Supreme Court Begins New Term, Rejects Cases

The Supreme Court begins the October 2009 term today. Here are some notable cases the Court disposed of yesterday:
The Court will not review a Fifth Circuit case involving a 1995 law that relieved oil companies from paying royalties on gulf oil leases. The law said payment would come when a specific amount of gas and oil was produced. The government appealed the ruling in favor of the oil companies in the case. The case is Department of the Interior v. Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corp., 09-54.
The Court declined to hear an appeal of a Florida case involving a law that requires public students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance unless their parents opt out. The case is Frazier v. Smith, 08-1351.
The Court will not hear a lower court ruling that refused to require the State of Illinois to issue “Choose Life” license plates. An anti-abortion group had sued Illinois to force the issuance. The case is Choose Life Illinois, Inc. v. White, Il. Secretary of State. 08-1283.
The Court also declined to stop the release of documents generated during lawsuits against priests in Connecticut for sex abuse. The diocese of Bridgeport wanted to keep the 12,000 papers under seal. Connecticut courts had ruled that the papers were presumed to be public. Justice Ginsberg declined to issue a stay in the case on August 25th. The case is Rosado v. Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp. et al.
The Court declined to hear an appeal by a prosecutor in a defamation case against the Chicago Tribune. The case involved a news story about prosecutorial (mis)conduct in the handling of a child murder case in DuPage County, Illinois. The prosecutor in question filed suit and the case went to the jury, which sided with the paper. The case is Knight v. Chicago Tribune Co. et al., 08-1337

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