Tag Archives: ruling

South Korea court strikes down abortion law in landmark ruling

South Korea court strikes down abortion law in landmark ruling“The law criminalizing a woman who undergoes abortion of her own will goes beyond the minimum needed to achieve the legislative purpose and limits the right of self-determination of the woman,” it said in its ruling. “I believe this ruling frees women from shackles,” said Kim Su-jung, a lawyer representing the plaintiff, a doctor charged with conducting 69 illegal abortions. The ruling reflects a trend towards decriminalizing abortion, as cases of criminal punishment have fallen in recent years.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

UPDATE 4-U.S. judge defers ruling on PG&E $350 mln bonus plan

UPDATE 4-U.S. judge defers ruling on PG&E $  350 mln bonus planA U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday deferred a ruling on whether to approve a PG&E Corp plan to pay up to $ 350 million in bonuses to 10,000 employees, saying he wants more details from the California power producer that is facing bankruptcy following last year’s wildfires. Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco set April 23 as the next date for a hearing on the plan, saying he wants PG&E to give him a “tutorial” on it. The plan covers 2019 and takes the place of a previously proposed 2018 bonus program that the California power provider scuttled after criticism from wildfire victims and their lawyers.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Turkey expands Istanbul vote recount after ruling party challenges losses

Turkey expands Istanbul vote recount after ruling party challenges lossesErdogan’s AK Party said it would also demand a wider check on votes across the capital Ankara – which initial results suggested it also narrowly lost in Sunday’s vote in a major blow to the establishment. On Wednesday, Turkey’s High Election Board had ordered a full recount in three of Istanbul’s 39 districts and a recount of just invalid ballots in 15 districts after an appeal from Erdogan’s AKP.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Turkey expands Istanbul vote recount after ruling party challenges losses

Turkey expands Istanbul vote recount after ruling party challenges lossesErdogan’s AK Party said it would also demand a wider check on votes across the capital Ankara – which initial results suggested it also narrowly lost in Sunday’s vote in a major blow to the establishment. On Wednesday, Turkey’s High Election Board had ordered a full recount in three of Istanbul’s 39 districts and a recount of just invalid ballots in 15 districts after an appeal from Erdogan’s AKP.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Court Ruling Implies That Barr Must Redact Grand-Jury Info from Mueller Report

Court Ruling Implies That Barr Must Redact Grand-Jury Info from Mueller ReportIn disclosing the Mueller report, Attorney General William P. Barr will have to redact grand-jury information. That is the upshot of the ruling today by a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.I flagged this case, now called McKeever v. Barr (formerly McKeever v. Sessions), last week. It did not arise out of the Mueller investigation, but it obviously has significant ramifications for the Mueller report — in particular, how much of it we will get to see.At issue was this question: Does a federal court have the authority to order disclosure of grand-jury materials if the judge decides that the interests of justice warrant doing so; or is the judge limited to the exceptions to grand-jury secrecy that are spelled out in Rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure? The D.C. Circuit’s McKeever ruling holds that the text of Rule 6(e) controls. Consequently, judges have no authority to authorize disclosure outside the rule.This is significant for the Mueller report because Rule 6(e) does not contain an exception to secrecy that would permit disclosure to Congress.The case involves a writer, Stuart McKeever, who was researching a book on the disappearance of Columbia University professor Jesús de Galíndez Suárez in 1956. It was suspected that Galíndez, a very public critic of Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo, was kidnapped and flown to the D.R., where he was murdered. In the course of a federal investigation, suspicion fell on John Joseph Frank, a former FBI agent and CIA lawyer, who later worked for Trujillo. Frank was eventually prosecuted for failing to register as a foreign agent but never charged with any involvement in Galíndez’s murder.In 2013, for purposes of his research, McKeever petitioned the court for release of records of the grand-jury proceedings that led to Frank’s 1957 indictment. There is nothing in Rule 6(e) that would permit the veil of grand-jury secrecy to be pierced for an academic or literary research project. Yet the district judge asserted that federal courts have “inherent supervisory power” to disclose grand-jury materials, including those that are “historically significant.” Ultimately, however, the judge denied the petition, reasoning that it was “overbroad.”McKeever appealed. In opposition, the Justice Department argued not only that he should be denied the grand-jury records, but also that the lower court had been wrong to claim authority to disclose the materials outside the strictures of Rule 6(e). The three-judge panel agreed with the Justice Department, in an opinion written by Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg (now a senior judge, appointed by President Reagan) and joined by Judge Gregory Katsas (appointed by President Trump). Judge Sri Srinivasan (appointed by President Obama) dissented.The majority explained that the Supreme Court has long recognized the vital purposes served by grand-jury secrecy, and thus that secrecy must be protected unless there is some clear contrary indication in a statute or rule. Disclosure is the exception, not the rule.In Rule 6(e), Congress has prescribed grand-jury secrecy and its exceptions. Those who contend that a court may permit disclosure outside the rule argue that judges had such authority before the rule was enacted. The panel majority, however, emphasized the rule’s sweeping language: Officials must refrain from disclosure “unless these rules provide otherwise.” The rule also takes pains to spell out the situations in which a judge may authorize disclosure. Plainly, the intent of the rule was to limit disclosure; were an unwritten judicial power to ignore the limitations recognized, the rule would be pointless.The exceptions enumerated in the rule permit judges to authorize disclosure, to federal and certain non-federal officials, in order to aid in the enforcement of criminal laws. Clearly, it would be easy to conjure other worthy exceptions. Nevertheless, the panel majority observed, the Supreme Court has stressed that “not every beneficial purpose, or even every valid governmental purpose, is an appropriate reason for breaching grand jury secrecy.”The panel rejected the claim that the D.C. Circuit’s decision in a Watergate era case, Haldeman v. Sirica (1974), permits disclosure outside the rule. This is salient for purposes of the Mueller report because Haldeman involved an order by the district court (Judge John Sirica) permitting transmission of a sealed grand-jury report to the House Judiciary Committee, which was then considering possible grounds to impeach President Nixon.In his dissent, Judge Srinivasan maintained that Haldeman should control. Judges Ginsburg and Katsas disagreed, relating that the lower and appellate courts in Haldeman failed to conduct any “meaningful analysis of Rule 6(e)’s terms”; they merely offered policy arguments in favor of disclosure — with Sirica, for example, suggesting that disclosure to the House of Representatives was analogous to disclosure to another grand jury (the rule allows the latter). Moreover, Haldeman was distinguishable, the majority reasoned, because the disclosure of the grand-jury report was technically done within the context of the criminal case against H. R. Haldeman and his co-defendant, Gordon Strachan; that is, it was not a direct transmission to the House.(For what it’s worth, I believe Haldeman is distinguishable for an additional reason: The grand jury in that case was operating under a statute that permitted it to file a report, as distinguished from an indictment, which the grand jury itself recommended be transmitted to the House. I described such reports nearly two years ago, when we first learned that Mueller had convened a grand jury; and Kim Strassel had an excellent Twitter thread about them earlier this week, specifically addressing Haldeman. Such grand-jury reports are very different from what is at issue in the Mueller report. The latter is a prosecutor’s report based, in part, on grand-jury evidence; there are no grand-jury findings or recommendations that its proceedings be transmitted to Congress; and Democrats are asking for all the grand-jury information, with no view expressed by the grand jury or the witnesses who would be affected. The panel majority, however, did not address these differences — no doubt because the Mueller report was not under consideration in the McKeever case.)It is foreseeable that McKeever could be further appealed, to the full D.C. Circuit (an en banc review) and to the Supreme Court. Not only was the panel divided, but there is a split in the circuits — which the panel majority acknowledges, discussing the relevant cases at the conclusion of its opinion. For now, however, McKeever is the law in the D.C. Circuit, where the Mueller investigation took place. Naturally, the Justice Department must follow it — and it is, again, an affirmation of the Justice Department’s position on the law.This means Attorney General Barr must redact grand-jury material from the Mueller report before disclosing it to Congress. Democrats will complain long and loud about this, but I don’t see how Barr can be reasonably faulted for following the law. Congress, after all, has the power to legislate an amendment to Rule 6(e) that would permit disclosure of grand-jury materials from a special counsel investigation to appropriate congressional committees.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Turkey's ruling party leads local elections but loses Ankara

Turkey's ruling party leads local elections but loses AnkaraISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party led Sunday's mayoral elections but suffered setbacks as the opposition regained hold of the capital Ankara and made significant inroads in other parts of Turkey. The elections, which the Turkish strongman had depicted as a fight for the country's survival, were largely seen as a test of his support amid a sharp economic downturn.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Iran rights lawyer won't appeal new jail ruling: husband

Iran rights lawyer won't appeal new jail ruling: husbandIranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh will not appeal a 12-year prison sentence imposed on her last week for “encouraging corruption and debauchery”, her husband said on Sunday. “She said she wouldn’t want to appeal, and the reason is that the judicial process is unfair and such protests will do no good,” Reza Khandan told AFP over telephone. “She does not want to undertake any judicial action since she does not agree with the judicial process.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Parliament Narrowly Passes Amendment Ruling Out a No-Deal Brexit

Parliament Narrowly Passes Amendment Ruling Out a No-Deal BrexitBritish parliament on Wednesday approved an amendment prohibiting a so-called no-deal Brexit, in which the U.K. would exit the E.U. without first securing alternative trade and immigration arrangements.The amendment, which passed 312–308, came one day after Prime Minister Theresa May suffered yet another defeat in her ongoing effort to secure parliamentary approval for the Brexit deal she painstakingly negotiated with the European leaders following the 2016 referendum in which U.K. voters decided to leave the E.U.Having now rejected the default position that the U.K. will exit the E.U. on March 29 regardless of whether a deal has been secured, Parliament is expected to vote Thursday on an amendment that would extend the Brexit deadline until May 22.Should parliament vote to extend the deadline, May must secure the support of all 27 E.U. member states for the extension before March 29. But E.U. officials have thus far maintained that an extension will not be granted for the sole purpose of continuing negotiations. Liam Fox, Britain's international-trade secretary, warned lawmakers that the E.U. would likely demand further concessions before approving an extension, “and it is not clear what price the E.U. might extract” in return.While Wednesday's vote represents a concerted effort to avoid a so-called crash out, in which the E.U. would be thrust into economic uncertainty, it is legally non-binding, which means that should the attempt to extend the Brexit deadline fail, a no-deal Brexit remains the legal default.“If Parliament votes repeatedly to say ‘the moon is made of cheese,’ it doesn’t mean the moon is made of cheese,” Rob Ford, a professor of politics at the University of Manchester, told the Washington Post of the vote's significance. “Parliament can say, repeatedly, that they don’t want no deal, but the legal reality is that no deal will happen unless they vote for something else to happen.”



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Analysis: After Supreme Court abortion ruling, what’s next for Louisiana?

Analysis: After Supreme Court abortion ruling, what’s next for Louisiana?State Rep. Katrina Jackson: 'I hope one day we can overturn Roe versus Wade, but that wasn't the aim of this law'



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Russia 'not ruling out prisoner exhange' for Briton held on spying charges

Russia 'not ruling out prisoner exhange' for Briton held on spying chargesRussia’s foreign ministry has not ruled out a prisoner exchange for the British citizen held on apparent charges of espionage. Paul Whelan, a former US marine, was arrested in Moscow on December 28th. Russian media reported claims that the 48-year-old was apprehended in possession of a USB drive containing the names of Russian security agents. Since his arrest Mr Whelan, who also holds US, Canadian and Irish passports, has been kept in the notoriously brutal Lefortovo prison in the Russian capital. On Saturday, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said that it was too early to talk of a prisoner swap.  “As to the possibility of prisoner exchanges, it’s incorrect to consider the question when formal charges have not even been brought,”  Sergei Ryabkov told state-run RIA-Novosti news agency. The United States is also currently holding Maria Butina, a Russian citizen who pled guilty to espionage last month and co-operated with prosecutors over her attempts to infiltrate right-wing groups, including the National Rifle Association.  The foreign ministry comments follow revelations about Mr Whelan’s past.   In 2008, he was court-martialed and dishonourably discharged from the Marines on charges of larceny and passing bad checks. According to the Washington Post, he attempted to steal $ 10,000 while deployed to Iraq in 2006. Mr Whelan, a Russophile who often visited the country, possessed an account on Vtonktate, the Russian version of Facebook. Many of his contacts appear to be involved in the Russian navy or Defence Ministry, the New York Times reported. A view shows Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre in Moscow Credit:  REUTERS However, CIA officials told the paper that Mr Whelan’s court-martial meant it was unlikely he would have later been employed as a secret agent, adding that most spies possess diplomatic passports so they cannot be detained for long. On his Vtonktate page, Mr Whelan posted “GOD SAVE PRESIDENT TRUMP!!” after the President’s 2017 inauguration, alongside updates about the family cat.  One of his VK friend’s, Oleg, told Russian media that he had loaned Mr Whelan $ 1,000 to buy a paintball gun and not been repaid.  “I am sorry that I can’t send you I have already surpassed the limit that I can send abroad within a year,” Mr Whelan allegedly told him.  The former serviceman’s twin brother, David, told reporters that he feared his sibling could be detained for several years, caught up in the worsening tensions between Washington and Moscow.  He said there was nothing to indicate his brother was a spy and the arrest was “very arbitrary”. "Our family is tending to focus on getting him out anything we can do to make his stay as least-awful as possible and not worry so much about the rationale for what caused it," David said.  Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) is investigating Mr Whelan on charges of espionage that carry a sentence of up to 20 years, state-run media reported.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines