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Legal news from Friday, May 20, 2016
by Mark Casper

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Thursday ordered Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers appearing in multiple states to take ethics classes after finding DOJ lawyers misled the court. Judge Andrew Hanen found that the DOJ lawyers, who had initially been defending the Deferred Action for …

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by Mark Casper

A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled Thursday that Virginia's voter identification law is constitutional. The plaintiffs challenged SB 1256, which requires that voters have a valid form of ID either before voting or within three days after voting, alleging that it inhibited "equal participation by protected …

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by Mark Casper

A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday repeated its earlier request for the Mexican government to investigate human rights violations in Tlatlaya in Mexico State. Among the human rights violations alleged are the deaths of 22 people, including the summary execution of 12 individuals. Spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani …

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by Mark Casper

Moise Katumbi, Democratic Republic of Congo presidential hopeful, was indicted on Thursday for hiring foreign mercenaries. According to a Reuters report, Katumbi is claimed to have hired the mercenaries in a plot against the state and current president Joseph Kabila. Katumbi called the charges "grotesque lies" meant to destroy his current political campaign. …

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by Mark Casper

The UK's High Court of Justice struck down a challenge by several cigarette companies against requiring plain packaging on cigarette packaging. In its almost 400-page decision, the court upheld the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 against the tobacco companies' claims that this regulation would constitute an intellectual property rights violation. In …

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by Mark Casper

The Oklahoma Legislature approved a bill Thursday that would criminalize performing abortions. The bill, SB 1552, reads in pertinent part, "no person shall perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman," and " this section shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not less than one (1) year nor more …

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by Alexis Wheeler

Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice (STJ) on Thursday ruled that an economic state of emergency declared by President Nicolas Maduro is constitutional. The declaration, issued on May 13, gives the president special reach in matters pertaining to the state of the economy for 60 days. The Venezuelan population is currently suffering …

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by Alexis Wheeler

A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Friday condemned Iranian authorities for the sentencing of Nargis Mohammadi, an anti-death penalty activist. Mohammadi is currently being held in Evin Prison, which is located in Tehran. The UN rights office expressed concerns for Mohammadi's health, saying, " believed to have serious …

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by Justin Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday in CRST Van Expedited, Inc v. EEOC [SCOTUSblog materials that Section 706 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not require a favorable ruling on the merits for defendant as a prevailing party for the purposes of awarding attorney's fees. In an 8-0 opinion …

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by Ram Eachambadi

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 on Thursday in Torres v. Lynch that a "state crime counts as an aggravated felony when it correĀ­sponds to a specified federal offense in all ways," and that the absence of the jurisdictional element of interstate commerce is "immaterial." The case arose in connection with an immigration matter …

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by Justin Cosgrove

Thousands of victims of sexual assault in the US Military have been unfairly discharged, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report Thursday. The 128-page report, the result of a 28-month investigation with the support of Protect Our Defenders, found that many victims were discharged for a variety of mental health reasons that …

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by Ram Eachambadi

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein on Thursday welcomed the measures being taken by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to prevent the use of its drugs in state-sponsored execution by lethal injection. Pfizer announced its decision to restrict the sale of seven products that have been part of lethal injection protocols in some states. …

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