Charging individuals would be significant to environmental safety cases because it might change behavior, said Jane Barrett, a law professor at the University of Maryland.

Federal officials are also said to be looking at whether BP CEO Tony Hayward and others were truthful in sworn testimony to Congress about the spill.

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Previous changes to election laws were not implemented without Justice Department approval (Updated)

During a conference call with reporters explaining a lawsuit challenging the rapid implementation of Florida's new election laws, lawyers helping to bring the case for the American Civil Liberties Union said the changes could not be implemented before they are approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. The lawyers pointed out that Florida's own Division of Elections said so, inย a 1998 legal memo (.pdf).