Supreme Court Back in Session; Nine Cases to Watch

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Walmart The Court will decide whether to allow one of the largest class action suits in history to go forward against Walmart. The case started out as a challenge filed by six women who worked in 13 stores, who alleged they had been paid less than men in comparable positions despite having higher performance ratings. Women from across the country seek to join the suit.

Supreme Court Deliberates

Material witness statute Nearly eight years ago Abdullah Al-Kidd, an American citizen and former football player at the University of Idaho, was arrested by the FBI and held for 15 days because of his connections to a suspected terrorist. Al-Kidd was never charged with a crime and is now seeking to sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft arguing that he was improperly detained. The U.S. government, representing Ashcroft, argues that Ashcroft should receive immunity from such suits.

Campaign finance In its first campaign finance case since Citizen's United, the court will review an Arizona public financing law. A provision of the state's Clean Elections Act gives public money to candidates who choose to forgo private fundraising. Supporters of campaign finance reform believe such laws could ultimately reduce election spending . But private groups say the law squelches the 1st Amendment rights of organizations seeking to have their message heard.

Child abuse The Court will decide whether police and social workers must obtain a warrant before interviewing a child in public school about suspected sexual assault in the home. A lower court concluded that such an interview in Oregon was unconstitutional because the officials failed to obtain a warrant based on probable cause. Child protective agencies say obtaining a warrant is often impossible when the suspected abuser is a parent.

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