Supreme Court Trawl

The United States Supreme Court this morning made a few moves that folks will likely be talking about for the rest of the day. So here's the morning line on what the Justices were up to.

In one instance, reports the AP, the Court refused to get involved in a controversial Washington state case about a gay woman's right to seek parental rights over a child she had helped raise with her domestic partner. The effect of the Supreme Court's action-- or inaction-- is to let stand a Washington Supreme Court ruling that recognized the woman's rights as a "de-facto" parent and the effect of that will be felt by judges in other states when the issues arises before them. One state's court rulings are never binding on another. But they can be persuasive. And my guess is that when enough states have chimed in on this issue, pro or con, then the Justices in Washington will figure it is time to get involved.

The Justices, says the AP, do plan to get involved in an air pollution dispute, however, ageeing this morning to accept a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency and a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which sided with a coal-burning power company that had modernized its facility. The lower court had ruled that the company, Duke Energy Corp., did not have to get permission from the EPA before releasing more pollutants into the air. The White House says the EPA has fixed the problem but apparently the Justices aren't so sure.

And, finally, it looks like eBay will get another chance to avoid an injunction imposed upon it by a trial judge in a case involving a company named MercExchange. The Justices said that the trial judge had to reconsider his earlier ruling.

Nothing spectacular from the Court. But nothing insignificant either. Cases that affect the air we breath, how we raise our families, and how we shop online. Quite an unlikely trifecta, eh?

By  |  May 15, 2006; 11:30 AM ET
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