After graduating from Marshall University, Mike Kirkland worked on Southern West Virginia newspapers as a reporter, city editor and news editor.
He reported from Panama for Army Times during the height of the Noreiga crisis in 1988, and in 1989 led the first delegation of Western military journalists to visit Soviet ground forces, according to the Soviet military daily Red Star.
He came to United Press International in 1992 working swing shifts on the old rip-and-read broadcast desk. In 1993, he was assigned on an emergency basis to cover the U.S. Supreme Court, sharing a small office and a complete library of filed briefs off the pressroom with the legendary Lyle Denniston, and would remain embedded with the court until 2005. In 2000, while most other news outlets stumbled, Kirkland filed a correct bulletin 2 minutes after the opinion in Bush vs. Gore was handed down at 10 p.m. Dec. 12.
At one time, Kirkland simultaneously covered the Supreme Court, the U.S. Justice Department, the six independent counsel investigations, the U.S. appeals courts and the U.S. district courts, with an occasional foray to the Washington, D.C. Superior Court.
He continues to write about the Supreme Court.
December 08, 2013
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Last week's eye-popping demonstration by Amazon.com of its proposed method of delivery -- packages dropped on doorsteps by little helicopter drones -- has become an Internet sensation. Amazon's drones are warm and friendly, like the heroes of a Disney movie. Others coming your way, not so much.
December 01, 2013
WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- The stage is set at the U.S. Supreme Court for the bitter struggle between women's health on one side, and on the other side the religious scruples of business owners who see contraception as immoral and morning-after pills as murder.
November 24, 2013
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A challenge to the National Security Agency's massive domestic snooping program whizzed by in the U.S. Supreme Court last week. If you blinked, you missed it.
November 17, 2013
WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The case of Ryan Ferguson, the Missouri man freed after spending 10 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn't commit, shows that the nation's justice system, one of the fairest in the world, occasionally convicts the innocent, puts them in prison and throws away the key. Does the U.S. Supreme Court give a damn?
November 10, 2013
WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Will the U.S. Supreme Court, with its big legal feet. step into the debate over whether states may collect taxes on out-of-state Internet sales -- popularly known as the "Amazon tax" -- now that two lower courts have reached different conclusions?
October 20, 2013
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Will Congress violate the Constitution if it fails to increase the U.S. debt limit in a few months, and does President Obama have the power under the 14th Amendment to raise the debt limit on his own? Yes. No. Maybe. Wait a minute, we're confused.
October 13, 2013
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Did Justice Antonin Scalia have to announce his belief in a literal Satan less than a month before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear argument on government-led prayer? Yes, he probably did.
October 06, 2013
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The new U.S. Supreme Court term that begins shortly on the first Monday in October promises to be a rough one for President Obama and his appointment power, and a good one for Republicans.
September 29, 2013
WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 (UPI) -- The bruising fight in Congress over President Obama's Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare -- may spill over into the U.S. Supreme Court, where a challenge to the act's contraception mandate is finally on the horizon.
September 22, 2013
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The new U.S. Supreme Court term starts on the first Monday of October, and the justices plunge into controversy early on as Republicans push for more elbow room on big campaign contributions.
September 01, 2013
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Will the narrow conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court make it easier for communities across the United States to open government meetings with prayer -- almost always Christian prayer? Maybe.
August 25, 2013
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A Washington legal organization says it wants to break through the "blind deference" of the federal courts to the executive branch when it comes to withholding classified material, and has embarked on what may be a quixotic attempt to gain access to photographs showing the death and burial of Osama bin Laden.
August 18, 2013
WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The fate of New York City's "stop and frisk" police program might be something of a morality play for the rest of the United States. How much freedom are U.S. citizens willing to give up in the name of security?
August 11, 2013
FORT HOOD, Texas, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Is Nidal Hasan, the accused Fort Hood, Texas, killer who insists on representing himself, trying to set up an appeal based on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel? If so, based on court precedent, he's probably whistling in the wind.
August 04, 2013
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates to corporate political contributions for "independent electioneering" in 2010's Citizens United vs. FEC, practically drowning federal political campaigns in money. Now the same five-justice majority that held sway in Citizens United may be poised to loosen restrictions on campaign finance even further.