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No cases granted

The Supreme Court granted no new cases on Monday as it issued its latest orders.

The Court said it would hear oral argument, presumably at its next Term, on a report by a Special Master on the pending dispute between the two Carolina states (South Carolina v. North Carolina, 138 Original) over water flows in the Catawba River.  The report by Special Master Kristin Linsley Myles is an interim recommendation that the Court allow non-state parties to join in an Original case as intervenors.  Thus, it does not deal with the merits of the controversy over dividing up allotments of the Catawba’s waters.  The dispute over intervention is sufficiently significant that the U.S. Solicitor General has joined in the case as an amicus. The Court allowed South Carolina to file its lawsuit on Dec. 1, 2007.

 Among issues turned aside, the Court refused to hear the state of Virginia’s plea to revive its Anti-Spam Act — a law, similar to a federal statute and to laws in other states, making it a crime to conceal one’s identity in sending out thousands of unsolicited commercial e-mails. The state’s highest court struck down the law (formally named the Transmission of Unsolicited Bulk Electronic Mail Act).  The case was Virginia v . Janes (08-765).

The Court also refused, as it has several times before, to reconsider its 1985 decision in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, requiring an individual or company challenging a government takeover of property to try first to get compensation in state court before pursuing a constitutional “takings” claim in federal court. The new denial came in Agripost LLC v. Miami-Dade County (08-567).

Also rejected was a plea by the former police chief in Dallas, Terrell Bolton, that the Court clarify when a city or county can be held legally to blame for actions of local policymaking officials.  Bolton was fired by the city manager.  There is a split in the Circuit Courts on how to define local government liability for actions of officials who have final local authority.  The new case was Bolton v. City of Dallas (08-704).