Supreme Court Notebook

Twins conceived after dad died won't get benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court says a man's children who were born through artificial insemination after his death cannot get government survivor benefits.

The high court on Monday unanimously ruled that twins born to Robert Capato's surviving wife Karen did not qualify under the survivor benefits law.

The Capato twins were conceived using frozen sperm and born 18 months after their father died of esophageal cancer. The Social Security Administration rejected their survivor benefits application, saying that to qualify Robert Capato needed to be alive during their conception. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision, saying the Capato twins were clearly the biological children of Robert Capato and deserved the survivor benefits.

The high court, in a decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, threw out that ruling.

Court refuses to hear Ill. redistricting challenge

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to redistricting in Illinois despite complaints from the League of Women Voters of Illinois that the new congressional and legislative lines are unconstitutional.

The high court on Monday turned away the lawsuit that complained the new congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutional because they assign voters to districts based on their political views and voting histories. A federal court threw out the group's lawsuit last year.

New maps are required every 10 years after the census reveals population shifts. Democrats drew them in Illinois because they control the Legislature and governor's office.

The maps force some Republicans into districts where they must run against other incumbents in 2012 and created just one Latino-majority district, although Illinois' Hispanic population is 32.5 percent.

Court won't re du ce student's mu sic download fine

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court won't reduce the $675,000 verdict against a Boston University student who illegally downloaded 30 songs and shared them on the Internet.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., who was successfully sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each song he illegally downloaded and shared.

A federal judge called that unconstitutionally excessive, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the penalty at the request of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Brothers Records Inc. and other record labels represented by the RIAA.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer did not participate in this decision.

Court: Man can't use parents to avoid deportation

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says someone brought to the U.S. as a child by legal immigrant parents can't avoid deportation for criminal activities.

The high court on Monday unanimously ruled against Carlos Martinez Gutierrez, who wants to keep from being deported as a criminal immigrant.

Immigrants facing deportation can get an exception if they've been here for at least seven continuous years and have been legally registered as an immigrant for at least five years. The high court, in a decision written by Justice Elena Kagan, agreed with the government position that a person cannot use his parents' qualification under those rules to avoid deportation.

The high court decision overturns an earlier ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Court: Interpretation and translation different

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court says interpretation and translation are not the same thing when it comes to paying fees associated with federal civil lawsuits.

The high court ruled Monday that Kan Pacific Saipan, Ltd. did not deserve to get $5,517.20 in compensation for interpreters for fighting off a lawsuit from a Japanese professional baseball player.

The company argued that translating written documents was the same as "compensation of interpreters," which can be charged to losing parties.

The court disagreed. This came in a case where Japanese professional baseball player Kouichi Taniguchi sued a resort owned by Kan Pacific after falling through a wooden deck while in the Northern Marianas Islands. A federal judge and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals threw out his lawsuit and awards costs to Kan Pacific.

Published: Tue, May 22, 2012