Supreme Court Notebook

Court continues order targeting voter intimidation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has turned down an effort by the Republican National Committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at preventing intimidation of minority voters.
The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal of lower court decisions that left the order in place at least until 2017.
The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a “ballot security” program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods.
Republicans said the order hampers efforts to combat voter fraud, but U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise said voter intimidation remains a threat and preventing it outweighs the potential danger of fraud.
The court action is unrelated to legal challenges to Republican-inspired voter identification laws in the 2012 campaign.

Court won’t step into dispute over inmate custody

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Supreme Court won’t stop the federal government from claiming a Rhode Island inmate who will face the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of murder.
The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Jason Pleau and the state of Rhode Island. Pleau is charged with killing a Woonsocket, R.I., gas station manager in 2010. He’s currently awaiting trial in federal court.
Pleau initially had been in state custody. After federal prosecutors charged him, Gov. Lincoln Chafee refused to turn over Pleau, citing the state’s rejection of the death penalty.
But an appeals court has ruled the state must surrender Pleau to federal officials, despite the state’s insistence that the federal government is violating a legal agreement that authorizes the state to deny a request to transfer a prisoner.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said he was pleased by the decision and that his office was prepared to move ahead with the case immediately.
Pleau’s lawyer did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment.