The Supreme Court yesterday let stand a lower court ruling that forced a suburban Little Rock, Ark., school district to change its boundaries to include black students from the city. The justices also left intact a part of that ruling that forces the state board of education to help pay for the desegregation plan.
The justices declined without comment to hear two appeals from that ruling in Pulaski County Special School District v. Little Rock School District and Arkansas State Board of Education v. Little Rock School District.
In another action, the court, putting an end to one of the longest-running libel battles, rejected a challenge to an appeals court ruling in January that dismissed retired Army Lt. Col. Anthony Herbert's $44 million libel suit over a 1973 broadcast by CBS News' "60 Minutes."
Herbert sued CBS, correspondent Mike Wallace and the producer, Barry Lando, saying the program had maliciously portrayed him as a liar. Herbert said the Army relieved him of his command because of his efforts to expose atrocities during the Vietnam war.
The case had produced a 1979 ruling, Herbert v. Lando, which said the First Amendment did not necessarily protect journalists from being compelled to explain why they made specific news judgments.
The court also agreed to hear an appeal by the federal government from a ruling it says could cost it millions of tax dollars from businesses. The justices, agreeing to hear U.S. v. General Dynamics, said they would review an accounting technique that allows companies to make certain deductions for employe health benefits.
The justices also cleared the way for the deportation of a New York City man who faces execution in Latvia for alleged Nazi war crimes. The court rejected without comment an appeal by Boleslavs Maikovskis, 82.