July 24, 2013 |
HARRISBURG - A former policy director for Pennsylvania's Department of State defended the state's tough voter identification law yesterday as a reasonable compromise that followed intense negotiations, even though it omits changes that the department proposed to ease some of the requirements. Lawyers for plaintiffs seeking to overturn the mandatory photo ID requirement yesterday questioned the official, Rebecca Oyler, about memos and emails describing negotiations over the legislation in late 2011.
July 20, 2013 |
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a temporary injunction halting the closure of state health centers across Pennsylvania. A union representing 160 nurses at most of the 60 health centers sued after learning that the Corbett administration was planning to eliminate 26 positions and close nearly half the centers that serve populations in rural areas of the state. The union, SEIU Healthcare PA, along with several Democratic lawmakers, appealed a Commonwealth Court ruling in April denying their injunction request.
July 20, 2013 |
TRENTON - In a precedent-setting decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday that police seeking to locate a criminal suspect by tracking cellphone calls must first obtain a warrant. The unanimous 40-page decision written by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said use of cellphone tracking technology had the potential to violate a person's privacy rights and must be subject to judicial review. "Using a cellphone to determine the location of its owner can be far more revealing than acquiring toll billing, bank, or Internet subscriber records," Rabner wrote.
July 17, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court is refusing to order the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court issued an order yesterday denying the request by backers of the state's same-sex marriage ban for an emergency order that would have required the state to keep enforcing a voter-approved prohibition on same-sex marriages. The U.S. Supreme Court last month cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in the nation's most populous state by dismissing the backer's appeal of a lower-court ruling that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
July 12, 2013
Nominee grilled on Benghazi WASHINGTON - President Obama's choice for assistant secretary of state for Europe defended her role in the talking points created after last year's deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing Thursday. Victoria Nuland refused to blame former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, for whom she served as spokeswoman when Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission last Sept.
July 7, 2013 |
TRENTON - New Jersey's top court said Friday it will issue its opinion Monday on whether homeowners should be compensated for losing ocean views when dunes are built. The high court's decision will come in the widely watched case of a Long Beach Island couple who sued and won a jury verdict for $375,000 to make up for the view they lost when their town built a dune in 2010. The town, Harvey Cedars, appealed, saying that a house protected from a flood is more valuable than one that is not. The house at the center of the case, belonging to Harvey and Phyllis Karan, survived Sandy in October.
July 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An extraordinary finale to a history-making term once again revealed the Supreme Court to be Washington's most unpredictable institution. Or at least that's how it must appear. One day's decision left essentially untouched the court's controversial permission to let race play some role in college admissions. It was followed the next day by a decision overruling Congress and striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act, which has protected minority voters for nearly half a century.
June 27, 2013 |
Excerpts from the majority and dissenting opinions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 5-4 rulings Wednesday striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, and leaving in place a trial court's ruling that California's Proposition 8 is unconstitutional: Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority opinion striking down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act: "DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with...
June 27, 2013
EVERY YEAR, the Supremes save their greatest hits for the final act, and the final days of its 2012-13 calendar were no exception. Here's a look at the week that was: * MONDAY: The high court started its drive with a punt - on the contentious issue of affirmative action in college admissions. In a 7-1 verdict, the court sent a lawsuit by a white woman against the University of Texas back to the lower courts. A majority opinion said that a diverse student body is a worthwhile goal but that universities will need to better justify the formulas they use to get there.
June 26, 2013 |
In a case involving a Philadelphia company, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal pharmaceutical laws preempt a person's ability to sue in state court alleging that a generic drug is designed badly and therefore is dangerous. The court's 5-4 decision in Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett is a victory for the drug industry and, indirectly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A New Hampshire woman, Karen Bartlett, suffered severe skin reactions and is nearly blind after using a generic drug made by Mutual.