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Supreme Court Rulings

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.
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.
In a setback for advocates of the homeless, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand a state court decision that New York City cannot force property owners to maintain one-room units for poor tenants. The decision was not expected to have a broad and immediate impact across the nation because the New York City law went well beyond other city ordinances, including one adopted in Los Angeles a few months ago.
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.
Only two facts about the Slate Creek murder remain undisputed. On the night of March 10, 1981, a young housewife died violently in her tiny, one-bedroom home on a hillside above the fast-flowing creek. And on May 20, 1992, her brother-in-law, who served as a pallbearer at her funeral, is scheduled to be electrocuted for the crime. This Appalachian coal mining town was stunned by the wanton murder and soon focused its attention on a likely suspect.
June 1, 2009
When a suspect on a TV crime show asks for an attorney, the fictional detectives complain that their target has "lawyered up." That's a pejorative description of an important legal protection for individuals in custody who might be bullied into a confession. Last week, the Supreme Court needlessly weakened that safeguard by overruling a relatively recent precedent.
August 6, 1985
May I commend you on your editorial concerning the statements of Edwin Meese relative to recent Supreme Court rulings. It is appalling to hear the head of the top law enforcement body of our country voice his contrary political views to the Supreme Court's rulings on the law of our land. I wonder how his department can function and uphold the law of the land under his leadership. This certainly confirms one of the reasons his appointment was so controversial. RAY GELGUR San Juan Capistrano
August 5, 1986 | ROBERT L. JACKSON, Times Staff Writer
Justice Department officials, retreating in the wake of two recent Supreme Court rulings, abandoned efforts Monday to eliminate minority and female hiring quotas designed to cure past discrimination in the Indianapolis police and fire departments. The move was seen as a signal that the department may drop its opposition to similar court orders covering employment discrimination in 51 other states, cities and counties.
The state attorney general's office has moved to block a recent appeals court decision allowing male prison inmates to procreate by means of artificial insemination, arguing that the case should be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a motion filed with the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer seeks to keep from becoming effective the appellate court decision supporting an inmate's "fundamental right" to procreate, pending a review by the nation's high court.
April 9, 1997
Tuesday's appellate court decision upholding Proposition 209, the anti-affirmative action initiative, will almost surely be appealed to a larger panel within the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court should agree to review the case, and it ought to reach a different conclusion on this measure's constitutionality.
April 23, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Victims of child pornography whose images of sexual abuse have circulated on the Internet may demand compensation from every person caught downloading and possessing the illegal images, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. But justices set aside a $3.4-million restitution order handed down against a Texas man on behalf of one victim, ruling that a single defendant who possesses the pornography may not be forced to pay the full amount of damages due the victim. The 5-4 decision upholds part of the Violence Against Women Act and opens a new chapter in compensating victims who say the online circulation of their images has forced them to relive the sexual abuse they experienced as children.
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
"Supreme Court rules against affirmative action. " That is likely to be a common shorthand description of Tuesday's decision upholding the constitutionality of Michigan's ban on the use of racial preferences in admission to state universities. But it's misleading. The 6-2 decision leaves undisturbed previous rulings in which the justices said that state universities may take race into account in admissions policies without violating the U.S. Constitution. But the court now has made it clear that although such preferences are permissible, voters may opt to prohibit them.
April 18, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - This spring marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan, its most important pronouncement on the freedom of the press, but the ruling has not won the acceptance of Justice Antonin Scalia. “It was wrong,” he said Thursday evening at the National Press Club in a joint appearance with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I think the Framers would have been appalled. … It was revising the Constitution.” The 9-0 ruling handed down in March 1964 threw out a libel suit brought by police commissioner L.B. Sullivan from Montgomery, Ala. He claimed he had been defamed by a paid ad in the New York Times, even though it did not mention him by name.
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 8, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Anxious about last summer's ruling on Proposition 8, sponsors of California ballot measures are going to considerable lengths to ensure they will be able to defend them if the state doesn't. Nearly 1 in 4 proposed initiatives include language intended to skirt the ruling and avoid having a measure overturned because of antipathy by state officials, a review of the measures showed. The proposal topics are as varied as public pensions and Internet privacy, each armed with clauses aimed at turning sponsors into semi-public officials able to defend the measures if the state refuses.
September 26, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to hear arguments from power companies -- including a Calpine Corp. unit -- in a case that may affect California's attempt to save $1.4 billion on supply contracts signed during the 2000-to-2001 energy crisis. The justices will consider whether the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has the power to cut the price on long-term contracts that customers say were the product of market manipulation.
May 29, 2004 | From Associated Press
A court ruled Friday that former dictator Augusto Pinochet could be sued for a bloody wave of repression in the 1970s and '80s, after a TV interview in which he appeared lucid raised questions about Supreme Court rulings that he is unfit for trial. The 14-9 vote by the Santiago Court of Appeals startled lawyers on both sides as well as victims' families. Prosecution lawyer Juan Subercaseaux called the ruling "a miracle."
March 4, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Outside accountants and lawyers who reveal fraud and wrongdoing at publicly traded companies are protected as whistle-blowers just as employees are, the Supreme Court ruled, expanding the reach of an anti-fraud law passed in the wake of the collapse of companies such as Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. The 6-3 decision Tuesday will affect the mutual fund and financial services industries in particular because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisors. Denying whistle-blower protection to all outside employees of such companies would leave a "huge hole" in the 2002 law, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noting that most mutual fund companies hire independent investment advisors and contractors rather than employees.
February 25, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Police officers may enter and search a home without a warrant as long as one occupant consents, even if another resident has previously objected, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a Los Angeles case. The 6-3 ruling, triggered by a Los Angeles Police Department arrest in 2009, gives authorities more leeway to search homes without obtaining a warrant, even when there is no emergency. The majority, led by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said police need not take the time to get a magistrate's approval before entering a home in such cases.
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