Other Supreme Court Actions

March 30, 1993


Songs. The court, giving itself a chance to review some rap music, will rule on the legality of 2 Live Crew's "Pretty Woman," one of the song tracks on the album "As Clean As They Wanna Be." The 2 Live Crew version is a parody of "Oh, Pretty Woman," a rock 'n' roll song written by Roy Orbison and William Dees in 1964 and protected by copyright. A federal appeals court ruled that the parody probably violates the copyright. The Supreme Court will issue a final ruling in about a year.

Federal employees. The court will decide whether federal agencies have a duty under federal law to tell labor unions representing agency workers the names and home addresses of those workers. The issue, which has split lower courts, reached the justices in a case involving federal workers in Gulfport, Miss., and Denver. In that case, a lower court ruled that federal privacy law does not shield the addresses from disclosure to unions.


Government "leaks." The court refused to spell out the power of federal prosecutors to use federal criminal laws to punish anyone receiving unauthorized "leaks" of government information. The court left standing the convictions of two Litton Data Systems executives who paid a private consultant to get confidential Navy information about bids on communications projects. The two executives were found guilty of stealing government property and using interstate telephones to obtain inside information improperly. With the support of a number of news organizations, the executives sought to appeal, contending that the lower court decision would make ordinary government "leaking" a federal crime.

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