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Justices Deny Visa, MasterCard

The Montana Right to Life Association had filed the appeal, saying the contribution limits prevented candidates from waging effective campaigns. The limits restricted the First Amendment rights of those wanting to donate money, it said.

The circuit court disagreed, basing its 2003 decision on two U.S. Supreme Court rulings that said campaign contribution limits are permissible if they satisfy an important enough state interest and are narrowly written to do that.

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Primus Unit to Pay $400,000 in Do-Not-Call Probe (The Washington Post, Sep 8, 2004)
Marketer Sued for Do-Not-Call Violation (The Washington Post, Sep 1, 2004)
In 1 Year, Do-Not-Call List Passes 62 Million (The Washington Post, Jun 24, 2004)
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Golf Scores

The Supreme Court turned away an appeal by a media company claiming it has a right to publish and sell real-time golf scores from PGA tournaments that its reporters cover.

Without comment, the court let stand a lower ruling allowing the PGA to restrict media outlets from posting or selling the real-time scores to Web site publishers -- unless media outlets purchase a licensing agreement from the PGA first.

The case involves Morris Communication Co., which began distributing scores its reporters obtained from the tournament's media center. The PGA then imposed new restrictions in 1999 that barred media outlets from publishing the scores immediately; otherwise, their reporters wouldn't be granted access to tournaments.

Morris filed suit, arguing that the restrictions gave the PGA an unfair business advantage as the exclusive publisher and seller of real-time golf scores.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the PGA in dismissing Morris' antitrust claims. It ruled in March that the PGA's real-time scoring system required a significant devotion of money, staffing and technology that justified the organization's insistence on selling or licensing the information to others.

Several media groups, including the Associated Press Sports Editors, the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, argued in support of Morris' appeal. They said the PGA should not be given ownership rights to news information at public events.

Double Jeopardy

The high court turned away an appeal by a Louisiana prison journalist who argued that trying him four times on the same murder charges would be unconstitutional double jeopardy.

The court let stand, without comment, a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling this year allowing Wilbert Rideau's fourth trial to proceed.

Rideau, who gained international fame after he began editing a prison magazine in Louisiana State Penitentiary, had argued that the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment barred repetitive trials on charges that he killed a bank teller in 1961. Rideau was convicted three times, but the verdicts were eventually thrown out for jury bias.

Louisiana officials say there was no evidence of intentional prosecutorial misconduct to justify throwing out a fourth trial after the previous three ended in error. His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 3.


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