Supreme Court Notebook

Court will not overturn $5M slander award
The Supreme Court will not overturn a Florida surgeon’s $5 million slander award after a hospital executive said he would not send his dog to the doctor for surgery.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Lawnwood Medical Center, Inc. It argued that the award given to Dr. Samuel Sadow was excessive.

Sadow and the hospital had been fighting in court because the doctor was denied privileges to do surgery in Lawnwood’s open-heart institute. A Lawnwood official then told another doctor about Sadow: “I would not send my dog to him for surgery.”

Sadow sued for slander, and a jury awarded him $5 million in punitive damages. A Florida appeals court upheld the award.

The case is Lawnwood v. Sadow, 10-371.

Court refuses to consider law over bulletproof vests
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal that sought to invalidate a law making it illegal for criminals to own bulletproof vests.

The court on Monday refused to hear arguments from Cedrick B. Alderman.

Congress made it a federal crime for a convicted criminal to own a bulletproof vest that has been sold across state lines.

Alderman was convicted of armed robbery in 1999. Police caught him with a bulletproof vest in 2005, and he was sentenced to prison for 18 months. Alderman challenged the law, saying it exceeded Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause.

The court refused to hear his arguments. Justice Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia  said they would have heard the case.

Court rejects case of U.S. baby sent to Mexico with dad
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a Texas woman who wants to sue the federal government for sending her U.S. citizen baby to Mexico with the child’s illegal immigrant father.

Monica Castro’s daughter was a day from her first birthday when federal agents deported the father to Mexico and sent her with him. Three years would pass before Castro and  the girl, both U.S. citizens who were born in Texas, were reunited.

Castro sued the federal government over the actions of the Border Patrol agents who refused to take the girl from her father     and knowingly sent a U.S. citizen to Mexico.

But a divided federal appeals court blocked the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court did not comment Monday in turning down Castro’s appeal.

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