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Legal news from Wednesday, November 7, 2012
16:11 EDT

[JURIST] Voters passed ballot measures on Tuesday seeking to limit the amount of money that can be directed to political campaigns in Colorado [Amendment 65; results] and Montana [Initiative 166, PDF, results]. The measure [text, PDF] in Colorado will amend that state's constitution to declare that the people of the [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Montana voters on Tuesday approved a referendum [text, PDF] that would require parental notification prior to an abortion for a minor. The measure, which was passed [LifeNews report] by 66 percent of Montana voters, would require abortion facilities and doctors to inform parents and legal guardians of minors under [read more]

15:11 EDT

[JURIST] Voters in Montana and Maryland went to the polls to decide upon two state immigration initiatives on Tuesday. In Maryland, Question 4 [text], often called "Maryland's Dream Act," passed with approximately 59 percent of the votes affirming the law's passage. The measure [Baltimore Sun report] allows for most undocumented [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Ballot proposals to exempt residents from portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) [text; JURIST news archive] were approved Tuesday in Montana [Referendum No. 122, PDF], Alabama [Amendment 6, PDF; results] and Wyoming [Amendment A, PDF; results]. A similar amendment in Florida [Amendment 1, PDF; results] [read more]

14:11 EDT

[JURIST] Virginia voters passed Question 1 [official voter pamphlet, PDF] on Tuesday by 76 percent [Virginia Board of Elections results], amending the state Constitution [materials] to include prohibitions on the State utilizing eminent domain [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST news archive] to seize private property. Question 1 amends Article 1, Section [read more]

13:11 EDT

[JURIST] California voters passed Proposition 36 [official website; official ballot guide] on Tuesday, modifying the state's "three strikes" law [California Penal Code § 667] to apply a mandatory life sentence only if the third strike is a serious or violent crime. Before the referendum, the three strikes law would mandate [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] An independent UN rights expert on Monday urged justice [press release] for victims of domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) [OHCHR profile], saying high rates of violence can largely be attributed to war-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, addiction and poverty. The report was offered by UN Special Rapporteur on [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] Marijuana will become legal in Colorado [Amendment 64, PDF] and Washington [Initiative 502, PDF] after voters passed ballot initiatives Tuesday to legalize marijuana for the first time on a statewide basis. In Washington voters approved an Initiative to the Legislature to allow the possession and distribution of marijuana through [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] called on US President Barack Obama [official website] early Wednesday morning to shut down [press release] the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] military prison, even as it congratulated him on his re-election victory. Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, urged Obama [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] A Judge Advocate General for the Military Court Centre in Bulford [official websites] ruled [judgment, PDF] Wednesday that five UK Royal Marines charged with murder are to remain anonymous throughout their court martial. The five are charged with killing a wounded Taliban fighter, who appeared in a video [Telegraph [read more]

12:11 EDT

[JURIST] The French Council of Ministers [official website, in French] approved a draft bill [press release] Wednesday providing same-sex couples with the right to marry. The bill extends the rights of marriage, including adoption rights, to same-sex couples living in France without altering current legal marriage and adoptive relationships. The [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure [State Question No. 759, PDF] to eliminate affirmative action programs within the state. Seventy-six of Oklahoma's 77 counties approved [AP report] the constitutional amendment that will affect hiring and education practices within the state. The measure would abolish any preferred treatment [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] Alabama voters rejected Amendment 4 [SB 112 text, PDF] on Tuesday, which would have removed references to segregation and poll taxes from the state's Constitution [text], over concerns about language addressing the right to education. The amendment, rejected by a vote of 61 percent [Fox WBRC report], proposed to [read more]

11:11 EDT

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments [day call, PDF] in two cases Tuesday. In Smith v. United States [transcript, PDF; JURIST report] the court heard arguments on the burden of proof in conspiracy cases. At issue is a jury instruction that allowed jurors to assume that [read more]

09:11 EDT

[JURIST] Puerto Rican voters elected to become the fifty-first US state in a non-binding referendum on Tuesday. The referendum was presented in a two-question format. Nearly 54 percent of Puerto Rican voters wanted to change the island territory's relationship [AP report] with the US, and a resounding 61 percent of [read more]

08:11 EDT

[JURIST] Maine voters on Tuesday voted in favor of Question 1 [LD 1860], which permits the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 53 percent of voters answered the question in the affirmative. The referendum was championed by EqualityMaine [advocacy website], who gathered enough signatures [JURIST report] earlier this [read more]

07:11 EDT

[JURIST] Spain's Constitutional Court [official website] on Tuesday, denied an appeal [press release, PDF, in Spanish] by the Popular Party [party website, in Spanish] challenging the constitutionality of Spain's law that permits same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. The decision was reached by an 8-3 vote, and the detailed legal reasoning is [read more]

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