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June 25, 2011 | Los Angeles Times
• Wal-Mart vs. Dukes: Threw out a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 1.5 million women who accused the retailer of sex discrimination. • American Electric Power vs. Connecticut: Threw out an environmental lawsuit that sought to require five major power producers to limit discharges of carbon pollution. • AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion: Held that a company's arbitration clause prevents its customers from suing in a class action for fraud. • PLIVA vs. Mensing: Ruled that makers of generic drugs cannot be sued for failing to warn patients of new dangers or side effects.
April 27, 2014 | By Laura W. Brill
Last year's Proposition 8 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court changed the lives of many same-sex couples and their families in California for the better. But the political fallout from that decision is also having a profound and worrisome effect on the state's initiative process. The reason has to do with the nature of the court's action. The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 itself. Rather, it decided an issue of standing, concluding that the initiative's backers had not been directly harmed by a lower-court ruling that the law was unconstitutional and that they therefore lacked standing to appeal that ruling.
May 9, 2011 | Carol J. Williams
On summer nights in the mid-1960s, while black-and-white television crackled elsewhere in his Staten Island home with news of Southern violence and Vietnam, Bobby Lasnik would stretch out in his bedroom to let the righteous soundtrack of the civil rights movement waft into his impressionable teenage soul. Tuned in to WBAI-FM, coming across the water from Manhattan, he heard baleful laments about injustice that he would carry with him for a lifetime. "Suddenly there was someone speaking a certain kind of truth to you. You'd say, 'Wow!
April 27, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Given the danger posed by drunk or reckless drivers, police should follow up on information - even information from an anonymous source - that a vehicle might be careening down a street or threatening other motorists and pedestrians. If they confirm that is the case, they should stop the vehicle. But that isn't what happened in a California case decided by the Supreme Court last week. The court's ruling makes it too easy for police to stop motorists on the basis of an anonymous tip. In 2008, a 911 dispatch team in Mendocino County received a report that a pickup truck had forced another vehicle off the road, giving rise to a concern that the driver might be drunk.
January 29, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court ordered an appeals court Wednesday to undertake a fast-track review of two rulings that could disrupt financing of the voter-approved bullet train. In a brief order signed by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the state high court transferred a challenge to the rulings by Gov. Jerry Brown's administration to the intermediate  Court of Appeal in Sacramento and ordered written arguments to be completed by Feb. 10. The California High-Speed Rail Authority asked the state Supreme Court late Friday to block the rulings by March 1, warning they could indefinitely delay construction of the rail project between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
June 26, 2013 | By Greg Braxton
The Supreme Court's landmark rulings on sames-sex marriage are being celebrated by gay-oriented cable network Logo with special weekend programming. Starting Saturday and continuing through Sunday, Logo will feature a "Ring It On" slate of programs that include personal wedding stories and live reporting from around the country "to celebrate partnership, equality and love. " "Marriage equality is a critical issue to the LGBT community and its allies, friends and families," said Marc Leonard, senior vice president of multiplatform programming for Logo.
October 16, 2009 | Associated Press
U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice, whose rulings shattered old Texas by changing the way the state educated children, treated prisoners and housed its poorest and most vulnerable citizens, has died. He was 89. His law clerk, Kelly Davis, said the judge died Tuesday in Austin. The soft-spoken jurist spent three often tumultuous decades on the bench after his appointment by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968. To some, Justice was a judicial renegade who disregarded the public's will by imposing his own concepts on a conservative state.
July 22, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
California's newly nominated candidate for chief justice has issued rulings over a 20-year career on the bench that reflect a no-nonsense jurist who applies the law with an even hand and a narrow focus. Though little known outside state judicial circles before her nomination Wednesday, Tani Cantil-Sakauye has issued rulings on important questions of constitutional rights and environmental protection, defining new limits and responsibilities while seldom stirring controversy or claims of bias.
December 17, 2011 | By David G. Savage
Newt Gingrich says as president he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief, and he would press for impeaching judges or even abolishing certain courts if he disagreed with their rulings. "I'm fed up with elitist judges" who seek to impose their "radically un-American" views, Gingrich said Saturday in a conference call with reporters. In recent weeks, the Republican presidential contender has been telling conservative audiences he is determined to expose the myth of "judicial supremacy" and restrain judges to a more limited role in American government.
December 29, 2010 | Staff and wire reports
The NCAA defended its recent rulings in violations cases involving Ohio State and Auburn, saying it does not play favorites or make decisions based on financial considerations. The NCAA posted a statement on its website Wednesday responding to critics. It said "the notion that the NCAA is selective with its eligibility decisions and rules enforcement is another myth with no basis in fact. "Money is not a motivator or factor as to why one school would get a particular decision versus another.
April 25, 2014 | By Jon Healey
A common assumption underlying the Net neutrality debate is that broadband ISPs will impose tolls on content providers, and content providers will pass those costs on to consumers, if only the Federal Communications Commission lets them. Witness this passage from a piece in Friday's Los Angeles Times about the Net neutrality proposal being floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: " 'It could create a tiered Internet where consumers either pay more for content and speed, or get left behind with fewer choices,' warned Delara Derakhshani, policy counsel for Consumers Union.
April 25, 2014 | By David Zahniser
A grass-roots group that has been railing against Los Angeles' parking ticket policies has agreed to team up with Mayor Eric Garcetti to look at changes to the enforcement system. Steven Vincent, founder of the Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, said Garcetti invited members of his organization to participate in an official city working group. The panel, Vincent said, will look at an array of possible changes, such as reducing certain fines, expanding parking hours in key locations, making no-parking signs less confusing and halting the practice of using ticket revenue as a tool to balance the city's budget.
April 25, 2014 | By Shan Li and Lalita Clozel
A new federal proposal to regulate electronic cigarettes has Patrick Sanchez pondering the future of the fledgling industry. Sanchez is the owner of Vapegoat, a Highland Park e-cigarette shop that doubles as an art gallery. On a normal night, customers kick back on his comfy couches, surrounded by brick walls hung with Salvador Dali-esque paintings, and try out new e-cig flavors. Since opening in September, Sanchez said, business has boomed as more smokers discovered the battery-operated devices, which heat liquids that usually contain nicotine to create a vapor that can be inhaled.
April 25, 2014 | From staff and wire reports
A clarification by Major League Baseball has determined that fielders attempting to turn a double play after forcing out a runner must have complete control of the ball in their glove, but the ball can be dropped after the player intentionally opens their glove for the transfer to the throwing hand. The use of instant replay this season caused the need for clarification by the rules committee, which MLB said has been agreed to by the players' association and umpires' union. Previously, some umpires ruled that the ball needed to at least be removed from the glove in a transfer attempt.
April 25, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
A day after hearing hours of impassioned testimony from a divided trucking industry, California air quality regulators on Friday postponed deadlines for aging heavy-duty trucks to comply with the nation's toughest diesel air pollution rules. The action by the state Air Resources Board will give small fleets, lightly used trucks and those operating in rural areas more time to upgrade to newer, cleaner models or install filters to remove soot from their exhaust. Officials say the changes will slow pollution cuts for several years but still allow the state to reach its goal of cutting diesel emissions 85% by 2020.
April 24, 2014 | By Francesca Dominici, Michael Greenstone and Cass R. Sunstein
Last week, a divided court of appeals upheld what may well be the most important environmental rule in the nation's history: the Environmental Protection Agency's mercury standards. The regulation is expected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks a year. Critics of the mercury rule have focused on its expense. The EPA estimates it will cost $9.6 billion a year, with most of the burden falling on electric utilities. Indeed, the issue of cost is what split the court.
March 23, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
The Supreme Court dealt two more defeats to businesses, handing down rulings that made it easier to sue drug makers over alleged stock fraud and allowing workers to sue their employers if they suffer retaliation after making an oral complaint. The decisions continue a trend of late in which the high court has confounded its critics by siding with workers and plaintiffs in business cases. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been on the winning side in only one case decided this year, while suffering five losses.
July 27, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
Some veteran public officials seeking reelection have been blocked from serving new terms because the state Supreme Court has upheld term limits, in a ruling delivered just one day before the start of Nevada's early voting. A pair of rulings Friday means no votes can be counted for 21 incumbents in local or state government service who have hit a voter-mandated limit of 12 years of service. They include 27-year veteran Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, who has spent more than $200,000 in his bid for reelection.
April 24, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration's move to regulate e-cigarettes drew criticism Thursday from some public health advocates, who said the regulations do not go far enough to protect young consumers. The proposed rule would for the first time allow the government to limit the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes, as well as cigars and pipe tobacco. Sales to minors would be banned and health warning labels required. But the new rules would not ban online sales or restrict youth-friendly flavors such as watermelon and peppermint.
April 24, 2014 | Times Editorial Board
Eager to preserve the Internet's openness but not to be rebuked again by the courts, the Federal Communications Commission is crafting yet another set of "Net neutrality" rules to limit broadband providers' control over the data traveling through their networks. The tentative proposal unveiled Thursday seems more permissive than the rules a federal appeals panel rejected in January, prompting some critics to warn that Internet service providers will rush to create "toll lanes," giving preference to some content providers and moving their data faster to end-users.
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