. In its decision, the court stated that the claims against the IRS were that they used political criteria to specifically round up tax-exempt …

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by Gwenyth Gamble Jarvi

A national gun rights group has filed a lawsuit challenging Montana's campaign finance law as a violation of free speech. The National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), a Virginia-based organization that wishes to send mailings to Montana voters, filed the suit in the US District Court for the District of Montana last Friday. They …

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by Miracle Jones

A Missouri state judge on Monday ordered the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) to disclose the source of the execution drug used by the state in order to comply with the Missouri sunshine law. The court found that the DOC was intentionally refusing to release the information about which pharmacy or entity was supplying drugs …

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by Miracle Jones

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law on Tuesday a religious freedom bill that allows religious student organizations to base acceptance on sincerely held religious beliefs. Senate Bill 175, known as the post secondary religious freedom bill, would allow student organizations to assert religious beliefs as a reason to not accept or to dismiss members. …

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by Taylor Gillan

A judge for the Brazilian Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a ruling blocking former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from taking a ministry post. Last week's order blocking the appointment came shortly after he was sworn into the position. A full decision on the issue is expected when the …

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by Taylor Gillan

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday partially dismissed the lawsuit of a nurse challenging the National Security Agency's (NSA) bulk collection of cellphone metadata. The lawsuit, ruled on by a three-judge panel, was brought by Idaho nurse Anna Smith, who sued the government in 2013 claiming the NSA's controversial …

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by William Helbling

The UN Working Group on mercenaries on Tuesday urged the government of Ukraine to bring accountability for any human rights violations committed by foreign armed actors since conflict began in 2014. The working group has claimed that many volunteer and paid men and women from professional or independent militia groups are responsible for rights violations. Human rights …

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by William Helbling

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday released a 4-4 opinion in the case Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore. The case addresses the role of spouses as guarantors in credit applications. In this case, Community Bank of Raymore asked for a guaranty to support the creditworthiness of PHC, a development company, and …

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