Supreme Court declines to revive Arizona immigration law

April 21, 2014

Supreme Court US by Flikr user dbkingReuters, 4/21/14

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a provision in an Arizona law that sought to criminalize the harboring and transportation of illegal immigrants. The court’s decision not to hear the state’s appeal leaves intact an October 2013 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that found in part that the provision was trumped by federal immigration law.

The harboring provision, part of Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration law, made it a criminal offense to encourage illegal immigrants to enter the state or to harbor or transport them within Arizona. Various groups that work with immigrants, including the Border Action Network, challenged the provision.

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Rights groups applaud Mexico’s top court for freeing man who claimed confession due to torture

November 8, 2013

Washington Post, 11/7/2013

Mexican Supreme CourtHuman rights groups hailed on Thursday a Mexican Supreme Court decision to free a man who claimed soldiers tortured him into confessing to having played a role in a drug-related massacre. The court ruled that 28-year-old Israel Arzate Melendez’s confession wasn’t valid because he talked to soldiers rather than prosecutors, as the law requires.

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Mexico Supreme Court overturns drugs lord’s release

November 7, 2013

Mexican Supreme CourtBBC News, 11/07/2013

Mexico’s Supreme Court has overturned a decision by an appeals court to free one of the country’s first drug cartel chiefs three months ago.

Rafael Caro Quintero served 28 of a 40-year sentence for murdering a US agent, but a judge ruled he should have been tried by a state, not a federal court.The latest decision means Caro Quintero, who has vanished since his release in August, is a fugitive.

US authorities are offering a reward for information leading to his capture.

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In Mexico custody battles, high-profile fathers gain an edge

October 10, 2013

Mexican Supreme CourtLos Angeles Times, 10/10/2013

She was his secretary. He was none other than the chief justice of the Mexican Supreme Court. She became his mistress, they had two children, but then they drifted apart.

It was the subsequent custody battle that was the real shocker. Ana Maria Orozco landed in prison after the father of her children, by then retired Judge Genaro Gongora Pimentel, accused her of fraud. There she languished, uncharged, for more than a year — set free only after supporters mounted a scathing publicity campaign.

The Gongora case is one of two high-profile custody fights that in recent months have illustrated how very powerful men can, critics say, manipulate Mexico’s weak judicial system to their advantage over their children’s mothers.

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Supreme Court will review immigration dispute over law aimed at keeping families together

June 25, 2013

Supreme Court US by Flikr user dbkingAP, 6/24/2013

The Supreme Court on Monday waded into a complicated dispute over a law aimed at keeping immigrant families together in a case that underscores the occasionally tense relationship between immigration proponents and the Obama administration as Congress debates immigration reform.

The justices said Monday they will hear an appeal from the Obama administration arguing that children who have become adults during their parents’ years-long wait to become legal permanent residents of the United States should go to the back of the line in their own wait for visas. Under U.S. immigration law, children 21 and older cannot immigrate under their parents’ applications for green cards, even if the parents’ application took decades to process.

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Justices refuse Alabama’s immigration law appeal

April 30, 2013

120px-Law_gavelReuters, 4/29/13

The Supreme Court rebuffed the state of Alabama on Monday by deciding not to intervene in a case where federal judges blocked a state law that criminalizes the harboring of illegal immigrants. By refusing to hear Alabama’s appeal of the Obama administration’s lower court victories, the justices steered clear of a hot-button debate at a time when Congress is engaged in writing legislation to overhaul immigration laws.

Both a federal judge and an appeals court agreed with the White House that federal law trumped a provision in Alabama state law that made it illegal to harbor or transport anyone in the state who had entered the country illegally. The appeals court ruling remains intact as a result of the Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene. A brief order issued by the Supreme Court on Monday said Justice Antonin Scalia disagreed with the decision not to hear the case.

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Mexico’s top court: Anti-gay terms are hate speech

March 8, 2013

gay pride flagAssociated Press, 3/7/2013

Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that two anti-gay words commonly used in Mexico are hate speech and not protected as freedom of expression under the country’s constitution, allowing those offended by them to sue for moral damages. The magistrates voted 3-2 late Wednesday in favor of a journalist from the central city of Puebla who in 2010 sued a reporter at a different newspaper who had written a column referring to him as “punal” and others at the plaintiff’s newspaper as “maricones.” Both words roughly translate into “faggot.”

The majority said the terms are offensive and discriminatory. “Even though they are deeply rooted expressions in Mexican society, the fact is that the practices of the majority of society can’t validate the violations of basic right,” their opinion said.

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French woman freed in Mexico kidnapping case

January 24, 2013

justice-systemLos Angeles Times, 1/23/2013

In a surprising climax to a case that has strained Franco-Mexican relations for years, Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the immediate release of Florence Cassez, a young French woman serving a 60-year sentence for her involvement with a Mexican kidnapping ring.

Cassez, 38, was arrested in 2005 along with her Mexican boyfriend, whom authorities said was the head of a kidnapping group called the Zodiacs. Although Cassez lived in a compound where victims were held, she maintained that she had committed no crimes.

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Colonel in Cover-up Case to Be Tried in Mexico Civilian Court

August 13, 2012

The New York Times, 8/10/12

In May 2011, Jethro Sánchez, a 27-year-old engineer, was detained by the Mexican Army, and found tortured and killed. An army colonel was accused of ordering soldiers to hide the body to cover up the crime, and the case vanished in the country’s maze of military justice.

But Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the colonel should be tried in civilian courts, a decision that human rights groups say could upend the way Mexico deals with rights abuses committed by the military in the course of fighting the country’s pervasive drug war.

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High court rejects parts of Ariz. immigration law

June 25, 2012

USA Today, 06/25/2012

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down three portions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law on Monday, but allowed one of the key provisions to stand in a highly anticipated split decision.

The court did allow the main component of the law to stand. That requires state and local police to check the immigration status of people they’ve stopped or detained if a “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the country illegally.

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To see the actual ruling (starts at page 5), click here.


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