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January 15, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
In its standoff with President Asif Ali Zardari's administration, Pakistan's powerful military is relying on an institution that experts say is equally antagonistic toward the civilian government: the country's high court. The Pakistani capital has been awash with rumors that the army, which is fed up with a civilian government defined by corruption and ineffectiveness, is planning a coup. But as the rift between civilian leaders and the security establishment widens, it's becoming clear that a military takeover isn't what the generals envision.
December 1, 2009 | By David G. Savage
The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a death sentence for a decorated Korean War veteran, ruling for the first time that combat stress must be considered by a jury before it hands down the harshest punishment. "Our nation has a long tradition of according leniency to veterans in recognition of their service, especially for those who fought on the front lines as [George] Porter did," the justices said in a unanimous, unsigned opinion. "Moreover, the relevance of Porter's extensive combat experience is not only that he served honorably . . . but also that the jury might find mitigating the intense stress and mental and emotional toll that combat took on Porter."
March 4, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court appeared inclined during a hearing Tuesday to favor a ruling that the public has the right to know the names of police officers involved in shootings. During oral arguments, most members of the state high court seemed skeptical of contentions by police agencies that officer names must be kept secret because disclosure could jeopardize officer safety and involve protected police personnel matters. Chief Justice Tani Cantil - Sakauye , whose husband is a retired police lieutenant, suggested that the California Public Records Act contains a presumption in favor of disclosure and does not provide for blanket exemptions.
February 21, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The lawyers challenging California's Proposition 8 are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule broadly that gays and lesbians across the nation deserve an equal right to marry. “We believe this is a matter of fundamental rights,” said Washington attorney Ted Olson shortly after filing his legal brief in the high court. Rather than focus narrowly on the special situation in California, Olson and co-counsel David Boies said they decided to “paint the broad picture” for the Supreme Court on how marriage for gays fits with the nation's historic commitment to liberty and equality.
November 9, 2012 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Acting just three days after the election, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will consider lifting a legal cloud that has hung over the South since the 1960s and strike down part of the landmark Voting Rights Act as outdated and unfair. The justices agreed to hear an Alabama county's challenge to the provision that requires much of the South, including its cities and counties, to get advance approval from Washington before making changes in election laws or voting rules.
December 31, 2004 | Richard A. Serrano and David G. Savage, Times Staff Writers
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts since joining the high court, including $1,200 worth of tires, valuable historical items and a $5,000 personal check to help pay a relative's education expenses. The gifts also included a Bible once owned by the 19th century author and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, which Thomas valued at $19,000, and a bust of President Lincoln valued at $15,000. He also took a free trip aboard a private jet to the exclusive Bohemian Grove club in Northern California -- arranged by a wealthy Texas real estate investor who helped run an advocacy group that filed briefs with the Supreme Court.
January 16, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Dealing a heavy blow to Pakistan's embattled government, the Supreme Court on Monday initiated contempt proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for refusing to revive a long-standing corruption case against the nation's president. Gilani, a top ally of President Asif Ali Zardari in the ruling Pakistan People's Party, must appear before the court Thursday, when the justices will listen to his explanation for not going ahead with the case. If the court moves forward with the contempt proceedings and Gilani is convicted, he could be disqualified from office and forced to step down.
May 17, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports
The state Supreme Court in Portland, Ore., cleared the way for adoptees to find out the names of their birth parents, but opponents of the state's open records law could still take their challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court. The state's top court decided, 5 to 2, to reject motions to reconsider its March ruling that upheld a law giving adult adoptees access to birth certificates.
October 5, 1988
California has not executed anyone since 1967, but capital punishment has claimed one victim nonetheless--the California Supreme Court. Swamped with mandatory appeals in capital cases, the justices of the high court routinely work seven-day weeks, rule on the death penalty at the astonishing rate of once a week and yet have made scarcely a dent in their backlog of capital cases.
September 28, 2004 | From Associated Press
Ralph Nader's last-ditch bid to win a spot on Oregon's presidential ballot has taken him to a place frequented by candidates over the years -- the Supreme Court. The court has been willing to step into state election disputes, most notably the 2000 Bush vs. Gore ruling that ended Florida recounts and effectively called the election for George W. Bush.
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