June 20, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday handed down decisions in five cases and agreed to hear two important appeals in the fall. Among the court’s actions:
— Struck down, by a 7-2 vote, Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law that asks would-be voters for additional documentation before allowing them to register using a federal form designed to make signing up easier.
— Ruled 5-3 that agreements between the makers of name-brand and generic drugs to delay the generics’ availability can be illegal, an outcome cheered by consumer groups.
— Held 5-4 that prosecutors in some instances may use a suspect’s silence at an early stage of a criminal investigation against him — before the suspect has been arrested or informed of his constitutional rights.
— Agreed to decide in its next term a new dispute involving race, whether federal housing law requires proof of intentional discrimination.
— Decided 5-4 that judges may not increase mandatory minimum prison terms when sentencing defendants unless the facts justifying the increase have been found by a jury.
— Barred lawyers, in another 5-4 ruling, from obtaining state driver license records to recruit clients, saying the practice is prohibited by a federal law aimed at shielding motor vehicle information.
— Said it would review a state court ruling upholding a $1.24 million defamation judgment against a Wisconsin airline that reported one of its pilots was potentially dangerous, despite a post-9/11 law that encourages airlines to report potential safety threats to federal officials.