Law: An Illness Ties Up the Justices

The second oldest court shows the first signs of age

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of eagerly awaited rulings last week, the results--two 4-4 deadlocks--were disappointing for all concerned. In one, the village of Scarsdale, N.Y., was appealing a lower federal court ruling that invalidated the town's ban on the display of a creche in a public park. In the other case, a federal court had thrown out an Oklahoma law that authorized the dismissal of public school teachers who advocate homosexual activity. The tie votes mean that the lower-court rulings stand, but the high bench's action has no value as a precedent. The difference between a...

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