James's Feed
Jan 9, 2012

High court appears to back landowners in clean water cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court appeared to support giving companies and landowners the right to a court hearing before they must comply with an order under the clean water act, which could sharply curtail a key Environmental Protection Agency power.

During arguments on Monday, both conservative and liberal justices sharply questioned a U.S. government attorney who maintained that companies or individuals must first fail to comply with an EPA order and face potentially costly enforcement action before a court can review the case.

Jan 9, 2012

Top court backs foreigner campaign donation ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court rejected on Monday a free-speech challenge to the longtime ban on campaign contributions by foreign citizens who temporarily live and work in the United States.

The justices affirmed a ruling by a three-judge federal panel that upheld the ban adopted by Congress to keep foreigners from financially influencing U.S. elections.

Jan 6, 2012

Texas election map fight goes before Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court next week will step into a partisan battle over remapping congressional districts in Texas, the court’s first review of political boundary-drawing resulting from the 2010 U.S. census, with elections ahead in November.

At issue in Monday ‘s arguments will be whether Texas uses maps drawn by a U.S. court in San Antonio favoring Democrats and minorities, or maps drawn by the Republican-dominated state legislature, in the 2012 congressional and state elections.

Jan 6, 2012

Obama lawyers defend healthcare law in Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration defended its healthcare overhaul law before the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, rejecting arguments by critics who warned that if the government can require people to have health insurance, it might next make them eat broccoli.

Administration attorneys, in court filings and at a briefing, said Congress was within its constitutional powers in requiring Americans to buy insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, a centerpiece of the law known as the individual mandate.

Jan 6, 2012

Supreme Court to decide drug-detecting dog sniff case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday it would decide whether a sniff by a drug-detecting dog at the front door of a private residence amounted to an unconstitutional search.

The justices agreed to review a Florida Supreme Court ruling that said such a sniff was a substantial government intrusion into the sanctity of the home and was unconstitutional.

Dec 31, 2011

Roberts defends justices on healthcare recusal issue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Chief Justice John Roberts expressed confidence on Saturday in the decisions by his Supreme Court colleagues on when to recuse themselves, an issue that has emerged in the legal battle over President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul law.

Some Democrats in Congress have called for Justice Clarence Thomas to be recused because of his wife’s work for conservative groups that opposed the law while some Republicans have called for Justice Elena Kagan’s recusal because of her prior position in the Obama administration.

Dec 21, 2011

BofA’s Countrywide to pay $335 million over bias case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp’s Countrywide Financial unit agreed on Wednesday to pay a record $335 million to settle civil charges that it discriminated against minority homebuyers, a historic settlement for the Obama administration in the wake of the subprime mortgage morass.

As the financial and housing crisis erupted in 2008, Bank of America bought Countrywide, which specialized in so-called subprime mortgages, focusing on loans to those with lower credit ratings and charging them higher interest rates.

Dec 19, 2011

Supreme Court sets Obama healthcare arguments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Oral arguments on President Barack Obama’s sweeping U.S. healthcare overhaul will last 5-1/2 hours spread over three days from March 26-28, the Supreme Court said on Monday.

The Supreme Court last month agreed to hear the 5-1/2 hours of oral arguments, one of the lengthiest arguments in recent years. There have been similar marathon sessions in a handful of big cases dating back over the past 70 years.

Dec 14, 2011

Analysis: Supreme Court immigration case a federal-state test

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court’s promised ruling next year on Arizona’s immigration crackdown could turn on how much a state can intrude on federal government enforcement powers.

The country’s highest court agreed on Monday to decide whether federal immigration laws take precedence and so preempt Arizona’s law boosting the power of local police to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Dec 12, 2011

Supreme Court to decide Arizona immigration law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court said on Monday that it would decide whether Arizona’s tough law cracking down on illegal immigrants can take effect, a case arising from the fierce national debate on immigration policy ahead of next year’s presidential election.

The high court agreed to review a ruling that put on hold the key parts of the law signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010. The case has been closely watched because several other states have adopted similar laws.