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, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The public and the media are largely ignoring the phenomenon but hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it in secret money, are driving the the final negative days of the U.S. presidential election, and in this arena, Karl Rove is wearing the big boy pants.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The fight over whether states can demand some sort of identification before allowing voters to cast ballots has finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices agreed to hear argument on Arizona's law requiring voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship before registering.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- With President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney fighting for every vote as the bitter U.S. presidential election campaign races through its final weeks, Democrats appear to be winning in at least one vital arena: Republican sponsored voter ID laws are falling like flies in the courts.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday again becomes the battleground over the use of affirmative action for college admissions, this time in a case from Texas.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The 2012 U.S. Supreme Court term erupts on the First Monday in October, and in this first month the justices once again look at the intimate relationship between powerful authority and private citizens, and how intrusive that authority can become to protect the nation's interests.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- How can the U.S. government allow a shadowy Los Angeles area man to make and show an anti-Islam film that has outraged Muslims across the globe and ignited protests in North Africa and the Middle East that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including an ambassador, and put other U.S. diplomats and military in the greatest danger?
WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- How could former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson be convicted in large part on hearsay evidence -- the words of someone who was not in court but reported by a third party -- when the Constitution gives any defendant the right to confront his accuser?
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Given the strident differences on gay marriage between U.S. President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, the issue has produced few political headlines as the candidates slash at each other in the final months before the November election.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- No president in U.S. history has been targeted en masse in lawsuits filed by Catholic bishops and institutions till now: President Obama is facing a tsunami of suits opposing the contraception mandate in his healthcare reform law.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Will the reputation and persuasive power of the U.S. Supreme Court survive in the unlikely event the court appears to decide the 2012 presidential election, as it seemingly did in 2000's Bush vs. Gore?
WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- How much freedom of speech do you have in a social network setting -- for instance, can you be fired if you click "like" on Facebook for something your boss doesn't like?
WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- They're coming: In a few years the skies over the United States will be filled with hundreds if not thousands of of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, doing a variety of tasks -- border security, disaster relief, search and rescue, counter-terrorism and looking down on people and streets on behalf of police departments.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Supporters of California's Proposition 8, which bans gay marriage in the state, finally asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to reverse a lower-court ruling that struck it down.
WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Aurora, Colo., a crescendo of voices is calling for some new kind of gun control to put a stop to such attacks. But even though the U.S. Supreme Court has left some wiggle room for regulation in its most recent gun control cases, there remains the question of political will.
WASHINGTON, July 22 (UPI) -- With polls showing President Obama and Mitt Romney locked in a desperately close race for the presidency, will voter identification laws suppress the Democratic vote and cost Obama the election, or will they simply cut down on voter fraud as Republicans contend?