May 11, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Can a public high school hold its graduation ceremony in a local church? The Supreme Court has been pondering that question in its private conference for six weeks, discussing whether to take up a Wisconsin case that could reset the line separating church and state. Last year, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the Elmbrook School District, near Milwaukee, violated the 1st Amendment and its ban on "an establishment of religion" by holding a high school graduation ceremony in the sanctuary of an evangelical Christian church.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court gave local governments the power Monday to zone medical marijuana dispensaries out of existence, a decision that upholds bans in about 200 cities but does little to solve Los Angeles' years-long struggle to regulate hundreds of storefront pot outlets. The unanimous decision provided clarity for cities and counties that want to rid themselves of the dispensaries, which sprouted up statewide after a 1996 voter-approved measure that sought to authorize medical marijuana but lacked specifics in how it would be regulated.
April 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
April 30, 2013 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - A Pakistani court on Tuesday slapped former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with a lifetime ban that prevents him from running for public office again, the latest in a long line of setbacks for the onetime president since his return to his home country after four years of self-imposed exile. The 69-year-old former general is already under house arrest for ordering the detention of dozens of judges in 2007 while he was in power. He is being held at his sprawling home in Islamabad rather than in jail, a measure authorities opted for because of threats made to the former leader's life by Pakistani Taliban militants.
April 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court made it clear Monday that enforcing immigration laws was reserved for the federal government, not the states. By an 8-1 vote, the justices rejected a request from Alabama to revive part of a 2011 law designed to drive out illegal immigrants. That year saw a wave of new laws in Republican-controlled states where lawmakers decried federal inaction. Alabama's was deemed the toughest. State officials said that if federal authorities were not going to arrest illegal immigrants, their police would take on the task.
April 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court was asked Monday whether Congress violated the 1st Amendment when it required global groups fighting AIDS to explicitly oppose prostitution and sexual trafficking as a condition of receiving federal grants. Several of the groups, including the Alliance for Open Society International, objected to the requirement, not because they favored prostitution. They said it would interfere with their work. They seek to encourage women, including prostitutes, to come to their clinics for testing and treatment.