Supreme Court Notebook

Police immune over arrest of mentally ill woman

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says police are immune from a lawsuit arising from the arrest and shooting of a mentally ill woman in San Francisco.

The justices ruled Monday that police did not violate the rights of Teresa Sheehan when they forced their way into her room at a group home and shot her five times after she came at them with a knife.

The high court left undecided the question of whether police should have taken special precautions when arresting armed and violent people suffering from mental illness. Sheehan claimed police must make reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for suspects with mental illnesses.

But the court said it wouldn’t take up that question because it hadn’t been fully considered by lower courts.


Court: Convicted felons can sell their guns

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court says the government can’t prevent a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms from trying to sell his guns after they are confiscated by authorities.

The justices ruled Monday in favor of Tony Henderson, a former U.S. Border Patrol agent arrested and charged with distributing marijuana. He had turned over his collection of 19 firearms to the FBI as a condition of his release.

After pleading guilty, Henderson wanted to sell the weapons to a friend or transfer them to his wife. But lower courts said allowing him to sell them would technically give Henderson possession in violation of the law.

The high court said letting a convicted felon transfer possession is permitted as long as the felon has no control over the weapons.


Supreme Court strikes down Maryland tax law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down a Maryland tax that has the effect of double-taxing income residents earned in other states.

The justices agreed Monday with a lower court that the tax is unconstitutional because it discourages Maryland residents from earning money outside the state.

The 5-4 ruling means the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Maryland and affects similar laws in other states, including New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Maryland allowed residents to deduct income taxes paid to other states from their state tax, but did not apply that deduction to a local “piggy back” tax collected for counties and some city governments.

Maryland claimed it had authority to tax all the income its residents earn to pay for local services like public schools.


High court won’t hear appeal over concealed evidence

WASHINGTON (AP) —” The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from two Los Angeles police detectives found liable for withholding evidence that showed the innocence of a man they arrested and kept in jail for 27 months.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said police violated Michael Walker’s constitutional rights.

Walker was arrested in 2005 and charged with robbing several Los Angeles businesses by handing employees a note demanding money. While Walker was in jail, detectives did not reveal that other similar robberies were still taking place.

After his release, Walker filed a civil rights action against police. A jury awarded him $106,000 and a federal appeals court affirmed.

The city argued police did not violate Walker’s constitutional rights because there was no trial resulting in his conviction.


High court rejects appeal from former New Jersey official

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from a former Newark, New Jersey, official convicted of conspiracy to commit extortion.

The justices on Monday let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court that upheld the 2011 conviction of former deputy mayor Ron Salahuddin.

Salahuddin was accused of using his position to illegally steer demolition contracts to the owner of a wrecking company in which he had a financial stake. He was sentenced to a year in prison.

Salahuddin argued that he could not be convicted of conspiracy because there was no proof he obtained any benefits in the scheme.


High court won’t hear appeal over Walker campaign probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from a conservative group seeking to end an investigation into possible illegal coordination between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign and independent groups.

The justices on Monday let stand an appeals court ruling that said Wisconsin Club for Growth and its director, Eric O’Keefe, must resolve their claims in state courts.

No one has been charged as a result of the investigation which has sought documents and testimony about possible violation of state campaign finance laws.

The investigation is on hold while a separate legal challenge is pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The club and O’Keefe argued that the investigation was a violation of their First Amendment rights and an attempt to criminalize political speech.


High court to hear dispute over ad agency’s text messages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will consider whether an advertising agency hired to boost recruitment for the U.S. Navy is immune from a lawsuit that claims it illegally authorized thousands of unsolicited text messages.

The justices said Monday they will hear an appeal from the Campbell-Ewald Company, which claims federal contractors can’t be sued under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The agency sent the messages through a subcontractor to thousands of cell phones, including one belonging to Jose Gomez. Gomez says he never consented to receiving the texts and filed a class-action lawsuit.

A federal appeals court rejected the company’s claim that government contractors are immune from such lawsuits. The company also argues that Gomez can’t pursue a class action because he refused an offer to settle the case.­