Supreme Court

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The nomination of Appellate Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett has drawn sharp reaction from the civil rights community. Lena Zwarensteyn, director of the Fair Courts Campaign at the Leaderhsip Conference for Civil and Human Rights talks with Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush about what the nomination may mean to the high court.

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As the nation mourns the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a new court is expected emerge with a sharp turn to the right. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with former Mayor Barrie Tilghman, a woman who has blazed a path in electoral politics, about her concerns as the future of the court unfolds.(Part 2)

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WASHINGTON, DC (AP) - The Supreme Court on Monday appeared ready to remove an obstacle to construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

A majority of justices expressed skepticism about a lower court ruling that tossed out a key permit needed for the natural gas pipeline to cross under the Appalachian Trail.

Conservative justices who hold a 5-4 majority on the court grilled a lawyer for environmental groups who sued and won a 2018 ruling from the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throwing out a special-use permit for the 605-mile pipeline.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Democratic governor is nominating two Democrats to seats on the state Supreme Court, maintaining the high court's partisan balance as he fights for the state constitution's provision requiring partisan balance among state court judges.

Gov. John Carney said Thursday he would nominate Justice Collins Seitz Jr. to become the Delaware Supreme Court's chief justice, replacing retiring Leo Strine Jr. Seitz has been an associate justice since 2015.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says he'll keep pushing for redistricting reform in the state, but Democrats say a national solution for reform is needed, not a piecemeal approach on a state-by-state basis.

The Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the outcome of federal court rulings in Maryland and North Carolina, where courts had ordered new congressional district maps to be drawn due to partisan gerrymandering. That's when political parties in control draw districts that favor them.

Don Rush

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down school segegration in 1954, many black students found a hostile backlash at the previous all white schools they attended. In part 2  Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush takes a look at what happened to those students and the efforts to renovate the old African American school in Hockessin that was part of the historic decision.

Don Rush

It's been 65 years since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down segregation in the nation's schools. In Hockessin, Delaware efforts are now underway to preserve one of the schools that was involved in that historic decision. In part 1, Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush looks at the history of the school as a number of former students recall their days there. (PART 1)

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a man convicted of fatally shooting the leader of his Coptic church during a church fundraiser in 2008.

In a ruling Friday, the court said Monir George's latest appeal was filed too late, and that  he had not demonstrated any new evidence suggesting he was actually innocent, or any new law that would render his conviction invalid.

George is serving life in prison after a judge found him guilty but mentally ill in the shooting of 63-year-old Malak Michael.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court seems wary of getting federal judges involved in determining when electoral district maps are too partisan.

The high court on Tuesday was hearing more than two hours of arguments in two cases involving the issue. The first case involves North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional map, and the second involves a map drawn by Democrats in Maryland.


WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court seems inclined to rule that a 40-foot-tall cross that stands on public land in Maryland is constitutional, but shy away from a sweeping ruling.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has upheld a judge's ruling that a local government board in southern Delaware erred in granting an exception to zoning laws to allow the establishment of a homeless shelter.

The court on Monday upheld a Superior Court ruling last year that overturned a decision by Sussex County's Board of Adjustment that had cleared the way for the proposed Immanuel Shelter home in Lewes.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request from Virginia Republicans to block a federal court from approving new legislative district boundaries.

The order was issued Tuesday, two days ahead of a scheduled lower court hearing in Richmond on proposed new state legislative maps.

A federal judicial panel has ordered a new map after ruling that lawmakers racially gerrymandered 11 state House districts by packing black voters into them.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the case some time this year.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's Supreme Court says cellphones should be allowed in courthouses, but with some restrictions.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the court announced the model policy in a news release Friday. It's meant to be a guide for courthouses statewide.

The policy acknowledges the inconvenience of having to leave a phone in an unsecured location outside a courthouse.

The release said the justices believe the model policy strikes a balance between promoting access to justice while maintaining security and order in courthouses.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Supreme Court has upheld a judge's decision nixing an appeal bid by state officials in a case involving an environmental group's challenge of permit requirements for large poultry operations.

The court on Tuesday agreed with a Superior Court judge who said the state's motion was filed too late and did not meet legal standards for appealing a ruling to the Supreme Court before a case has concluded.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's attorney general is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an order for state officials to draw up a new congressional redistricting plan that isn't tainted by partisan gerrymandering.

Attorney General Brian Frosh's office filed its notice of appeal on Thursday and asked for the redistricting case to remain on hold pending action by the Supreme Court.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland is challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the new U.S. acting attorney general.

A filing, a draft of which was obtained earlier by The Associated Press, argues that President Donald Trump sidestepped the Constitution and normal procedure by naming Whitaker to the position in place of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Whitaker was appointed Nov. 7 after the White House demanded the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whitaker had been Sessions' chief of staff.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court will hear an appeal by Virginia Republicans who are trying to preserve state legislative districts that have been struck down by a lower court as racially discriminatory.

The court's action Tuesday comes in a case involving 11 districts in the Virginia House of Delegates. Democratic voters accused majority Republicans of packing black voters into certain districts to make surrounding districts whiter and more Republican.


WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from five police officers whose lawsuit alleged Baltimore's top prosecutor maliciously prosecuted them in the death of Freddie Gray who was fatally injured while in custody.

The court declined to take up the appeal Tuesday, ending the case in State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's favor. The decision lets stand a May ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed a lower court ruling allowing key parts of the lawsuit to go forward. The appellate court found Mosby had prosecutorial immunity.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether a nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial located on a Maryland highway median violates the Constitution's required separation of church and state.

The court announced Friday that it would hear the case. The memorial's supporters say the case could affect hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

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Senator Chris Coons says it had been a hard day for him when the Senate approve the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kvanaugh.

The nominee was sworn in on Saturday night.

The Delaware Democrat told the Wilmington News Journal that the razor thin margin of the vote was not a strong endorsement adding it was time to approve nominees by an overwhelming vote.

He noted that his constituents mostly opposed Kavanaugh but acknowledged that many were pleased with the nomination.

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Senator Chris Coons told the Wilmington News Journal that he had more concerns about the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh than the sexual allegations now being investigated by the FBI.

The Delaware Democrat said he was worried about Kavanaugh’s broad view of executive powers including the ability of the chief executive to fire a special counsel such as in the Russia investigation.

Coons also said he was concerned that the nominee would severely limit a woman’s right to an abortion to the point of being meaningless.

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Delaware’s junior senator Chris Coons played a key role in hammering out a delay on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh.

During an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes the Democrat sat with his Republican colleague Jeff Flake to describe that last minute decision by the Arizona senator.  

These two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee squeezed themselves into a phone booth to deal with Flake’s concerns over sexual harassment charges against the nominee.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Maryland's Republican governor says he believes a full investigation is needed into allegations of sexual assault against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Amelia Chasse, Gov. Larry Hogan's spokeswoman, said Thursday that "the governor believes there needs to be a full investigation before the process moves forward."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia House Republicans have filed their own redistricting proposal they say will fix what a court found were unconstitutionally gerrymandered districts.

GOP Del. Rob Bell introduced a remedial map Tuesday that Republicans say alters 30 House districts, including the 11 that the court said must be redrawn.

Democrats previously introduced a plan Republicans who narrowly control the chamber called a partisan power grab. House Democrats issued a statement Tuesday criticizing Bell's plan.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A leading Maryland lawmaker says he will introduce a constitutional amendment next year to protect abortion rights.

House Speaker Michael Busch announced Thursday he will introduce the proposal in next year's legislative session. If approved by the General Assembly, it will go on the ballot for voters to decide in 2020.

The Democrat says he is introducing the proposal because the Supreme Court is "currently hanging in the balance" and due to "increasing hostility" toward "women's reproductive rights by this federal Administration."

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - U.S. Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia have asked the Senate's Republican majority to delay voting on a Supreme Court nominee.

The Virginian-Pilot reports the two lawmakers asked Thursday for the vote to be delayed until after the Nov. 6 election. The two argued that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should follow the precedent he set in 2016 when he refused to interview President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick. McConnell said then that it was wrong to vote on a nomination nine months before a national election.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is resolving partisan redistricting cases from Wisconsin and Maryland without ruling on the broader issue of whether electoral maps can give an unfair advantage to a political party.

The justices ruled against Wisconsin Democrats who challenged legislative districts that gave Republicans a huge edge in the state legislature. They also did not side with Maryland Republicans who objected to a single congressional district.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Lawyers for the family of a Virginia man who was killed by police are trying to take his wrongful death suit to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Daily Press reported Tuesday that attorneys for William A. "Bootsie" Cooper have filed one last appeal. They want to argue that a trial judge was wrong to bar evidence and dismiss the $10 million suit in 2016.

The 69-year-old Cooper was killed in a police raid of his Hampton home in 2011. They were looking for evidence that Cooper was selling prescription painkillers.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court is taking up its second big partisan redistricting case of the term amid signs the justices could place limits on drawing maps for political gain.

The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday in an appeal filed by Republicans in Maryland. They complain that Democrats who controlled the state government in 2011 drew a congressional district for the express purpose of ousting the Republican incumbent and replacing him with a Democrat.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - There's no one left on Delaware's death row, now that its last two inmates have been resentenced to life in prison.

The Wilmington News Journal reports 43-year-old Michael R. Manley and 43-year-old David D. Stevenson received modified sentences Tuesday in the 1995 killing of Kristopher Heath, a Macy's security officer set to testify against Stevenson in a theft case.

Delaware's Supreme Court found the state's death penalty unconstitutional in August 2016, when 13 men were on death row.