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December 13, 1988 | DAVID G. SAVAGE, Times Staff Writer
The Supreme Court, in a key ruling supporting the enforcement powers of the National Collegiate Athletic Assn., ruled Monday that the organization may force Nevada Las Vegas to suspend its highly successful basketball coach, Jerry Tarkanian, for recruiting violations and other irregularities. On a 5-4 vote, the high court said that the NCAA does not have to follow the same constitutional guidelines that cover government agencies in investigating violations of regulations.
April 6, 2014
Re "Even more money in politics?," Editorial, April 3 As an attorney, any remaining illusion I had that our highest judicial body decides cases on a nonpartisan basis is gone after reading the Supreme Court's decision in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission. First, the tortured Citizens United finding in 2010 - that corporations have 1st Amendment rights similar to those of individuals - opened the floodgates for those who want to buy the government. After that, the Shelby County case gutted the Voting Rights Act, resulting in gleeful red states passing laws that prevent poor people and minorities from voting.
Former Lincoln Savings & Loan boss Charles H. Keating Jr. won a final victory Monday before the U.S. Supreme Court, defeating attempts to reinstate his 1991 state court conviction on charges of swindling elderly investors. Without comment, the high court refused to reopen the case, leaving intact lower court rulings that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito had allowed a flawed prosecution.
April 4, 2014
Re "Campaign donor limits grow looser," April 3 Whatever one's politics, we all should be concerned about the corrosive influence of big money on government. More than 100 years ago, Teddy Roosevelt had to struggle with political bosses to get elected and pass reforms. Today's bosses are billionaires who spend millions to influence our politics. The Supreme Court's most recent decision on campaign money (reasoning that political contributions are protected free speech) furthers the sale of our democracy to the highest bidder.
November 23, 1989 | From Staff and Wire Reports
Clement F. Haynsworth Jr., whose 1969 nomination to the Supreme Court by President Richard M. Nixon was rejected by the Senate because of questions about his judicial ethics and views on minorities, died of a heart attack Wednesday. He was 77. The semi-retired federal judge died at home. His wife, Dorothy, said her husband had suffered from a heart ailment in the last year but had continued to hear cases part-time.
May 10, 2010
When the Supreme Court irresponsibly overturned a 60-year-old ban on spending by unions and corporations in political campaigns, Congress was faced with a choice. It could pass legislation purporting to overturn the decision, inviting another invalidation. Or it could work within the confines of the ruling to limit its negative consequences. In general, legislation proposed by Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) follows the second course, but it would still strike a blow against special-interest influence in elections.
June 11, 2009
In 1996, Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter told a congressional committee that "the day you see a camera come into our courtroom, it's going to roll over my dead body." Fortunately, Souter's impending retirement will spare his colleagues -- if not a television audience -- that spectacle. It also creates the possibility that his successor will join other recent appointees in opening the door wider to televised oral arguments.
October 11, 2013 | By Joe Flint
The nation's biggest television companies including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are asking the Supreme Court to shut down Aereo Inc., a startup distribution service that they view as a threat to their business. Launched in 2012 and available in a handful of markets including New York City, Aereo transmits the signals of local broadcast stations to consumers via the Internet. Aereo charges its subscribers between $8 and $12 a month for the service, which includes a small antenna to receive the signals and access to a cloud-based digital video recorder that can hold up to 40 hours of programming.
May 20, 2013 | By David G. Savage, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court will revisit the issue of church-state separation and decide whether a town council can begin its monthly meetings with a prayer from a Christian pastor. Thirty years ago, the court upheld a state legislature's practice of beginning its session with a non-denominational prayer. The justices said that “to invoke Divine guidance on a public body entrusted with making laws” did not violate the 1st Amendment's prohibition on an “establishment of religion.” But since then, several lower courts have said that a city council or county board may violate the 1st Amendment if its opening prayers favor one religion only.
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 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Wednesday, conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court continued their project of undermining reasonable attempts by Congress to limit the corrupting influence of money in election campaigns. The same 5-4 majority that lifted limits on corporate political spending in the Citizens United decision struck down long-standing limits on the total amount a citizen can donate during an election cycle. As in Citizens United, the majority held that the restrictions violated 1st Amendment protections for political speech.
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.
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.
March 31, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court sounded ready Monday to curtail the use of certain business patents in a case involving a patent for a computerized risk analysis of international financial transactions. Use of such business-method patents has soared in recent decades. Once granted, they can give a firm or a person a monopoly for up to 20 years to profit from the patented process. Critics say many of the recent computer-related patents are vague and stifle innovation by giving exclusive rights to commonly used methods or formulas.
January 27, 2011 | Liam Ford, Jeff Coen and David Heinzmann, Chicago Tribune
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Rahm Emanuel can stay on the ballot for mayor of Chicago, saying in a unanimous decision that he meets the state's residency requirements despite spending most of the last year as White House chief of staff. The decision came without a moment to spare; early voting for the Feb. 22 city election begins Monday, Jan. 31. "The voters deserved the right to make the choice of who should be mayor. And what the Supreme Court said basically, in short, that the voters should make the decisions of who will be mayor," a victorious Emanuel said after slapping backs and shaking hands with commuters at the Clark and Lake elevated train stop near his downtown headquarters.
January 13, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Arizona's challenge to the court's Roe vs. Wade decision and its protection for a woman's right to choose abortion through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Without comment, the justices turned down Arizona's appeal of a lower-court ruling that blocked a law that would have limited legal abortions to 20 weeks. Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the law from taking effect on grounds that it conflicted with Roe vs. Wade.
March 29, 2014
Re "Taming the boardwalk," March 26 Iread about some of the "artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists" all coming together on the "circus-like boardwalk" of Venice, and I thought, "Strange but nice. " Then I read about our conservative-controlled Supreme Court and arguments about Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide contraceptives to women - many of whom are probably already taking them - and the thought crossed my mind: Just who is strange?
March 25, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will consider a proposition that will strike many Americans as bizarre: that large, for-profit businesses can refuse on religious grounds to comply with a federal mandate that they include contraception in their employee health plans. Three companies - Hobby Lobby, a chain of craft stores with 13,000 full-time employees; Mardel, a bookstore chain; and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer - are challenging the mandate. The businesses say it would require them to cover forms of contraception that the owners regard as equivalent to abortion - and thus offensive to their religious faith.
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