June 24, 2013

2 more blockbusters among Supreme Court's last cases

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court now has 10 cases, including the term's highest profile matters, to resolve before the justices take off for summer vacations, teaching assignments and international travel.

The court is meeting Monday for its last scheduled session, but will add days until all the cases are disposed of.

The court already has sent a Texas case on race-based college admissions back to a lower court for another look.

Here's a look at some of the remaining cases:

— Gay Marriage: Actually two cases. One is a challenge to California's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The other is an attack on a provision of federal law that prevents legally married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and pension benefits.

— Voting rights: A suburb of Birmingham, Ala., wants the court to end the nearly 50-year-old requirement for some state and local governments, mainly in the South and with a history of discrimination in voting, to get the advance approval of any changes in the way they hold elections.

— Native American adoption: A wrenching dispute over who gets custody of Native American girl, her biological father or the adoptive couple who cared for her until she was 2. The case involves the interpretation of a 1978 law intended to prevent American Indian children from being taken from their homes and typically placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.

— Generic Drugs: The industry is asking the Supreme Court to extend protections that makers of generic drugs have from state court lawsuits if federal officials have approved the design of the brand-name version the generic drug copied.

— Private property: A Florida property owner wants compensation, under the Constitution's requirement that the government must pay if it takes your property, for a local government's refusal to issue a development permit.

— Workplace discrimination: Two cases test different aspects of federal law barring discrimination on the basis of race. In one, the court has to decide what level of responsibility it takes to be considered a worker's supervisor in a discrimination complaint. The other asks whether an employer's action can be considered retaliation against an employee who complains of racial harassment if retaliation was a motivating factor, or must it be the only factor.

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