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April 7, 2013 | By Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague's response? "This isn't just about you. " "It's not?" Susan wondered. "My breast cancer is not about me? It's about you?" The same theme came up again when our friend Katie had a brain aneurysm. She was in intensive care for a long time and finally got out and into a step-down unit.
April 9, 2014 | By Marcia Fritz
When it comes to meeting California's state pension obligations, everyone agrees that paying the bills is a challenge. But exactly how big is the "unfunded liability"? Pessimists and optimists throw out wildly different totals for the state's 80 retirement systems, making for confusion at best and stalemate at worst when it comes to honest policymaking. The truth is, pension systems have to involve assumptions. Workers and employers pay in at a certain rate, the money is invested, and if it all goes according to plan, there is enough to cover the promises made to the workers when they retire.
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 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
No one should have expected that putting more vegetables in front of elementary school students would instantly turn them into an army of broccoli fans. Plenty of food has been thrown out since new federal rules took effect in 2011 requiring students in the subsidized school lunch program to choose a fruit or vegetable each day. Nevertheless, studies find that continued exposure to produce is resulting in more children eating at least some of it. That's worth a certain amount of wasted food.
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 8, 2014 | By Jessica Garrison
A Vernon battery recycler may not resume lead smelting until its furnaces can operate in compliance with tough new air district rules on arsenic emissions. The South Coast Air Quality Management District's hearing board ruled Tuesday that Exide Technologies, which is accused of endangering the health of more than 100,000 people across southeast Los Angeles County, must maintain "negative pressure" in its furnaces. That means particles from the smelting process must be sucked into air pollution control devices that can keep toxic compounds from wafting over neighborhoods.
April 7, 2014 | Jonah Goldberg
For years, Republicans benefited from economic growth. So did pretty much everyone else, of course. But I have something specific in mind. Politically, when the economy is booming - or merely improving at a satisfactory clip - the distinction between being pro-business and pro-market is blurry. The distinction is also fuzzy when the economy is shrinking or imploding. But when the economy is simply limping along - not good, not disastrous - like it is now, the line is easier to see. And GOP politicians typically don't want to admit they see it. Just to clarify, the difference between being pro-business and pro-market is categorical.
April 6, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
HOUSTON - A play in the second inning of the Angels-Astros game on Saturday night highlighted the confusion that still exists over baseball's new home-plate collision rules and nearly sent the Angels' starting third baseman to the disabled list. David Freese said he rarely slides head-first into home, but as he approached the plate while scoring on Howie Kendrick's double to left-center, he felt the only avenue through Houston catcher Carlos Corporan was with such a slide, a decision Freese said he “regretted when I was in midair.” The relay throw bounced in the dirt, and as Corporan tried to make the scoop and tag in one swiping motion, he lost possession of the ball while moving in front of the plate.
April 3, 2014 | Laura J. Nelson
Knocking down one of the last hurdles for Los Angeles' long-awaited Westside subway extension, a judge ruled late Wednesday that transit officials followed environmental laws when they chose a route that would require tunneling under Beverly Hills High School. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's five-year, $13.8-million environmental review process was thorough and fair, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John A. Torribio wrote in a 15-page decision.
April 3, 2014 | By Jessica A. Levinson
Thank you, Supreme Court. Before your decision Wednesday in McCutcheon vs. FEC, Americans were confined to giving a measly total of $48,600 in campaign contributions to federal candidates (enough for about nine candidates) and a total of $74,600 to political action committees. That means individuals were subject to aggregate contributions limits totaling a mere $123,200. Of course, individuals could, and still can, give unlimited sums to independent groups, such as so-called super PACs and other nonprofit corporations.
April 3, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's decision to lift the cap on the amount donors can contribute in a congressional election cycle promises to shift power to the political party's established leaders, who had lost ground to outside groups. With the demise of the $123,200 limit for the two-year election cycle, party stalwarts such as House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will be able to raise multimillion-dollar checks from wealthy contributors for new campaign committees.
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 2, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Airline customers complain about being mistreated daily, but Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg took his grievance all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Ginsberg, the court sided Wednesday with Northwest Airlines Inc., now merged into Delta Air Lines Inc., in a case that had put carriers on edge. The ruling strengthens the industry's hand when fighting litigation filed by disgruntled passengers by bolstering a 36-year-old federal law that limits its exposure to such claims.
April 2, 2014 | By David G. Savage and David Lauter
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court struck another major blow against long-standing restrictions on campaign money Wednesday, freeing wealthy donors to each give a total of $3.6 million this year to the slate of candidates running for Congress. Rejecting the restriction as a violation of free speech, the 5-4 ruling struck down a Watergate-era limit that Congress wrote to prevent a single donor from writing a large check to buy influence on Capitol Hill. It was the latest sign that the court's conservative majority intends to continue dismantling funding limits created over the last four decades.
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