James's Feed
Jun 25, 2012

Teen murderers must get parole chance: Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled unconstitutional mandatory sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for people under age 18 when they committed murder in a ruling that could affect nearly 2,500 young prisoners.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled the U.S. Constitution forbids such a mandatory sentencing scheme for juvenile murderers. Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the liberals while the more conservative members dissented.

Jun 25, 2012

U.S. high court has split verdict on Arizona immigration law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants on Monday but struck down three other parts of the state law, delivering a mixed ruling for the Obama administration on federal power to enforce immigration statutes in the United States.

In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the country’s highest court by an 8-0 vote upheld the Arizona law’s most controversial aspect, requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop for any reason.

Jun 25, 2012

Supreme Court clears way for California cross removal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a ruling that a large Christian cross as part of a war memorial in California violated the constitutional ban on government endorsement of religion.

The justices rejected an appeal by the Obama administration and by an association that erected the cross arguing the government should not be forced to take down the memorial cross that stood atop Mount Soledad in San Diego since 1954 to honor veterans.

Jun 25, 2012

High Court upholds key part of Arizona immigration law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants on Monday, rejecting the Obama administration’s stance that only the U.S. government should enforce immigration laws in the United States.

The nation’s highest court, in an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, unanimously upheld the state law’s most controversial aspect, requiring police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop.

Jun 25, 2012

Supreme Court rejects Montana campaign money limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday followed up on its 2010 ruling that unleashed corporate spending in federal elections, reversing a decision that upheld a century-old Montana law restricting business political campaign expenditures.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled for three corporations – a political advocacy group called American Tradition Partnership Inc, a nonprofit that promotes shooting sports and a small family-owned painting business – that challenged the law for violating their free-speech rights.

Jun 25, 2012

US top court won’t hear Argentine debt default case

WASHINGTON, June 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday rejected an appeal by two U.S. investment funds that seek
to seize $105 million of Argentina’s central bank deposits in
New York to satisfy their claims from the country’s huge debt
default a decade ago.

The justices let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court in
New York that U.S. law shielded the property of a foreign
central bank used for traditional central banking activities,
regardless of whether the bank was independent from its parent
state.

Jun 22, 2012

Muslim man sentenced after threatening TV show

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Muslim convert from New York was sentenced on Friday to 11-1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to threatening the writers of the satirical “South Park” television show for their depiction of the Prophet Mohammad and to other criminal charges.

Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, who is also known as Younus Abdullah Muhammed, was put on three years of probation after he completes his prison term. The sentence was handed down in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Jun 21, 2012

Supreme Court extends more lenient penalties in crack cocaine case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday extended more lenient penalties of a new law for crack and powder cocaine to criminals convicted but not yet sentenced when the law took effect, a ruling that could affect thousands of defendants.

By a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled for two men convicted of crack cocaine crimes, but sentenced after the 2010 measure became law. Congress changed the law due to concerns that the longer prison terms were racially biased and unfair.

Jun 21, 2012

US top court rules for pipeline operator on penalty

WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on
Thursday overturned an $18 million penalty against a pipeline
operator for illegally storing mercury, ruling a jury must
determine any facts that increase a defendant’s maximum
potential sentence, even for a criminal fine.

A jury found Southern Union guilty of storing the mercury at
a company building in Rhode Island without a permit. A federal
trial judge then imposed a $6 million fine and $12 million in
community service obligations.

Jun 21, 2012

Court rules against FCC in TV profanity, nudity cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against the federal government’s regulation of broadcast profanity and nudity, saying the Federal Communications Commission had not given fair notice of a change in policy.

The unanimous high court ruling, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, declared that the FCC’s standards were vague as applied to the specific broadcasts in the case. It did not decide the larger question of whether the indecency policy violated constitutional free-speech rights.