Juvenile waived to adult court in Indy doctor's slaying
Legal Topics | 2018/09/15 07:42
A juvenile has been waived to adult court to face charges in the fatal shooting of an Indiana University doctor and educator last year.

Online court records say 16-year-old Tarius Blade faces three felony burglary charges in the Nov. 20, 2017, slaying of Dr. Kevin Rodgers.

Blade was arrested in December along with Ka'Ron Bickham-Hurst, then 18. Court records show Bickham-Hurst has agreed to plead guilty to three burglary charges.

Two other men were arrested last month. Eighteen-year-old Nehemiah Merriweather was charged with felony murder and two counts of burglary and 17-year-old Devon Seats was charged with murder, felony murder and two counts of burglary.

The 61-year-old Rodgers was the program director emeritus of the emergency medicine residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine.


EU backs ICC after US questions court's legitimacy
Attorney News | 2018/09/14 21:43
The European Union's top diplomat says the bloc remains a staunch supporter of the International Criminal Court despite U.S. condemnation of the tribunal.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Thursday that "we will continue to fully and strongly support the ICC and its work."

The Hague-based court was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in areas where perpetrators might not otherwise face justice.

Mogherini said the ICC "has strengthened universal justice beyond power politics and beyond geopolitical interests," and added that "accountability is essential to build the foundations for peace."

U.S. National security adviser John Bolton denounced the ICC earlier this week just as a judge weighs whether to investigate allegations of war crimes against U.S. and Afghan personnel in Afghanistan since 2003.



Court: British surveillance violates European law
Legal Business | 2018/09/14 18:43
Europe's human rights court handed a partial victory Thursday to civil rights groups that challenged the legality of mass surveillance and intelligence-sharing practices exposed by American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that some aspects of British surveillance regimes violated provisions in the European Convention on Human Rights that are meant to safeguard Europeans' rights to privacy.

Specifically, the court said there wasn't enough independent scrutiny of processes used by British intelligence services to sift through data and communications intercepted in bulk.

The ruling cited a "lack of oversight of the entire selection process" and "the absence of any real safeguards."

The court's seven judges also voted 6-1 that Britain's regime for getting data from communications service providers also violated the human rights convention, including its provisions on privacy and on freedom of expression.

But the ruling wasn't all bad for British spies. The court said it is "satisfied" that British intelligence services take their human rights convention obligations seriously "and are not abusing their powers."

The court also gave a green light to procedures British security services use to get intelligence from foreign spy agencies, saying the intelligence-sharing regime doesn't violate the convention's privacy provisions.


The Latest: New Mexico court blocks straight-ticket option
Court News | 2018/09/13 18:43
The New Mexico Supreme Court is blocking a ballot option that would have allowed voters to select candidates from one particular party in all races by marking a single box.

The court made its decision Wednesday after listening to oral arguments about a plan from the state's top elections regulator to reinstate straight-ticket voting in the November general election.

The court found that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver did not have authority to impose such a change.

Critics of the practice say it primarily harms independent, minor-party and Republican candidates in a state dominated by registered Democrats.

They argued in court that state law doesn't clearly say whether authority to design ballot forms extends to substantive decisions about straight-party voting, and that Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver should have consulted the public through the rulemaking process.

The New Mexico Supreme Court has indicated it will decide Wednesday whether voters should be allowed to select candidates from a particular party in all races by marking a single ballot box.

At issue is a plan from the state's top elections regulator to reinstate straight-ticket voting in the November general election.

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver argued she has authority over ballot forms, including the discretion to determine whether to include a straight-party voting option.

Critics questioned that authority Wednesday, saying such decisions should be made by the Legislature and should be informed by data on voting behavior. They also raised concerns that no public hearings were held before Toulouse Oliver announced the change.


Nebraska’s top court: Voters to decide on expanding Medicaid
Court Watch | 2018/09/13 04:43
The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that voters will decide in November whether to expand Medicaid in the state.

The court’s rejection of a Republican-led lawsuit Wednesday is a victory for advocates who say a vote favoring expansion would ensure coverage for about 90,000 low-income residents who earn too much to qualify for regular Medicaid but too little to be eligible for assistance under the Affordable Care Act.

Nebraska’s Republican-dominated Legislature rejected six previous attempts to expand Medicaid. Utah and Idaho have similar ballot measures pending. Maine became the first state to expand Medicaid by ballot measure last year.

The lawsuit was filed by state Sen. Lydia Brasch and former state Sen. Mark Christensen, both Republicans who helped derail similar bills in the Legislature.


The Latest: International court 'undeterred' by Bolton
Legal Interview | 2018/09/12 08:44
The International Criminal Court says it will continue to do its work "undeterred," despite National security adviser John Bolton's condemnation.

olton asserted Monday the court "threatens American sovereignty and U.S. national security interests."

The Netherlands-based court said in a statement Tuesday it was established by a treaty supported by 123 countries. It says it prosecuted cases only when those countries failed to do so or did not do so "genuinely."

The court pledges to "continue to do its work undeterred, in accordance with those principles and the overarching idea of the rule of law."

Bolton's speech came as an ICC judge was expected to soon announce a decision on a request from prosecutors to open an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Afghan national security forces, Taliban and Haqqani network militants and U.S. forces and intelligence in Afghanistan.

Iran's foreign minister is criticizing the United States for its opposition to the International Criminal Court.

Mohammad Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account Tuesday, "The US threatens to impose sanctions on the ICC & even prosecute its judges in American courts. Where is the outrage?"

He says, "The boorishness of this rogue US regime seems to know no bounds."

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Monday denounced the legitimacy of the Netherlands-based court, which was created in 2002 to prosecute war crimes.


Court: Free speech protects Trump comments at Kentucky rally
Opinions | 2018/09/11 18:44
A federal appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump incited a riot during a 2016 Kentucky campaign rally that led to assaults of three protesters.

Kentucky residents Kashiya Nwanguma (kah-SHY'-ah wan-GOO'-mah), Molly Shah and Henry Brousseau filed the lawsuit in 2016. They attended Trump's campaign rally in Louisville on March 1, 2016.

Security officers removed them after Trump said from the stage: "Get 'em out of here." The protesters were pushed and shoved on their way out. A 26-year-old white nationalist was later fined and given a suspended jail sentence for his actions.

The lawsuit sought damages against Trump for inciting a riot, which is a misdemeanor under Kentucky law. But the court ruled Trump's comments are protected as free speech under the First Amendment.


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