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US Supreme Court Agrees to Hear 3 Cases, Including Abortion Protests


The justices on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from abortion opponents, who wanted the law thrown out. The law allows individuals to enter the buffer zone only to enter or leave the clinic or reach a destination other than the clinic.

Abortion opponents who regularly stand outside clinics in Boston, Worcester and Springfield claimed the law unfairly keeps them from engaging patients in conversations at a closer distance.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law, saying it protects rights of prospective patients and clinic employees "without offending the First Amendment rights of others."

Justices will reconsider that decision.

The Supreme Court is stepping into an important constitutional dispute between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans over the chief executive's power to make recess appointments.

The justices said Monday they will review a federal appeals court ruling that found Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate last year to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board.

The high court case is the latest chapter in the partisan political wrangling between GOP lawmakers and Obama over appointments to the labor board and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Republicans want to drastically rein in both agencies' powers.

The Constitution gives the president the power to make temporary appointments to fill positions that otherwise require confirmation by the Senate, but only when the Senate is in recess.

The Supreme Court will decide whether a business and a union's agreement is valid after the business helped the union organize in return for help with a ballot initiative.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear appeals from UNITE HERE Local 355, which wants to challenge a ruling saying its deal with Hollywood Greyhound Track, Inc., known as Mardi Gras Gaming, may be illegal.

The union agreed to help the company win a gambling ballot initiative legalizing slot machines at racetracks and said it would not picket, boycott, or strike. Mardi Gras officials agreed to give the union employee addresses, access to the facility and not ask for a secret ballot election on unionizing.

Labor law says companies cannot give unions that want to represent employees something of value.

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