Posts tagged ‘legal’

New Government Report: Commonwealth Brands, Inc. vs. U.S.: Legal Judgment on Marketing Restrictions in the New Federal Tobacco Law

Commonwealth Brands, Inc. vs. U.S.: Legal Judgment on Marketing Restrictions in the New Federal Tobacco Law
by Joseph H. McKinley Jr.
Paperback, 47 pages, 2010, $30.00, ISBN: 9781437936704

The opinion and order of U.S. District Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr., U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Bowling Green Division, which overturns two of the marketing restrictions in the new federal tobacco law.

Several tobacco makers sued in August 2009 to block the restrictions. Judge McKinley agreed that the ban on color and graphics in labels and advertising that children might see intruded too broadly on commercial free speech.

He noted that, instead, Congress could have exempted certain types of color and graphic images. Judge McKinley did uphold the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to restrict tobacco marketing, as well as a specific provision which requires new, graphic warning labels to cover the top half of cigarette packages.

In fact, he upheld most of the new marketing restrictions, including a ban on tobacco companies sponsoring athletic, social and cultural events or offering free samples or branded merchandise.

Lawyers on both sides affirmed that this case will probably be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and eventually to the Supreme Court.

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August 3, 2010 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: United States of America v. Paul A. Slough et al, Defendants: Ruling on the Case against Former Blackwater Security Guards

United States of America v. Paul A. Slough et al, Defendants: Ruling on the Case against Former Blackwater Security Guards
by Ricardo M. Urbina
Paperback, 90 pages, 2009, ISBN: 1437927750, $30.00

The sudden blow to the case against the former Blackwater security guards over a shooting that killed 17 Iraqis and wounded at least 20 may have come as a surprise to the public in Iraq and the United States, but the legal problem that the judge cited Thursday when he threw out the indictments was obvious to American government lawyers within days of the shooting, reports the New York Times.

This government report contains the ruling by Judge Ricardo M. Urbina of Federal District court in Washington, DC, on the case against former Blackwater security guards in Iraq over a shooting that killed 17 Iraqis and wounded at least 20.

Judge Ricardo threw out the indictments against the guards. In his opinion: “The defendants have been charged with voluntary manslaughter and firearms violations arising out of a shooting that occurred in Baghdad, Iraq on Sept. 16, 2007.

“They contend that in the course of this prosecution, the government violated their constitutional rights by utilizing statements they made to Deptartment of State investigators, which were compelled under a threat of job loss.

“The government has acknowledged that many of these statements qualify as compelled statements under Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967), which held that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination bars the government from using statements compelled under a threat of job loss in a subsequent criminal prosecution.

“The Fifth Amendment automatically confers use and derivative use immunity on statements compelled under Garrity; this means that in seeking an indictment from a grand jury or a conviction at trial, the government is prohibited from using such compelled statements or any evidence obtained as a result of those statements.

“The government has also acknowledged that its investigators, prosecutors and key witnesses were exposed to (and, indeed, aggressively sought out) many of the statements given by the defendants to State Deptartment investigators.

“Under the binding precedent of the Supreme Court, the burden fell to the government to prove that it made no use whatsoever of these immunized statements or that any such use was harmless beyond any reasonable doubt.

“In short, the government has utterly failed to prove that it made no impermissible use of the defendants’ statements or that such use was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Accordingly, the court must dismiss the indictment against all of the defendants.”

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August 3, 2010 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Consumer Action Handbook, 2010 Edition

Consumer Action Handbook: 2010 Edition
Edited by Stephen R. Leeds (Paperback, 169 pages, 2010, $30)

Contents:
Part I — Be A Savvy Consumer: Buyer Beware; Banking; Cars; Credit; Financing Your Education; Employment; Food and Nutrition; Health Care; Housing; Insurance; Internet; Investing; Phones; Privacy Protection and Identity Theft; Smart Home Shopping; Telemarketing and Unwanted Mail; Travel; TV; Wills and Funerals.

Part II — Filing a Complaint: Contact the Seller; Contact Third Parties; Sample Complaint Letter: Dispute Resolution Programs; Small Claims Court; Legal Help and Information; Report Fraud and Safety Hazard.

Part III — Key Information Resources: For Teachers; For Persons with Disabilities; For Military Personnel.

Part IV — Consumer Assistance Directory. Illustrations.

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May 4, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Compulsory DNA Collection, Deforestation and Climate Change, Exon-Florio National Security Trust, Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons, Supreme Court Appointment Process

New government reports this week:

1) Compulsory DNA Collection: A Fourth Amendment Analysis
by Anna C. Henning (Paperback, 15 pages, $10)

Relying on different legal standards, courts have historically upheld laws authorizing law enforcement’s compulsory collection of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, prior cases reviewed the extraction of DNA samples from people who had been convicted on criminal charges. New state and federal laws authorize the collection of such samples from people who have been arrested or detained but
not convicted.

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2) Deforestation and Climate Change
by Ross W. Gorte and Pervaze A. Sheikh (Paperback, 41 pages, $20)

Contents: (I) Congressional Interest; (II) Forests and Climate, Forest Cover, Linkages Between Forests and Climate, Soil Impacts, Wood Utilization/Wood Waste, Burning (III) Boreal Forests (IV) Temperate Forests (V) Tropical Forests in Latin America, including Amazonia; Tropical Africa; Southeast Asia; Climate Consequences of Tropical Deforestation; (VI) Reducing Deforestation: Tree Planting, Market Solutions; Forest Carbon Markets; Markets for Ecosystem Services and Non-Timber Forest Products; Certified Sustainable Forestry; Governance Issues; (VII) Forest and Deforestation Data Issues. Figures and tables.

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3) Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
by James K. Jackson (Paperback, 20 pages, $15)

The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S.” that threaten to impair the national security.

This provision came under intense scrutiny with the
proposed acquisitions in 2006 of major operations in 6 major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The debate that followed reignited long-standing differences among Members of Congress and between the Congress and the administration over the role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security.

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4) Military Personnel: Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons Present Challenges and Are One of Many Tools in Assessing Compensation
by Brenda S. Farrell (Paperback, 54 pages, $20)

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) military compensation package, which is myriad pays and benefits, is an important tool to attract and retain the number and quality of active duty servicemembers it needs to fulfill its mission. Compensation can be appropriate and adequate to attract and retain servicemembers when it is competitive with civilian
compensation. However, comparisons between military and civilian compensation present both limitations and challenges.

This study compared pay and benefits provided by law to members of the Armed Forces with that of comparably situated private-sector employees to assess how the differences in pay and benefits affect recruiting and retention of members of the Armed Forces. Tables and figures.

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5) Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
by Denis Stevens Rutkus (Paperback, 60 pages, $25)

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently announced that he will be retiring. How will President Obama select a new Justice? Read more in this report.

Contents: (I) Background; (II) President’s Selection of a Nominee (III) Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee: Historical Background (IV) Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote; Bringing the Nomination to the Floor; Criteria Used to Evaluate Nominees; Filibusters and Motions to End Debate; Voice Votes, Roll Calls, and Vote Margins; Reconsideration of the Confirmation Vote; Nominations That Failed to Be Confirmed; Calling Upon the Judiciary Committee to Further Examine the Nomination; After Senate Confirmation; (V) Conclusion; (VI) Additional Sources. Tables.

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April 9, 2010 at 12:15 am Leave a comment


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