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By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | June 14, 1994
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court significantly narrowed yesterday the federal government's power to collect damages from lawyers and accountants who gave faulty advice that helped lead thrift institutions into financial trouble.In a ruling that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had warned would threaten federal claims of negligence totaling $1.5 billion, the court unanimously ruled that the FDIC -- after taking over a failed thrift -- does not have authority under federal law to sue thrift advisers for negligent professional advice.
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NEWS
July 1, 2008
Public needs access to more of the bay When I first moved to Maryland, I was shocked at the very limited number of access points to the Chesapeake Bay for boaters, swimmers and anglers who do not live on the bay. What we have, in essence, is a public body of water supported by billions in federal, state and local taxes that a relative handful of developers and landowners are allowed to treat as their own private marina. And while the column "Blocked from the bay" (June 24) is helpful in bringing this pitiful state of affairs to public notice, it also illustrates the meek attitude of state and local officials in their acceptance of the status quo. For instance, according to one planner the column cites, environmentalists who want more public access to the bay must "partner with developers" because the "only alternative ... will be to wait for bridges to be realigned so that old structures can be used as fishing piers."
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NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 29, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, moving swiftly to uphold a new federal law, ruled unanimously yesterday that Congress acted constitutionally when it shut off repeated attempts by prison inmates -- including those on death row -- to overturn their convictions and sentences.Just nine weeks after Congress stripped inmates of most of their rights to make repeated appeals in federal courts, and strictly limited the Supreme Court's role in such cases, the court found no constitutional defect in the law.The standards for appealing in federal court under the law are so strict that the ruling in favor of it "really will box everyone out, at all levels" when a prisoner tries to pursue multiple appeals, Larry Yackle, a Boston University law professor and an expert on such appeals, said yesterday.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | October 31, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Moments before a Mississippi prisoner was scheduled to die by injection yesterday evening, the Supreme Court granted him a stay of execution and thus gave a nearly indisputable indication that a majority intends to block all executions until the court decides a lethal-injection case from Kentucky next spring. There were two dissenters, Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr., but neither they nor the majority gave reasons for their positions. Because only five votes are required for a stay of execution, it is not clear whether all of the remaining seven justices supported it. The stay will remain in effect until the full court reviews an appeal filed Monday by lawyers for the inmate, Earl W. Berry, who is on death row for having killed a woman 20 years ago. While there is no schedule for that review, it almost surely will not take place until the court decides the Kentucky case, Baze v. Rees, which will be argued in January.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 23, 1998
WASHINGTON -- For 207 years, the Constitution has outlawed criminal fines that are "excessive." Yesterday, for the first time, a fine the government wanted to impose ran afoul of that clause, as the Supreme Court limited officials' power to punish crime with heavy financial charges.With Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court's most conservative members, departing from his usual allies to write for a 5-4 majority, the court said that a fine of $357,144 would be too high for a man who tried to carry that sum in cash out of the country without informing the U.S. Treasury.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | November 15, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Workers who collect money on their claims of age bias or other forms of discrimination on the job will have to await word from the Supreme Court on whether they must pay federal taxes on those awards.Lower federal courts are in dispute on that issue, leading the justices to vote yesterday to settle it, in a case involving a tax-deduction claim of more than $140,000 by a former United Airlines pilot.The Internal Revenue Service took the issue to the Supreme Court, arguing that the outcome of the case would affect tax reporting on verdicts not only in age-bias cases but also in a variety of other discrimination cases under federal and state law.The result, the IRS said, will affect the tax liability of many thousands of individuals.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 14, 1996
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to clarify the right of a surviving spouse to collect death benefits when a maritime worker eventually dies from injuries or illnesses HTC suffered on the job at a marine terminal or shipyard.Lower federal courts are in dispute over whether a survivor is entitled to death benefits in cases in which the deceased spouse already had reached settlements -- with insurance companies or other firms -- that were not approved by his employer.Under federal law, a marine employee loses otherwise guaranteed company benefits if that worker settles money claims with outsiders without approval from the worker's employer.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau of The Sun | November 29, 1994
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court stepped into a spreading maritime law conflict among lower federal courts yesterday, agreeing to settle the legality of contracts requiring that disputes over cargo loss or damage go to an arbitration panel in another country.The court voted to hear a case involving $1 million-plus in damage to a ship's cargo of oranges bound from Morocco to a Massachusetts port.The Panamanian owner of the cargo ship is seeking to take the dispute over the loss to a Japanese arbitration tribunal tied to the Japan Shipping Exchange, but the insurer of the damaged cargo wants the case handled in a U.S. court.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | October 19, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide when railroads may be sued for fatal train-car collisions at highway crossings.Six years after the court thought it had sorted out the law on crossing accidents, the justices found that lower federal courts are divided over whether to allow lawsuits based on state law to go forward against railroads.If the court rules against such lawsuits, railroads could not be sued for crossing accidents, because no federal lawsuit could filed for a claim that a railroad lacked proper safety devices at a grade crossing.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | October 31, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Moments before a Mississippi prisoner was scheduled to die by injection yesterday evening, the Supreme Court granted him a stay of execution and thus gave a nearly indisputable indication that a majority intends to block all executions until the court decides a lethal-injection case from Kentucky next spring. There were two dissenters, Justices Antonin Scalia and Samuel A. Alito Jr., but neither they nor the majority gave reasons for their positions. Because only five votes are required for a stay of execution, it is not clear whether all of the remaining seven justices supported it. The stay will remain in effect until the full court reviews an appeal filed Monday by lawyers for the inmate, Earl W. Berry, who is on death row for having killed a woman 20 years ago. While there is no schedule for that review, it almost surely will not take place until the court decides the Kentucky case, Baze v. Rees, which will be argued in January.
NEWS
July 2, 2005
IN ANNOUNCING her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor has - at once - left a gaping hole in the center of the court and given George W. Bush his first opportunity to have an even more lasting influence on American jurisprudence than he has had with scores of appointments to lower federal courts. Given the tense standoff between the White House and the Senate generated by some of those nominees, it's at least somewhat comforting that Mr. Bush expressed admiration for Justice O'Connor's "intellect, wisdom and personal decency."
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 2, 2005
Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and its moderating guide for 24 years on such hot-button issues as abortion and the death penalty, said yesterday that she would retire, touching off what is expected to be a fierce partisan battle to fill the first high court vacancy in more than a decade. O'Connor, 75, who has been described as the court's most influential member and one of the nation's most powerful women, announced her retirement in a one-paragraph letter delivered early yesterday to the White House.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 17, 2003
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court placed strict limits yesterday on the government's ability to forcibly medicate mentally ill defendants for the purpose of making them competent to stand trial. The use of anti-psychotic drugs must be in the defendant's best medical interest and "substantially unlikely" to cause side effects that would compromise the fairness of the trial, the court said in a 6-3 decision by Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Additionally, the court held, the government's "important" interest in bringing the defendant to trial must be unattainable by alternative, less intrusive means.
NEWS
By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 1, 2001
WASHINGTON - In his first formal statement on the presidential election, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist said that the impasse over the Florida ballots "tested our constitutional system in ways it has never been tested before." Rehnquist's annual report to Congress on the U.S. judiciary did not mention the criticism leveled against the high court. Nor did the chief justice, who was in the majority, attempt to defend the 5-4 ruling that rejected a recount of Florida presidential election votes and handed the election to Republican George W. Bush.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | December 8, 2000
WASHINGTON - Lectured by the U.S. Supreme Court, blamed for "mischief" by three federal appeals judges and blindsided by lawyers, the Florida Supreme Court went looking yesterday for a graceful way out of the presidential election dispute. The seven justices explored for 68 minutes what to do in what might be their last act in the fight over Florida's decisive electoral votes - a fight over counting about 14,000 disputed ballots. They seemed tempted to take charge, as they had Nov. 21. And yet, they also appeared to sense that the temptation should be resisted.
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | October 19, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide when railroads may be sued for fatal train-car collisions at highway crossings.Six years after the court thought it had sorted out the law on crossing accidents, the justices found that lower federal courts are divided over whether to allow lawsuits based on state law to go forward against railroads.If the court rules against such lawsuits, railroads could not be sued for crossing accidents, because no federal lawsuit could filed for a claim that a railroad lacked proper safety devices at a grade crossing.
NEWS
July 2, 2005
IN ANNOUNCING her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court, Sandra Day O'Connor has - at once - left a gaping hole in the center of the court and given George W. Bush his first opportunity to have an even more lasting influence on American jurisprudence than he has had with scores of appointments to lower federal courts. Given the tense standoff between the White House and the Senate generated by some of those nominees, it's at least somewhat comforting that Mr. Bush expressed admiration for Justice O'Connor's "intellect, wisdom and personal decency."
BUSINESS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 9, 1998
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled unanimously yesterday that an employer cannot legally cut off health insurance for a worker who leaves or is fired even if that worker is covered by a spouse's or domestic partner's insurance.A 1989 federal law, the court decided, requires that a worker can opt to remain under his former company's policy for 18 months after leaving the job as long as he pays the premium.Only if the worker obtains new coverage, equal in scope, can the employer cut off the worker's prior coverage short of 18 months, the court made clear.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | May 18, 1999
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, eight years after struggling to define the power of local government to limit nude dancing, said yesterday that it will try again.The justices agreed to hear an appeal by the city of Erie, Pa., seeking to revive a city ordinance that imposed a nearly total ban on nude entertainment in public places.Pennsylvania's state supreme court nullified that ordinance in October, saying nude dancing is a form of expression, intended to convey "an erotic message," and so is protected by the First Amendment.
NEWS
By Lyle Denniston and Lyle Denniston,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | June 23, 1998
WASHINGTON -- For 207 years, the Constitution has outlawed criminal fines that are "excessive." Yesterday, for the first time, a fine the government wanted to impose ran afoul of that clause, as the Supreme Court limited officials' power to punish crime with heavy financial charges.With Justice Clarence Thomas, one of the court's most conservative members, departing from his usual allies to write for a 5-4 majority, the court said that a fine of $357,144 would be too high for a man who tried to carry that sum in cash out of the country without informing the U.S. Treasury.
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