No, not a tv or radio show..SCOTUS starts up Wednesday. The NYT has a writeup about some of the cases scheduled for this session of the Supreme Court of the United States...
Air Pollution Regulation
Two cases present interpretive issues under the Clean Air Act. In Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 05-1120, 16 states and other parties are challenging the Bush administration’s view that Congress has not authorized federal regulation of motor vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming. The question in Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corporation, No. 05-848, is what the law requires of utility companies seeking to modernize aging power plants.
Punitive Damages Limits
The court has laid down various markers for curbing the discretion of state court systems to award punitive damages. In Philip Morris USA v. William, No. 05-1296, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the $79.5 million award, nearly 100 times the compensatory damages a jury had awarded the smoker’s widow.
This is far greater than the 10-to-1 ratio that the court’s most recent decision, State Farm v. Campbell in 2003, suggested as the outer limit of due process. On the other hand, earlier cases concerned economic rather than physical injuries. The court’s new membership aside, this case is sufficiently distinctive in several ways so as to make the outcome unpredictable.
Two federal appeals courts, in St. Louis and San Francisco, declared the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Act of 2003 unconstitutional, basing their rulings on the Supreme Court’s decision in Stenberg v. Carhart, which struck down Nebraska’s similar law six years ago. The new cases, Gonzales v. Carhart, No. 05-380, and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood, No. 05-1382, are the Bush administration’s appeals of those rulings.
The statute outlaws a surgical procedure that doctors use to perform abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy. In its decision six years ago, the Supreme Court held by a vote of 5 to 4 that the law had to take into account medical judgments that the procedure was sometimes necessary for a pregnant woman’s health.
Congress responded by enacting a federal law without a health exception, declaring that the procedure was never necessary to protect a pregnant woman’s health. Among other issues, the new cases therefore present the issue of the respective roles of Congress and the court in defining the scope of constitutional rights, an issue on which Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a dissenter in the case six years ago, has been particularly protective of the court’s role.
Racial Quotas in Schools
Federal appeals courts upheld student assignment plans in Louisville, Ky. (Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education, No. 05-915) and Seattle (Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, No. 05-908). Both cities have long struggled to achieve integration, and now seek to maintain it by taking race into account in limiting students’ choices of which schools to attend. While many justices are wary of “this divvying us up by race,” as Chief Justice Roberts phrased it in a voting rights case last term, the same justices also tend to support local education policies. The National School Boards Association is filing a brief supporting the school systems, while the Bush administration is arguing that the assignment plans are unconstitutional.
All I can figure out is..anything the Bush administration wants..I am against..its not rocket science..this adminstration hasn't gotten anything right yet..ok, perhaps one thing..but that was just signing a bill supporting a more transparent government with regard to where our friggin money goes..other than that..they should be forced to bunk with DeLay, Ney or Cunningham in the prison cell of their choice.