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United States: Lawsuit Challenging No Child Left Behind Act Allowed to Proceed

(Jan. 2, 2008) On January 7, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a federal district court dismissing a lawsuit brought by a variety of school districts and education associations against the U.S. Secretary of Education. The lawsuit challenged the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), federal legislation […]

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: New Jersey Passes Law Abolishing Death Penalty

(Jan. 2, 2008) On December 17, Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey signed legislation abolishing the death penalty and replacing it with life in prison without eligibility of parole. According to a press release issued by the Governor, “New Jersey is the first state in the nation to enact a law to end use of […]

United States: Court Enjoins Navy’s Use of Sonar to Protect Marine Life

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 13, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit partially upheld an order enjoining the Navy's use of medium-frequency sonar in training exercises off the Southern California coast. A federal district court in California had issued a blanket preliminary injunction preventing the Navy from using the sonar due […]

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: Fuel Economy and Emissions Standards Ruled Inadequate

(Dec. 2, 2007) On November 15, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit struck down standards promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") which would govern fuel economy and emissions for light trucks, including sports utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks, for the years 2008 through 2011. The court […]

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 […]

Mexico; United States: Memorandum of Understanding on Exchange of Criminal Information

(Nov. 2, 2007) On September 19, 2007, Mexico and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in areas of training and exchange of information on criminal matters and experience in oral trials. The memorandum was signed by American prosecutors Gary King and Lawrence Wasden from New Mexico and Idaho, respectively, and by […]