Entries in Material Witness (1)


Supreme Court to Release 1 to 4 Opinions Wednesday

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Wednesday marks the last day of oral arguments at the Supreme Court and the first day of the justices’ annual behind-closed-door scramble to finish drafting all outstanding opinions by the final week of June. As things stand now the last day of the term will be sometime during the week of June 27.

The justices will release anywhere between one and four decisions on Wednesday.

Here are some of the more interesting cases:

Violent Video Games:  The Court will decide whether states can forbid the sale of violent video games to children. At issue is a California law, never allowed to go into effect, that provides for up to a $1,000 fine to retailers who sell violent video games to minors. The law defines the games as depicting “maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being.” The video game industry argues that the law violates free speech and that parents should be left to decide what their children buy. Americans spend more than $10 billion a year on video games.

Prison Overcrowding: The state of California is arguing that a federal court order mandating the state to reduce the prison population by 40,000 over two years is too drastic a measure that will endanger public safety. The case stems from two lawsuits that have been wending their ways through the courts for years challenging the health care available in the overcrowded prison system.

Arizona immigration: The Chamber of Commerce and immigration groups have come together to challenge the constitutionality of the Legal Arizona Worker’s Act that severely sanctions employers for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. The case is being carefully watched as a possible precursor for another controversial Arizona law requiring police to ask for papers from anyone they think might be in the country illegally.

Walmart: The Court will decide whether to allow one of the largest employment discrimination cases in history to go forward.  The case stems from a suit filed by six women who say they had been paid less than men in comparable positions despite having higher performance ratings and greater seniority.

Material Witness statute: Nearly eight years ago Abdullah Al-Kidd, an American citizen and former football player at the University of Idaho, was arrested by the FBI and held for 15 days because of his connections to a suspected terrorist. Al-Kidd was never charged with a crime and is now seeking to sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft, arguing that he was improperly detained. The U.S. government, representing Ashcroft, argues he should receive immunity from such suits. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio