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2002-2003 Supreme Court term coverage

Abortion foes hail high court ruling on clinic demonstrations
Analysis Case closely watched by other activists who saw a potential chilling effect if justices ratified the use of anti-racketeering laws.  02.27.03

Supreme Court throws out gun-records case
Justices cancel arguments scheduled for next week, instruct appeals court to consider whether congressional provision restricting release of gun information affects lawsuit.  02.27.03

Supreme Court rules for abortion protesters in racketeering case
Justices rule 8-1 that federal racketeering, extortion laws were improperly used to punish aggressive demonstrators.  02.26.03

High court turns away challenge to Louisiana casino-contribution ban
Justices also refuse to hear case challenging use of tax-exempt bonds by religious university in Nashville, Tenn.  02.25.03

High court passes up kosher-laws case
Justices refuse, without comment, to consider reinstating New York statutes that set standards for labeling kosher food.  02.24.03

Supreme Court won't hear news media appeal of gag order
In case stemming from New Jersey rabbi's murder trial, justices refuse to consider whether judges can block reporters from talking to jurors after a trial.  02.24.03

Loitering-trespass case with First Amendment overtones to get high-court review
Analysis Virginia v. Hicks involves whether a housing project can prohibit some visitors in an effort to combat drug trade.  01.27.03

Supreme Court won't review Akron's strict campaign-finance curbs
Opponents of voter-approved restrictions vow to keep fighting some of the most stringent limits in the country.  01.23.03

High court wants arguments on Louisiana casino-contribution ban
Justices order state to file opposition arguments even though they haven't decided whether to hear challenge to law barring casinos from donating to political campaigns.  01.22.03

High court won't revive suit blaming Hollywood for school shooting
Case questioned the responsibility of moviemakers, other entertainment companies for movies, video games and other products that feature violence.  01.21.03

Supreme Court downplays First Amendment argument in copyright ruling
Analysis In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer writes that copyright-extension law 'will cause serious expression-related harm.'  01.16.03

Supreme Court backs Congress' copyright extension
7-2 ruling, though not unexpected, is blow to Internet publishers, others wanting to use old books, creations without paying high royalties.  01.15.03

High court refuses to consider fight over Columbine memorial
Justices won't hear appeal from victims' parents who want to include references to God on tiles.  01.14.03

Supreme Court agrees to consider Nike commercial-speech case
Analysis California high court had found company could be sued for false advertising for the statements it made in defense of its labor practices.  01.13.03

Supreme Court gears up for high-profile First Amendment cases
Analysis Cross-burning, Mickey Mouse copyright, library filtering, campaign finance should make for an interesting spring at the high court.  01.01.03

High court seeks White House opinion in abortion-protest case
First Amendment expert: Administration's lawyers may find themselves 'pulled in different directions because of the cross-tensions' in case involving online Nuremberg Files.  12.17.02

Supreme Court turns away dispute over menorah in city plaza
On Nov. 29, Justice Stevens vacated lower court's order that would have prevented Hanukkah display in Cincinnati's Fountain Square.  12.17.02

Will high court make cross-burning a new class of unprotected speech?
Analysis Justice Thomas's surprise statement underscoring 'virulent effect' of cross-burning changes tenor of arguments.  12.12.02

Supreme Court justices debate 'terror' of cross-burning
Court hears oral arguments in Virginia case that may determine whether cross-burning is illegal intimidation or protected speech.  12.11.02

Supreme Court refuses to probe restrictions on dentist ads
But two justices say Court should clarify how far states can go in limiting ads of lawyers, doctors and other professionals.  12.10.02

Virginia cross-burning law facing high court test
Justices to hear arguments Dec. 11 on whether burning a cross is constitutionally protected expression or overt threat that can be barred by states.  12.09.02

Abortion-protest issue before Court boils down to protected assembly vs. illegal acts
Disagreeing with Solicitor General Theodore Olson's argument that 'the First Amendment is not an issue in this case,' Justice Anthony Kennedy replies, 'There's always a First Amendment implication in a protest case.'  12.05.02

High court won't stop lawsuit against FBI stemming from magazine article
After Notra Trulock III reported concerns about Chinese espionage during Clinton administration, agents searched his computer files.  12.03.02

Prison case before Supreme Court involves association rights
Analysis Plaintiffs in Overton v. Bazzetta say Michigan prison visitation rules violate First Amendment right of free association.  12.03.02

Skirmish over campaign contributions sets stage for next big battle
Analysis High court agrees to hear North Carolina case, which could serve as dress rehearsal for challenge to recently passed Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.  11.19.02

Supreme Court to re-examine campaign-contribution limits
Justices agree to use North Carolina case to decide whether certain advocacy groups can give to candidates' campaigns.  11.18.02

Supreme Court debates merits of Megan's laws
'What is irrational or unconstitutional about warning people about categories of people who may be dangerous?' Justice Antonin Scalia asks attorney for two sex offenders.  11.14.02

Library filtering backers, foes foresee victory as Supreme Court takes case
Analysis Justices agree to hear appeal after lower court strikes down Children's Internet Protection Act.  11.13.02

Supreme Court refuses to get involved in Mississippi campaign ads
Justices also turn away dispute over whether workers can be forced to pay for union organizing in other workplaces against their wishes.  11.13.02

Public access to government gun records a key element in case before high court
Analysis City of Chicago, in dispute with ATF, argues that no reasonable expectation of privacy accompanies gun purchases, so records should be open.  11.13.02

Gun-info privacy case to get Supreme Court hearing
At issue is scope of federal public information law allowing reporters, others to get unclassified government records that officials would not otherwise release.  11.12.02

High court to consider library Net filtering
Children's Internet Protection Act requires public libraries receiving federal technology funds to install filters on their computers or risk losing aid.  11.12.02

Supreme Court to examine Megan's Law
Weighing public right to know about convicted sex offenders' whereabouts against released offenders' right to due process.  11.11.02

Government lawyers urge Supreme Court to keep traffic data secret
But attorney for family of woman killed in 1996 accident says it is 'completely unreasonable' for police reports, other information to be withheld.  11.05.02

High court answers call to re-examine charitable solicitations
Analysis Decision to hear Illinois telemarketing case suggests justices may be ready to limit First Amendment protection for solicitors.  11.05.02

Supreme Court to review telemarketing case
Illinois high court 'transformed the First Amendment into a license for unscrupulous fund-raisers to defraud the public,' state attorney general says in filing.  11.04.02

Supreme Court won't consider whether gang advice is free speech
Lower federal courts agreed that First Amendment protected Jerry Dean McCoy's conversations with Arizona gang members.  10.22.02

High court turns away dispute over judicial campaign ads
Justices pass up chance to consider when candidates or groups can be stopped from running ads just before an election.  10.21.02

Supreme Court turns away Gore fund-raiser case
Justices also refuse to consider whether Confederate battle flag can be barred from national cemeteries.  10.15.02

Nike takes false-advertising case to Supreme Court
Shoemaker asks justices to overturn California high court ruling allowing activist to sue company over claims about working conditions at overseas plant.  10.15.02

Showdown between copyright, First Amendment turns into sideshow
Analysis Oral arguments before high court instead focus on whether Congress overstepped its authority in passing 20-year copyright extension.  10.10.02

High court hears arguments in case of Congress, copyright and Mickey Mouse
Justices are considering whether it was unconstitutional for Congress to give writers, other creators a 20-year copyright extension on their works.  10.09.02

Supreme Court sends several First Amendment cases packing
Justices refuse to consider appeals from Frank Sinatra Jr., Ralph Nader and Richard Jewell, among others.  10.07.02

High court set to tackle 'Mickey Mouse' copyright case
If justices side with challengers, movie studios and heirs of authors and composers could lose millions as works move into public domain.  10.07.02

High court takes low number of First Amendment cases
Analysis But blockbuster issues — including campaign finance and Internet censorship — await chance to make it to center stage.  10.04.02

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