Case Against Pope Filed Before International Criminal Court
The Center for Constitutional Rights and Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) filed a case with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, and Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - for crimes against humanity in their cover up of the sexual abuses of children by priests. The lawsuit is the first time charges have been filed regarding the abuses in an international court.
Pamela Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, stated, "National jurisdictions can't really get their arms around this. Prosecuting individual instances of child molestation or sexual assault has not gotten at the larger systemic problem here. Accountability is the goal, and the I.C.C. makes the most sense, given that it's a global problem."
International law experts suggested that the ICC , which handles war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, will begin by holding a preliminary investigation to determine whether the case is within the court's jurisdiction. Barbara Dorris, president of SNAP, stated, "We are convinced this is the proper jurisdiction. Who else can investigate violent crimes of a global magnitude? The ICC was created to deal with widespread systematic violent crimes against humanity." Nevertheless, the ICC only has jurisdiction in countries that have ratified the Rome Statute that created the court in 2002, which does not include the Vatican.
Media Resources: New York Times 9/13/11; SNAP 9/13/11; CNN 9/13/11; NPR 9/13/11
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .