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  •   Highlights: Supreme Court Decisions

    Thursday, June 25, 1998

    As the Supreme Court's 1997-98 term nears its end, the justices Thursday decided several major cases:

    Attorney-Client Privilege Protected Past Death
    The Supreme Court thwarted independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr's efforts to get the notes taken by the lawyer of White House aide Vincent Foster from a meeting shortly before Foster's 1993 suicide.
    Story | Full Text | Background

    Line-Item Veto Is Unconstitutional
    The justices struck down as unconstitutional the line-item veto law that let the president cancel specific items in tax and spending measures.
    Story | Impact | Background

    Bias Law Covers HIV
    The court ruled that HIV-infected people are protected by a federal ban on discrimination against the disabled even if they suffer no symptoms of AIDS.
    Story | Impact | Background

    Limits on Art Funds Allowed
    The government can deny cash grants to artists because their work is considered indecent without violating artists' free-speech rights.
    Story | Impact | Background

    Other Decisions

    Worker Benefits: The court said companies formerly involved in coal mining cannot be forced retroactively to help pay lifetime health care for retired miners and their families. In striking down as unconstitutional part of a 1992 federal law, the 5-4 decision will save those companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Fifth Amendment: The justices ruled that witnesses cannot invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination based solely on their fear of being prosecuted in a foreign country. By a 7-2 vote in the case of a suspected World War II Nazi collaborator who lives in New York, the justices gave the Clinton administration a victory by narrowing use of the privilege to people who fear prosecution in this country.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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