Lawrence's Feed
Mar 25, 2015

U.S. justices divided over challenge to mercury air pollution rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court appeared closely divided on Wednesday as it weighed whether the Obama administration had to consider costs before deciding whether to regulate emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants.

Justice Anthony Kennedy could be a possible swing vote on the nine-justice court, with liberals backing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rationale and conservatives hostile to the government’s arguments.

Mar 25, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court revives pregnant worker’s case against UPS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a former driver for UPS Inc by throwing out a lower court ruling blocking her lawsuit accusing the package delivery company of discrimination for refusing to lighten her work duties while she was pregnant.

On a 6-3 vote, the justices revived Peggy Young’s discrimination claim against UPS and sent the case back to a lower court.

Mar 25, 2015

U.S. justices throw out ruling that upheld Alabama redistricting plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A closely divided U.S. Supreme Court
on Wednesday threw out a lower court ruling that upheld a state
legislature redistricting plan in Alabama that packed black
voters into certain districts in a way critics say diminished
their clout at the polls.

In their 5-4 decision, the justices ducked a ruling on the
lawfulness of Alabama’s redistricting plan, sending the case
back to a lower court. The justices called the lower court
ruling that had upheld the plan “legally erroneous.”

Mar 24, 2015

Obama mercury air pollution rule faces test at U.S. top court

By Lawrence Hurley

(Reuters) – The latest legal test of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda reaches the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the justices consider a challenge to a regulation intended to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous pollutants mainly from coal-fired power plants.

The nine justices are due to hear a 90-minute oral argument on whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should have considered the cost of compliance when deciding whether to regulate the pollutants. Industry groups and some states appealed after an appeals court upheld the regulation in June 2014.

Mar 24, 2015

U.S. top court hands narrow win to Omnicare in securities case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a narrow victory to Omnicare Inc by throwing out an appeals court ruling that revived securities class action claims alleging the company had misled investors prior to a public stock offering.

On a 9-0 vote, the court sent the case back to lower courts. The plaintiffs will have a second chance to litigate the case against the company, which is the top U.S. provider of pharmacy services to the elderly.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. justices voice support for criminal justice reform

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two members of the U.S. Supreme Court
on Monday voiced support for efforts in Congress to reform the
American criminal justice system, criticizing the reliance on
mandatory minimum sentences in recent decades and the penal
system in general.

Testifying before a U.S. House of Representatives panel
about the court’s annual budget, conservative Justice Anthony
Kennedy and liberal Justice Stephen Breyer both spoke of
problems with the system.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. top court wrestles over Confederate flag license plate

By Lawrence Hurley

(Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court justices on Monday appeared
conflicted over how to resolve a free speech dispute over
whether the state of Texas was required to approve a specialty
vehicle license plate that displays a Confederate battle flag.

Some of the nine justices raised questions about whether the
state had a sound legal reason under the U.S. Constitution’s
First Amendment, which guarantees free speech, for how it
approved some plates but not others. The state declined to
approve the plate with the Confederate flag, to some an emblem
of Southern pride and to others a symbol of racism.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear DirecTV arbitration case

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on
Monday agreed to hear an appeal filed by DirecTV Inc
concerning the satellite television provider’s efforts to
enforce arbitration agreements its customers in California have
signed.

The high court agreed to review a decision by a state
appeals court in California that found that consumers were not
bound by a provision in the company’s customer agreement
preventing disputes being resolved on a class-wide basis.

Mar 23, 2015

Supreme Court leaves intact Wisconsin voter identification law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact a new Republican-backed law in Wisconsin that requires voters to present photo identification when they cast ballots.

The court declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law.

Mar 23, 2015

U.S. top court declines to hear Texas death row inmate’s appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
declined to hear an appeal filed by Texas death row inmate
Lester Bower, including his assertion that three decades on
death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Bower, 67, is one of the longest-serving prisoners on death
row in Texas. He was sentenced to death for murdering four men
in 1983 in an aircraft hangar near Sherman, Texas. Three of the
court’s nine justices said they would have heard the case.