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NEWS
July 6, 2014
The challenge and threat to the disabled, workers and public sector unions following the Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. Quinn ( "Public unions at risk," July 1) is real. Yet again the court has taken action abridging protections afforded working people who have done so much to sustain what remains of our ever shrinking middle class. For years, labor unions have been under increasing pressure, and it is no coincidence that the decline in union membership across the private and public sectors has coincided with the greatest income inequality we've seen since the Great Depression.
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NEWS
July 22, 2014
In a letter in the Sun, Kelli Kirchner of Cumberland expresses her happiness with the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and seems to believe no one should question or try to change it ( "Why is Mikulski trying to 'fix' the Supreme Court decision?" July 20). Well, I have news for her. As long as we have freedom of speech (as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution), we will always be free to question and try to change (via legislation or constitutional amendment) any decision of any court.
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NEWS
April 9, 2014
The belief that legislation can curb obscenely large contributions to individual candidates for office may be hopeful, but not realistic ( "A win for billionaires," April 6). Ever since our nation was founded, candidates favored by a wealthy few have received funds and are expected to vote the "right" way. Certainly, President Barack Obama during his two election campaigns refused to accept governmental funding and went to rich individuals to support his election and reelection.
NEWS
July 20, 2014
On her website, Sen. Barbara Mikulski proclaims that she is joining other senators to introduce a "legislative fix to protect women's health" following the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Whether you are for abortion or against abortion, whether you think your employer should cover all birth control or not, whether you are a women or a man, this bill should bother you. Why? Because our Founding Fathers created three branches of government to check and balance each other.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 26, 2013
Midweek Madness could not help but notice today's big news from the Supreme Court, and could not resist a musical blast from the past that has lyrics about such things as "love" and "justice" and "freedom" -- but is also just ever so slightly campy (this is a Scopitone performance, and you know Scopitone is just another word for camp). On top of everything else, this clip provides an excuse to celebrate the divine Debbie Reynolds. What more could you ask from a single installment of Midweek Madness?
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2013
Six men convicted in killings exited a side door at the Baltimore courthouse Thursday after spending more than half their lives in prison - their freedom secured by a court ruling that found they had received unfair trials because of improper jury instructions. The men, all convicted in the 1970s, walked across Lexington Street into a crowd of relatives and supporters, who flung their arms around them. "My mother's rejoicing in heaven," said Paula McCallister, after watching her brother, Zachary McCallister, 55, walk free under a sunny sky after nearly 40 years in prison.
NEWS
April 21, 1991
A Carroll delegate says a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week limiting appeals of criminal convictions should aid his effort to have a similar law passed in Maryland.The House Judiciary Committee killed a bill last session introduced by Delegate Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll, intended to prohibit convicts --especially those sentenced to the death penalty -- from filing numerous appeals of verdicts and sentences at taxpayers' expense.Dixon's bill would have required courts to determine if a convictshould be entitled to free legal assistance from the public defender's office at a stage of the appeals process when it is guaranteed.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock and Tom Bowman and Jay Hancock,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 13, 2000
WASHINGTON - Democratic and Republican lawmakers grappled with the complex and confusing Supreme Court decision last night but most came to the same conclusion: The end is near for Al Gore's presidential hopes. The high court, in a 5-4 decision, sent the case back to the Florida Supreme Court but effectively told the court there was no time to come up with a new and uniform standard for a recount. A majority of the court said in an opinion released about 10 p.m. that Dec. 12, yesterday, was the date for electors to be chosen, brushing aside the insistence of a dissenting justice that Florida should at least be given the chance to complete a new recount by Dec. 18. That's the date electors from the states cast their ballots for president and vice president.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | June 3, 2013
A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police in Maryland and elsewhere can continue the warrantless collection of DNA from people arrested - but not convicted - of serious crimes. The 5-4 decision upheld a state law that allows investigators to take genetic information from arrestees, a practice followed by the federal government and about half the states. Police generally compare suspects' DNA to records from other cases in hopes of developing leads. The case, which amplified a long-running debate over the limits of government search-and-seizure powers, began with a challenge from a Wicomico County man linked to a rape after his DNA was taken in an unrelated arrest.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2013
John Merzbacher, a former South Baltimore parochial school teacher convicted of raping a student, will remain in prison after the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision Friday that could have set him free. In an emotional victory for the former students named in civil lawsuits and identified by prosecutors as his victims, the court ruled that Merzbacher is not entitled to a plea deal that his lawyers argued should have been offered to him nearly 20 years ago. "This is a man who held a loaded gun to my head at ages 11 and 12 and 13 and threatened to kill me if I ever told," said Elizabeth Ann Murphy, a former student raped by Merzbacher in the 1970s at Catholic Community Middle School.
NEWS
July 9, 2014
Jenny Black, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Maryland, has condemned the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and another case striking down a Massachusetts law barring protesters from coming within 30 feet of an abortion clinic ( "In 2014, why are women still struggling to get basic health care?" July 2). Yet both rulings are small steps in the recognition and restoration of the inalienable rights of religious freedom and peaceful protest. Neither decision extends rights nor abrogates the rights of others.
NEWS
July 6, 2014
The challenge and threat to the disabled, workers and public sector unions following the Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. Quinn ( "Public unions at risk," July 1) is real. Yet again the court has taken action abridging protections afforded working people who have done so much to sustain what remains of our ever shrinking middle class. For years, labor unions have been under increasing pressure, and it is no coincidence that the decline in union membership across the private and public sectors has coincided with the greatest income inequality we've seen since the Great Depression.
NEWS
June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court didn't kill a key underpinning of public sector unionism Monday, but it surely put it on life support. The court's ruling in the Illinois case Harris v. Quinn, which related to the mandatory collection of so-called "fair share" fees from home health care workers whose wages are negotiated by a union whether those workers choose to belong to the union or not, was a relatively narrow one. It turned on the court's decision to draw a...
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
A nearly $1.7 million payment from Baltimore County to the police union to resolve a battle over retiree health care costs included about $228,000 in interest accrued while the county fought court rulings in the case. The county wrote a check last week to the Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4 to reimburse more than 400 retirees who the state's highest court determined were overcharged for health insurance premiums. The dispute began seven years ago, eventually reaching the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2012.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
A divided U.S. Supreme Court upheld Monday the right of local governments to offer sectarian prayers at public meetings, a decision that clears the way for the Carroll County board of commissioners to restore their Christian observances. In a 5-4 decision, the high court held that the town of Greece in upstate New York did not violate the Constitution's ban on government endorsement of religion when the town board offered prayers before its monthly meetings - even though the prayers often invoked the name of Jesus and focused on other inherently Christian themes.
NEWS
April 23, 2014
The Supreme Court's decision this week in the case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action was disappointing but not surprising and might have been far worse. What the court did was uphold a 2006 ballot initiative that banned race-based admission policies at Michigan's state schools. It has no impact on states like Maryland where diversity on campus can continue to be promoted. That's crucial. The same court had its chance to ban affirmative action last year in a University of Texas case and chose not to do so. So it remains constitutional for the vast majority of U.S. colleges and universities to consider race - along with all the other factors that go into the admissions process, from whether a parent attended the school to the soft-discrimination posed by SAT scores enhanced by pricey prep classes.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz and Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF | June 11, 2004
A federal judge has agreed to hear convicted killer Steven Oken's last-minute appeal for an execution delay based on his claim that Maryland's method of lethal injection violates the Constitution's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, lawyers for Oken and the state said yesterday. In addition, Oken's lawyers said they have other legal maneuvers in the works, including an expected filing with the Supreme Court. Oral arguments are scheduled to be heard at 2 p.m. Monday by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in federal court in Greenbelt, lawyers for the two sides said.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 20, 2003
LOS ANGELES - A federal appeals court added another layer of confusion yesterday to California's gubernatorial recall election, agreeing to reconsider a decision by a panel of judges this week that could delay the Oct. 7 vote. In a one-paragraph ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said little about the Monday ruling by three of its judges, other than it would take the uncommon step of reconsidering it. The decision on when the election will be held now goes to an 11-member panel of judges from the court, with hearings expected to start Monday in San Francisco.
NEWS
April 9, 2014
The belief that legislation can curb obscenely large contributions to individual candidates for office may be hopeful, but not realistic ( "A win for billionaires," April 6). Ever since our nation was founded, candidates favored by a wealthy few have received funds and are expected to vote the "right" way. Certainly, President Barack Obama during his two election campaigns refused to accept governmental funding and went to rich individuals to support his election and reelection.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | April 7, 2014
Forty years ago, Congress enacted sweeping limits on political campaign spending in the wake of a shocking disclosure that one man - Chicago insurance executive W. Clement Stone - had given more than $3 million for the 1972 reelection of President Richard M. Nixon. The amount seemed outlandish then, in a campaign in which Nixon waltzed to victory over his Democratic opponent, Sen. George McGovern, winning 49 states and losing only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. It was an easily predictable drubbing.
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