[JURIST] The US Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences [backgrounder from Duke Law] that a group of Texas farmers could sue a chemical company for damage caused to their crops by a weed killer. Dow had argued that federal labelling law prevented states from imposing any kind of labelling requirement apart from that mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency, but the court majority ruled in an opinion by Justice Stevens that the scenario raised general tort questions about a defective product which might not be pre-empted. Read the opinion [PDF]. AP has more.
Also Wednesday, the Court ruled in Pace v. DiGuglielmo [backgrounder from Duke Law] that a PA prison inmate sentenced in 1985 to life imprisonment had filed a federal habeas application claiming ineffective assistance of counsel and trial court error too late for consideration. Read the 5-4 opinion [PDF] by Chief Justice Rehnquist.