Kenya: Supreme court judge to be investigated over bribery
Court News | 2016/02/07 01:04
The head of Kenya's Judiciary Friday said that an internal probe has found that a Supreme Court judge should be investigated further over allegations that he received a $2 million bribe to influence an election petition.

The Judicial Service Commission committee set up to investigate Justice Phillip Tunoi recommended a further probe by a tribunal, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga said.

Tunoi is accused by journalist Geoffrey Kiplagat of receiving a bribe to make a judgment favoring Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, whose March 2013 election was being challenged by his closest rival.

Tunoi, through his lawyer Fred Ngatia, said he was ready to face the tribunal and reiterated his innocence.

Kiplagat claims he participated in the deal to bribe the judge.

The allegations test the credibility of Kenya's Supreme Court, which was formed in 2010 when the country adopted a new constitution.

Before reforms ushered in by the new constitution, the credibility of the Kenyan judiciary had been in question for decades. The constitution of August 2010 requires that all judges be vetted. Ten judges and 31 magistrates lost their jobs after they were found to be unfit to hold office.



NY court agrees to rehear Ex-Goldman board member's appeal
Attorney News | 2016/02/05 01:04
A federal appeals court in New York has agreed to rehear the appeal of the insider-trading conviction of a former board member for Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday issued an order saying it will rehear the claims of Rajat Gupta (rah-JAHT' GOOP'-tah). His lawyers say his 2012 conviction on conspiracy and securities fraud charges should be tossed because he was innocent and the jury was improperly instructed.

His attorney Gary Naftalis says he is pleased with the court's ruling and believes there are meritorious issues to present on appeal.

The 57-year-old Gupta is confined to his Westport, Connecticut, home. He won't be formally finished serving a two-year prison sentence until next month.



Ohio court approves class action in speed camera case
Attorney News | 2016/02/02 16:42
A state appeals court approved class action status on Monday for thousands of motorists fined for speeding in a southwest Ohio village with citations issued from automatic camera enforcement.

The 12th district appeals court ruling comes as New Miami's police have just launched use of hand-held speed cameras meant to comply with state legislation.

Attorneys for the drivers plan to ask a judge to order New Miami to pay back more than $1 million collected in the less than two years the cameras operated in the village of some 2,200 people. A Butler County judge ruled in 2014 that they violated motorists' rights to due process and ordered them shut off.



High court to hear arguments in Va. redistricting case
Opinions | 2016/02/01 16:41
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in the case over Virginia's congressional map.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that arguments before the high court have been set for March 21.

The court has agreed to take up an appeal by Republicans in Virginia's congressional delegation. They're asking the court to reverse a decision by a three-judge panel that said lawmakers in 2012 illegally packed too many black voters into the 3rd Congressional District.

The new map could help Democrats win the 4th Congressional District, represented by Republican Rep. Randy Forbes

Republicans have also asked the U.S. Supreme Court to put a new congressional map for Virginia on hold and allow the 2016 elections to proceed under the old boundaries.



Court weighs practice of Christian prayers at meetings
Court Watch | 2016/01/31 16:41
A federal appeals court is grappling with the constitutionality of prayers at local council meetings for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar case in 2014.

Oral arguments were held Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenge of a North Carolina county commission's practice of starting meetings with prayers that almost always referred to Christianity.  

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Rowan County Commission in 2013 on behalf of people who said the prayers were coercive and discriminatory.

The Supreme Court recently upheld Christian prayers at local town council meetings in New York, but the ACLU says the latest case is different.


Texas renews bid for court-imposed refugee restrictions
Court News | 2016/01/29 16:41
Texas is doubling down on its push for court-imposed restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state.

In a court filing in Dallas on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge David Godbey, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton cited a recent federal acknowledgement that U.S. officials failed to give the state advance notice that a group of refugees was being resettled there. Paxton contends the refugees haven't been sufficiently vetted for potential terrorists.

Godbey already denied the state's request for emergency court-imposed resettlement restrictions. However, he directed federal officials to give the state seven days' notice of any resettlement.

Federal officials have apologized for failure to meet the judge's conditions, calling the omission an oversight.


Court to weigh practice of Christian prayers at meetings
Legal Topics | 2016/01/27 16:40
A federal appeals court is grappling with the constitutionality of prayers at local council meetings for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a similar case in 2014.

Oral arguments were held Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in the challenge of a North Carolina county commission's practice of starting meetings with prayers that almost always referred to Christianity.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Rowan County Commission in 2013 on behalf of people who said the prayers were coercive and discriminatory.

The Supreme Court recently upheld Christian prayers at local town council meetings in New York, but the ACLU says the latest case is different.

An attorney for the Commission says the "whole nation will be looking at this case."



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