Supreme Court agrees to hear habeas appeals case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday agreed to hear an appeal in Lawrence v. Florida [11th Circuit decision, PDF], concerning a challenge to rules surrounding the one-year filing deadline for making habeas corpus claims in federal court. Florida death row inmate Gary Lawrence is questioning whether the deadline is suspended while the Supreme Court reviews his petition for post-conviction review. SCOTUSBlog has more.

Also Monday, the Court denied certiorari in several cases, including one involving a libel appeal by the New York Times. The libel lawsuit, New York Times v. Hatfill involves allegations by Steven Hatfill, a physician and bioterrorism expert who was labeled a "person of interest" by the FBI following the anthrax attacks following Sept. 11. Hatfill sued the Times for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress after the newspaper published a story stating that the government's decision not to further pursue Hatfill as a suspect was the result of "poor investigation." The newspaper challenged a US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit decision [text, PDF] to allow the case to move forward, arguing that it was a frontal assault on First Amendment protections. AP has more.

The Court also refused to hear Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust v. Kehoe, a case involving a Florida drivers' class action lawsuit under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act [text]. The core issue for review was whether the drivers, whose contact information was sold to a national insurance company, must prove actual damages in order to recover under the Act. Though the Court declined to review the case, in a concurrence [PDF text] from Justice Scalia, who was joined by Justice Alito, the justice noted that if the issue of whether "[the insurance company] can be held liable under the Act if it did not know that the State had failed to comply with the express consent requirement" were raised in a later petition, the Court may reconsider its decision. AP has more. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF text].

 

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