Supreme Court Roundup

 US high court rejects ex-Somali official’s case 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a former top official in Somalia who has been ordered to pay Somali torture victims $21 million.
The justices did not comment Monday in letting stand lower court rulings against Mohamed Ali Samantar, who now lives in a suburb of Washington. He had been a top official in dictator Siad Barre’s regime in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Federal courts found that Samantar could be held liable for human rights abuses and rejected claims that he should be immune because he was an official of a foreign government.
The case is Samantar v. Yousuf.
 
Supreme Court denies Killen second look 
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a rehearing request from Edgar Ray Killen, convicted in 2005 for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.
The justices issued the order Monday without comment.
In November, the Supreme Court declined to review lower court rulings that Killen’s rights were not violated during his trial in Mississippi.
Killen, now 88, was convicted of manslaughter in the slayings of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman. He is serving 60 years.
On June 21, 1964, Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman disappeared in Neshoba County. The FBI found their bodies buried in an earthen dam on Aug. 4, 1964, in what became known as the “Mississippi Burning” case.
Killen is serving his sentence at the state prison at Parchman.
 
High court takes POM Wonderful, Coke label fight
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is getting involved in a juicy labelling dispute between POM Wonderful and the Coca-Cola Co. over a pomegranate- and blueberry-flavored drink made up almost entirely of apple and grape juices.
POM Wonderful sued Coke over the label on a drink marketed under Coke’s Minute Maid unit. Coke says Pomegranate Blueberry Flavored Blend of 5 Juices is a “100% juice product.” But POM says 99 percent of the juice is either apple or grape and that the label is misleading.
The high court case involves the interplay of two federal law involving trademarks and the regulation of nutrition information on product labels. Coke won in the San Francisco-based federal appeals court. The justices will review that ruling.
The case is POM Wonderful v. the Coca-Cola Co., 12-761.
 
Court won’t revive Arizona’s 20-week abortion ban 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected Arizona’s bid to put in place its ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman’s constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.
“Viability” of a fetus is generally considered to start at 24 weeks. Normal pregnancies run about 40 weeks.
Gov. Jan Brewer signed the ban into law in April 2012. Nine other states have enacted similar bans starting at 20 weeks or even earlier.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said last year such bans violate a long string of Supreme Court rulings starting with the seminal Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

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