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Good News, Bad News, No News

No Crying in Court, Swift Boat Sinks

John Moe

Suzie Lechtenberg

1. In a 5-4 ruling this week, the Supreme Court overturned a ban on handguns within the city of Washington, D.C. It really came down to an issue of sentence structure -- writing for the majority, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia said that the clause about a "well-regulated militia being necessary" was just there to provide context for the heart of the amendment, the right to bear arms. Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, in his dissent, noted the omission of self-defense and hunting in the original language. Is the ruling good news, bad news or no news?

2. As the presidential race heats up, some of the so-called "527" groups are shutting down. Privately funded political advocacy groups, including one run by the liberal organization MoveOn.org, are closing shop early in this political season due to lack of funds, even as record numbers of dollars pour into candidate's campaigns. On the right, conservative financier T. Boone Pickens has announced he won't be funding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth or any other group this election cycle. 527s going out of business: good news, bad news or no news?

3. Should defense attorneys be allowed to shed a few tears in an attempt to get an acquittal or a light sentence for clients? An Ohio prosecutor says "no" -- arguing that emotional displays interfere with a verdict based on facts and evidence, he's asking a judge to ban overt emotional displays. A recent Ohio murder case featured a weeping defense attorney and ended with a jury recommending life in prison instead of the death penalty. Ban on emotional lawyers: good news, bad news or no news?

More stories from our Good News, Bad News, No News series

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