Supreme Court Notebook

Court turns away new appeal from Uighurs at Gitmo

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The five remaining Chinese Muslims who are being held at Guantanamo Bay have lost their latest bid to get the Supreme Court to hear their case.

The justices turned away a plea from the five detainees, who have been held at the U.S. naval base in Cuba for nearly nine years.

The detainees had previously declined an offer to be resettled in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau, where six other Chinese Muslims, or Uighurs, have gone to live. It is not clear why the five refused to go to Palau.

They wanted the court to consider the question of whether a judge can order detainees released into the United States.

Court won't stop lawsuit against Chipotle

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court won't stop a disabled man's lawsuit against Chipotle Mexican Grill for having counters too high for a person in a wheelchair.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from the Denver-based chain.

Maurizio Antoninetti sued when he found that he could not see the Chipotle food preparers because of the height of the counters. A federal judge ruled against him, saying Antoninetti had sued dozens of other places for access violations and dropped the suit after received cash settlements.

The judge said Antoninetti was insincere about wanting to return and eat at Chipotle.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the judge's ruling, saying Antoninetti's litigation history cannot be used against him.

The case is Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. v. Maurizio Antoninetti, 10-1051.

High court takes no action on Va. health care case

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has taken no action on Virginia's call for speedy review of the health care law.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is asking the court to resolve questions about the law quickly, without the usual consideration by federal appellate judges and over the objection of the Obama administration.

The case was among those that were scheduled to be discussed in the justices' private conference on Friday, but there was no announcement about the case when the court convened on Monday.

The silence could mean, among other things, that one justice asked for more time to think about the case or to write a short opinion that would accompany an order.

The justices meet again on Friday to discuss pending cases.

Calif. cuts inmate numbers as it awaits high court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide this spring whether federal judges can order California to reduce the inmate population in its overstuffed prisons, but the state already has taken steps to limit the consequences if the court rules against it.

The justices are considering requiring California to remove about 33,000 inmates from the nation's largest state prison system.

California would meet that target if a bill signed earlier this year takes effect. It would reduce the prison population by about 40,000 inmates by transferring many low-level offenders to county jurisdiction.

The catch is the new law cannot take effect unless it is funded.

However it rules, the high court will set a nationwide precedent as it determines the authority of federal judges to intervene in states' prison operations.

U.S. court denies appeal over inm a te's long sentence

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a convicted insurance swindler who is protesting his 835-year prison term.

The court did not comment Monday in turning away a plea from Sholam Weiss for his release from prison and return to Austria, where he was arrested after he fled the United States during his criminal trial in Orlando, Florida. Weiss is in prison for his role in the collapse of a life insurance company in the 1990s that cost thousands of people their life savings.

He still may be able to appeal his conviction and sentence, even though an appeals court had earlier ruled that he forfeited his appeal rights when he became a fugitive.

A judge cut 10 years from Weiss' sentence when Austria returned him to the U.S.

Published: Tue, Apr 19, 2011