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.
WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- Does Islamic law, Sharia, have a place in American courts? A lot of state legislatures don't think so, and there is a large movement to ban its application in the domestic courts, state and federal.
WASHINGTON, May 12 (UPI) -- As the entire legal affairs world knows by now, retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor last month expressed a frisson of regret for the U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision in Gore vs. Bush, a decision that appeared to decide the 2000 presidential election.
WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- It's spring, and the U.S. Supreme Court is lifting a mighty hammer. When the justices bring that big hammer down, they may change forever the way the races interact in the United States, and may forever redefine the millennia-old definition of marriage.
WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- The FBI and the rest of a crack U.S. interrogation team wanted to question the remaining marathon bombing suspect in his Boston hospital room without his lawyer because of what they fear: undiscovered explosive devices that could still kill and possible accomplices who might decide to carry out more terror.
WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding under what conditions a company can patent the building blocks of life -- or in some cases the building blocks of death -- for profit.
WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- A proposed federal regulation that would undo some of the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling has been languishing at the Securities and Exchange Commission for a year and a half, but there are signs the commission may be making a decision on it relatively soon.
WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- A ruling last month by a federal judge in San Francisco for the moment has removed one of the FBI's most effective tools against terrorism, or upheld the Constitution's protections against unchecked government power, depending on your point of view.
WASHINGTON, March 24 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court may be holding the political future of the United States in its hand as it tries to decide how far the states may go in requiring identification from those who attempt to vote.
WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- Republicans ripped the Obama administration when earlier this month it brought the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden to New York for trial instead of to Guantanamo and a military commission.
WASHINGTON, March 10 (UPI) -- Clint Eastwood has lent his raspy-voiced, steely-eyed presence to the debate over gay marriage, signing on to a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's Proposition 8, which limits marriage to a man and a woman.
WASHINGTON, March 3 (UPI) -- As the images of 20 first-graders massacred in Connecticut, of the horrific attack on former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Arizona, of the slaughter of movie-goers in Aurora, Colo., and of numerous other mass killings in the United States fade in the national memory, the fervor to restrict access to some types of weapons and magazines appears to be abating.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Suddenly drones are everywhere -- not in the skies over the United States, as they will be in their thousands in a few years, and not just hovering over foreign battlefields to strike terror in the heart of al-Qaida -- but as the focus of debate in the U.S. Congress and elsewhere.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A little noticed privacy case, seemingly insignificant but with large implications on how Americans actually live, is simmering away at the U.S. Supreme Court like a pot of hot coffee.
WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- President Obama got his nose bloodied, in the legal sense, late last month by a muscular Washington appeals court that ruled several of his recess appointments were unconstitutional -- appointments made while the U.S. Senate was in what the administration says was a recess.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The nation marked the 40th anniversary last week of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman's right to an abortion -- but the debates over abortion, and over the so-called morning after pill which some consider abortion, are far from over.