Supreme Court Notebook

Court turns down two men’s appeal over sentences
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is leaving in place mandatory 30-year prison terms for two Atlanta men who tried to provide a machine gun and other assault weapons to people they thought were Mexican drug traffickers.
Mark Anthony Beckford and Randy Vana Haile, Jr., appealed the 30-year terms because they said the government should have proved, but did not, that they knew one of the weapons was a machine gun capable of firing automatically. Beckford and Haile met with undercover federal agents who said they were working with a Mexican drug cartel. A jury found that the defendants agreed to provide the weapons and money in exchange for cocaine and marijuana.
In all, Haile received 39 years and Beckford, 36, in federal prison.


High court denies appeal from ex-professor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill in his effort to reclaim his job.
The justices did not comment Monday in refusing to review a Colorado Supreme Court ruling in favor of the university.
Churchill faced condemnation and calls for his dismissal over an essay describing some victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as “little Eichmanns,” a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who helped orchestrate the Holocaust.
The university investigated whether the piece was protected under the First Amendment and found that it was.
But while the investigation was under way, other academics accused Churchill of plagiarism and fraud in scholarly writings, which led to his termination in 2007. None of the allegations concerned the Sept. 11 essay.

Court leaves in place rule for ads on airfares
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is refusing to review a federal rule that requires airlines to include taxes in their advertised fares, a practice that carriers say violates their free-speech rights.
Under a Transportation Department rule, airlines must display the total cost of a ticket in the largest type size and have it be the most prominent price in ads or on their web pages. Airlines still can break down the price of a ticket to show taxes and fees.
The justices on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air and Southwest Airlines of the ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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