Jus­tices to de­cide cases on in­sider trad­ing, death penalty

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - By David G. Sav­age david.sav­age@la­times.com

WASH­ING­TON — The Supreme Court be­gins hear­ing cases this week, but none of them looks to be a high-pro­file le­gal dis­pute that will split the eight jus­tices.

Here are a few no­table le­gal ques­tions due to be de­cided in the new term:

In­sider trad­ing: Is it a crime for peo­ple to buy stock based on tips that came from fam­ily mem­bers or friends who in turn learned it from a cor­po­rate in­sider? Bas­sam Sal­man, a gro­cery whole­saler from Chicago, was in­dicted and con­victed for trad­ing on tips that came from a brother-in-law in Cal­i­for­nia, who learned the se­crets from an­other brother who worked at an in­vest­ment bank. (Sal­man v. United States, Wed­nes­day)

Race and death penalty: Is it un­con­sti­tu­tional to sen­tence a black de­fen­dant to death af­ter the jury had been told blacks are more likely to pose a dan­ger to so­ci­ety? Duane Buck, who mur­dered two peo­ple in Hous­ton in 1995, has been try­ing to chal­lenge his sen­tence as racially bi­ased, but state and fed­eral judges have re­fused to give him a hear­ing be­cause it was his lawyer who first in­tro­duced the bi­ased tes­ti­mony. (Buck v. Davis, Wed­nes­day)

Aid to church schools: Is it un­con­sti­tu­tional to ex­clude a church school from tak­ing ad­van­tage of a state pro­gram that pro­vides re­cy­cled crushed tires for play­grounds? At least 35 state con­sti­tu­tions pro­hibit us­ing tax money for churches and their schools. Re­li­gious-rights ad­vo­cates say th­ese com­mon pro­vi­sions dis­crim­i­nate against re­li­gion and thereby vi­o­late the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. (Trin­ity Lutheran Church v. Pauley, not sched­uled yet).

Im­mi­grants held for de­por­ta­tion: Do im­mi­grants who face de­por­ta­tion ei­ther be­cause they com­mit­ted a crime or were picked up at the bor­der have a right to a bond hear­ing if they are held in jail for six months? Act­ing on a suit brought by ACLU lawyers in Los An­ge­les, the 9th Cir­cuit Court ruled th­ese de­tainees are en­ti­tled to a bond hear­ing af­ter six months and to be re­leased un­less the gov­ern­ment can show they present a dan­ger or a flight risk. Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion lawyers ob­ject to what they call a “rad­i­cal re­vi­sion” of the de­por­ta­tion laws. (Jen­nings v. Ro­driquez, not sched­uled yet.)

Po­lice and false ar­rests: Can some­one who was ar­rested and held in jail be­cause a po­lice of­fi­cer fab­ri­cated ev­i­dence of il­le­gal drugs then sue the city for “ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion”? The Supreme Court has hinted at but never ruled di­rectly that peo­ple who are vic­tims of po­lice mis­con­duct may sue for a vi­o­la­tion of their rights. The 7th Cir­cuit Court in Chicago tossed out a claim filed by a Joliet man, but the jus­tices will hear his ap­peal. (Manuel v. Joliet, Wed­nes­day)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.