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Supreme Court upholds federal firearms ban against domestic abusers

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a federal law Wednesday barring anyone convicted of even a minor domestic violence charge from ever owning a gun. In a unanimous ruling, the nine justices ruled against James Castleman, who argued that his past conviction in Tennessee of misdemeanor domestic assault against the mother…

Supreme Court rules severance payments for laid off workers are taxable

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that taxes are due for Social Security and Medicare on severance packages paid to workers who are laid off involuntarily, overturning a lower court ruling that could have triggered a wave of payroll tax refund requests from U.S. businesses. In…

Supreme Court extends whistleblower protections to employees at private firms

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that employees at private firms that contract with publicly traded companies are subject to whistleblower protections. In a 6-3 vote along non-ideological lines, the court ruled that two whistleblowers were legally protected against retaliation after they…

Death-row inmate files Supreme Court challenge to Florida’s use of prisoners’ IQ scores

A Florida inmate challenged the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday arguing that he is intellectually disabled and therefore should not be executed, highlighting the issue of the mentally ill on death row. Freddie Lee Hall, 68, has spent 35 years on death row for the rape and murder of a…

Supreme Court rejects efforts to revive anti-immigration laws in Texas and Pennsylvania

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected attempts by towns in Texas and Pennsylvania to revive local laws that cracked down on illegal immigration. The court decided against hearing appeals filed by the towns of Farmers Branch, Texas, and Hazleton, Pennsylvania, which were seeking…

Occupy-inspired protester interrupts Supreme Court for ‘Citizens United’ protest

By Lawrence Hurley and Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the first time, video footage of U.S. Supreme Court proceedings has been recorded and posted online. The Supreme Court has always barred any type of cameras, including news media, from recording proceedings. The video shows a protester, later identified by…

Supreme Court makes it easier for police to search homes without a warrant

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to law enforcement agencies by making it easier for police to search a dwelling without a warrant. The court held on a 6-3 vote that police can search a home without a warrant, even if the…

Supreme Court declines to review challenges to more restrictive gun laws

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Supreme Court on Monday declined to wade into the politically volatile issue of gun control by leaving intact three court rulings rejecting challenges to federal and state laws. The court’s decision not to hear the cases represented a loss for gun rights advocates, including the National…

Florida executes man who raped and murdered 9-year-old boy

A man who admitted to raping and murdering a nine-year-old boy was executed Wednesday in Florida. Juan Carlos Chavez, 46, who spent the past 15 years on death row, was declared dead of lethal injection after 8:00 pm (0100 GMT Thursday), said Florida prisons spokeswoman Misty Cash. He was put…

Missouri inmate executed 24 minutes before Supreme Court rejected his appeal

Last Wednesday, the state of Missouri executed a man while his appeal was still being considered by the justices of the Supreme Court. In an article in The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen reports that Herbert Smulls — a black man convicted by an all-white jury — was on the phone discussing…

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