Bush Seeks Nations’ Pledges For US Immunity in ICC
The Bush administration is asking other nations to promise that they will not press charges against American peacekeepers and other personnel through the new International Criminal Court (ICC). So far, Romania and Israel have agreed that they will not send Americans to the ICC, which began operation last month to prosecute individuals for war crimes and genocide when national governments refuse to act. The Bush administration has strongly opposed the court, claiming that it could subject US personnel to politically motivated prosecutions abroad. “It’s outrageous,” Alex Arriaga, director of governmental relations for Amnesty International USA, told the New York Times. “The US should be championing justice. It shouldn’t be running it down.”
The ICC has widespread support in the US from groups such as the Feminist Majority because it identifies gender crimes and the crime of apartheid as crimes against humanity. Article 7 of the Rome Statute, which created the court, presents clear language that defines gender crimes as rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity. So far, 74 countries have ratified the Rome Treaty – on December 31, 2000 former President Bill Clinton added the US signature, which President Bush then renounced in May.
However, in light of severe criticism from some of its closest European allies, the Bush administration agreed to drop its demand for US immunity and instead opt for a compromise with the United Nations Security Council for a one-year exemption from prosecution. In preparation for the end of this exemption, the US is now hoping to enlist as many nations as possible in individual exemption agreements. Italy is among the nations that the Bush administration will approach next, according to the Times.
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The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .