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Top court rejects property takings case

June 23, 2008 at 6:49 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to revisit the controversy over government power to seize private land for economic development.

Justices agreed, however, to hear an appeal by the U.S. Navy asking for reversal of a judge's order requiring the Navy to do more to protect whales off the California coast, Scotusblog.com reported. The order to limit use of sonar during training exercises has been on hold pending appeal.

The court turned down an appeal by a group of homeowners and business operators who may lose property to the new home for the New Jersey Nets basketball team and other enterprises in Brooklyn, N.Y., Scotusblog.com reported. The closely watched case was one of the first significant challenges to arise following the 2005 ruling in Kelo vs. New London, allowing private property to be taken for economic redevelopment by private organizations.

The court agreed Monday to hear a case on whether federal law requires an employer to adjust pension benefits to compensate for denial of work credit for pregnancy leave.

Justices also agreed to address the question of whether poor death row inmate with a federally funded defense lawyer may use that lawyer's aid in seeking clemency.

The court also agreed to hear a question on the validity of "price squeezing," an antitrust theory in which a company sets high wholesale prices but low prices on its own retail sales to undercut retail competitors who buy from it at wholesale.

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