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United States: Comprehensive Energy Policy Statute Enacted

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 19, President Bush signed into law a comprehensive energy policy law intended to increase energy efficiency and the availability and use of renewable energy. The legislation raises Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for manufacturers' combined fleets of cars and light trucks to 35 miles per gallon, which manufacturers must meet […]

United States: Freedom of Information Act Strengthened

(Jan. 2, 2008) New legislation was enacted December 31 designed to strengthen the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The new law broadens the definition of "news media" entities that are entitled to waiver of fees for FOIA requests to include non-traditional news sources. It liberalizes the standard for recovery of attorney fees […]

United States: Injunction Issued to Permit Religious Protests at Funerals

(Dec. 2, 2007) On December 6, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a Missouri statute barring protests at funerals should be preliminarily enjoined pending review of its constitutionality. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas believe it is their religious duty to protest at the funerals of United […]

United States: Alaska Supreme Court Holds Parental Consent Requirement Unconstitutional Under Alaska Constitution

(Nov. 2, 2007) On November 2, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that a law requiring minors to obtain parental consent before obtaining an abortion violated the right of privacy provision of the Alaska Constitution. The Alaska Constitution includes a provision stating that "[t]he right of the people to privacy is recognized and shall not […]

United States: Moratorium on State Taxation of Internet Access Extended to 2014

(Nov. 2, 2007) On October 31, President Bush signed into law the Internet Tax Freedom Act Amendments Act of 2007. The act extends a moratorium on state and local taxation of Internet access services through November 1, 2014. The moratorium was first enacted in 1998, and was renewed in 2001 and 2004, but was due […]