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Legal news from Tuesday, January 21, 2003




Yale's Jack Balkin on the "colorblind" Constitution
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 8:39 PM ET

[JURIST] As the US Supreme Court schedules arguments in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases for April 1 [NY Times report], Yale Law School professor Jack Balkin pens the second of two interesting installments on the history of "colorblindness" in American constitutional law. Read parts one [Balkinization post] and two [Balkinization post] on his new blog.






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9th Circuit ruling against World War II enslavement suits
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 6:48 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday struck down a California statute purporting to grant World War II American POWs the right to sue Japanese and German companies for enslavement. The Court said that the statute was contrary to treaties signed by the US barring restitution for work done more than 50 years ago. Read Deutsch v. Turner [PDF opinion].






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New Jersey "child exclusion" challenge
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 5:46 PM ET

[JURIST] On Wednesday, the New Jersey Supreme Court [official website] hears the first state high court challenge to a so-called "child exclusion" law barring families that already receive welfare from getting additional payments covering more children. Read a press release and brief [PDF text] from the ACLU. NOW is also opposed [NOW press release] to the legislation. For a contrary view see Defending New Jersey's Family Cap Welfare Reform in the Courts [text], by Rutgers sociologist Ted Goertzel.






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Mexico v. US World Court executions case
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 5:43 PM ET

[JURIST] Transcripts of Tuesday's public hearings (first and second sessions [PDF texts]) before the International Court of Justice at The Hague in Mexico's suit against the United States [JURIST report] alleging the unlawful trying and sentencing to death of Mexican nationals are now available on the ICJ's website. The transcripts are in French and English, but no translation of non-English segments is as yet provided.






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Verizon subscriber disclosure ruling
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 5:31 PM ET

[JURIST] US District Judge John Bates on Tuesday ordered Verizon Communications to disclose to the Recording Industry Association of America the name of an Internet subscriber who, using the Kazaa [corporate website] file-sharing service, allegedly downloaded and shared some 600 copyrighted songs on the Internet. Read RIAA v. Verizon [PDF order]. RIAA's President expressed his appreciation of the ruling [RIAA press release]; Verizon intends to appeal [Verizon press release].






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Ohio death penalty study
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 5:09 PM ET

[JURIST] The University of Cincinnati College of Law has posted recorded video of Friday's press conference [UC press release] at which UC law students announced the results of a study indicating that death penalty convictions in Ohio suffered from the same problems as those recently commuted by Governor George Ryan in Illinois. More from the Cleveland Plain Dealer [news report].






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US Supreme Court conspiracy ruling
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 2:02 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court reversed the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday, holding that a criminal conspiracy does not automatically terminate simply because the Government has defeated its object. Read United States v. Jiminez Recio [decision syllabus] - Opinion by Breyer, with a separate Opinion by Stevens, concurring in part and dissenting in part.






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US Supreme Court Order List
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 1:34 PM ET

[JURIST] The official US Supreme Court Order List for Tuesday is now online [Order List, PDF].






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Judge's order against Microsoft in Java case
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 12:24 PM ET

[JURIST] US District Judge J. Frederick Motz filed an order in Baltimore Tuesday requiring Microsoft to release an updated version of Sun Microsystems' Java programming language for the Windows operating system. Read the Order [PDF text], and learn about Sun's antitrust suit against Microsoft [case filings and court rulings]. More from AP [news report].






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Mexico's World Court case against US on executions
Bernard Hibbitts on January 21, 2003 10:09 AM ET

[JURIST] In public hearings Tuesday before the International Court of Justice [official website] at The Hague, Mexico is set to claim that the US is in breach of its obligations under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations [text] by trying, convicting, sentencing to death and holding on death row in 10 states 54 Mexican nationals without informing them of their right to consular assistance. Mexico asks that the Court order the United States to restore the status quo ante (in effect, to release the prisoners). Read a summary of Mexico's case [ICJ press release], and its full application [PDF text] to the ICJ.






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