July 5, 1993
Continuing a long legal quest, a surrogate mother has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to determine whether she has parental rights to a 2-year-old Tustin boy. Attorney Richard C. Gilbert, arguing that his client, Anna M. Johnson, has been the victim of a "shameful collapse" of the judicial system, said Sunday that a petition was mailed to the nation's highest court early last week. The court could decide by this fall whether Johnson's claim will be accepted for review.
June 26, 2009 |
The Supreme Court announced Thursday a potentially significant change in how crime lab reports are used in trials, ruling that a defendant has the right to cross-examine in front of the jury the experts who prepared these reports. Crime labs have been subjected to criticism in the last decade, much of it because of DNA evidence that has shown at least 240 prisoners were in fact not guilty.
May 2, 2000 |
Public employers can force their hourly workers to take time off to avoid paying them overtime, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The 6-3 ruling leaves it to employers, not workers, to decide when "comp time" is used. Monday's decision covers police, firefighters and public hospital workers as well as the many thousands of other state or local employees who are offered compensatory time off rather than extra pay for their overtime work. Private sector workers are not affected, however.
November 8, 1987 |
Supreme Court nominee Douglas H. Ginsburg, it seems, was a puzzle wrapped in a paradox inside a surprise. On Oct. 29, when President Reagan put forward his name, the 41-year old federal appeals judge was a man about whom almost nothing was known. Then, as details of his life came to light, some proved to be startlingly unexpected. Paradoxically, the more that was learned about him, the more elusive Ginsburg became. He emerged a man whose life and record were not all of one piece.
June 11, 2007 |
Five years after the Supreme Court declared in Atkins vs. Virginia that the death penalty was unconstitutional for those who are mentally retarded, Daryl Atkins still sits on death row. In August, lawyers for the man who won the landmark ruling will try again to convince a jury here that he is indeed mentally retarded and therefore deserves a life term in prison, not execution.
June 9, 2009 |
The U.S. Supreme Court put elected judges on notice Monday that they must step aside from deciding cases involving big-money donors who helped them win their jobs. The decision comes after a decade in which corporate interests and trial lawyers have waged increasingly costly campaigns for 21 states' supreme court seats. Most are in the Great Lakes region or the South.
April 22, 2009 |
The Supreme Court put a new limit on police searches of cars Tuesday, saying that "countless individuals guilty of nothing more serious than a traffic violation" have had their vehicles searched in violation of their rights. In a 5-4 decision, the justices set aside a 1981 opinion that had given police broad authority to search cars whenever they made an arrest.
September 14, 2005 |
In mid-1971, the Supreme Court agreed for the first time to hear a constitutional challenge to the long-standing state laws limiting abortion. Its decision to do so reverberates today. At that time, Texas and 30 other states had laws, dating from the 19th century, that made an abortion a crime unless it was performed to save the mother's life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2004 |
In the first courtroom hearing in the Kevin Cooper case since the convicted killer of four was issued a stay of execution in February, a federal judge was presented with two different pictures of the worthiness of scientific tests ordered by a federal appeals court. U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Huff posed several questions to attorneys representing Cooper and his victims during the "tutorial" hearing.
March 20, 1994 |
Paul P. Tuilaepa is not exactly a shining example for those who want to make a case against the death penalty. A short, muscular man who glares into the police camera, Tuilaepa shot four men in a Long Beach bar in 1986 and killed one of them. A jury convicted him and sentenced him to die. This week, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal of Tuilaepa's case, and not only his fate but also that of California's death penalty law will be hanging in the balance.