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High Court

WORLD
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.
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NATIONAL
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.
NATIONAL
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a legal cloud that has hung over the South since the 1960s and strike down part of the landmark Voting Rights Act as outdated and unfair.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.
WORLD
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.
BUSINESS
July 1, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
Supporters of the healthcare reform act upheld by the Supreme Court last week should stop celebrating and take a deep breath. Nestled within the multiple opinions issued by the justices are some disquieting hints that the high court's hostility toward government control over corporate power hasn't changed. To put it bluntly: The court's four conservative horsemen are still in the saddle. The original Four Horsemen were a conservative bloc that worked to overturn a string of PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal initiatives in the 1930s.
NATIONAL
May 12, 2010 | By Geraldine Baum and Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
Ruth from Brooklyn, Sonia from the Bronx and now Elena from Manhattan? If President Obama gets his way, the Supreme Court will have three women justices for the first time. But the focus on this historic moment for women in the law has obscured another defining trait shared by this trio — all were raised not far from the No. 2 subway line that connects those three New York City boroughs. (The first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, grew up in the wilds of Arizona.) However much a young girl may be pitied by non-New Yorkers for having to come of age in this crowded, sharp-elbowed, grasping city of show-offs, it can also condition her to compete and shine in a male-dominated world like the law. Apparently finding a seat on a subway is decent training for finding a seat on the highest court in the land.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Supreme Court justices are people too, and they make mistakes like any other mortals. That was the conclusion of a high-powered gathering of legal scholars who on Friday examined the high court's "Supreme Mistakes" — five decisions widely considered the worst in the court's history. The high court Hall of Shame has taken its toll on American society but also provided cautionary tales about trading principle for society's fickle approval, the experts said. "One of the worst aspects of American history is that at times of crisis we compromise our most basic constitutional rights, and only in hindsight do we recognize that it didn't make us safer," Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of UC Irvine's law school, said of Korematsu vs. United States, the 1944 high court ruling upholding the evacuation order against Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
NEWS
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.
NATIONAL
December 1, 2010 | By David G. Savage and Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court added another legal hurdle Tuesday for a Los Angeles couple who have been fighting for nine years to have their names removed from California's state index of reported child abusers. The justices in a unanimous decision shielded Los Angeles County, at least temporarily, from being held liable for violating the rights of Craig and Wendy Humphries of Valencia. In 2001, a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy filed a report to the state saying the couple were child abusers, based on allegations from Craig Humphries' teenage daughter, who had fled to Utah.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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