U.S. Supreme Court Notebook

Justices reject Houston appeal over benefits for gay spouses

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has declined to step into a case over a Texas high court ruling that says gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits.

The justices' action Monday comes without dissent or comment. It means a Texas court now will have to rule in a lawsuit from social conservatives who want to block spousal benefits for gay city employees in Houston.

The case follows the Supreme Court's 2015 decision extending same-sex marriage nationwide. One issue is whether that ruling means governments must provide the same benefits to all married employees.

Texas' Supreme Court said the justices did not decide that issue.

The Texas court reversed its earlier decision to stay out of the case after coming under pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott and other leading Republicans.

Supreme Court declines Alabama case involving jury selection

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court won't take up a death penalty case from Alabama in which attorneys said African-American jurors were improperly excluded from the jury.

The justices said Monday they would not take the case of Christopher Floyd. Floyd's attorneys have said that the prosecutor in the case marked potential African-American jurors with a "B'' to indicate their race on the jury list and could not give a reason for excluding at least one of the African-Americans he'd objected to from the jury.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a brief statement agreeing with the decision not to take up the case. She said the manner in which the jury was selected "raises serious concerns." But she said the "unusual posture" in which the claims were raised made it unsuitable for review.

Published: Tue, Dec 05, 2017