WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from followers of evangelist Tony Alamo who had their children taken away when they wouldn't agree not to expose them to the controversial ministry.
The high court on Tuesday refused to hear an appeal from several Alamo followers, who sued the Arkansas Department of Human Services after their children were taken away in 2008.
Prosecutors won sexual abuse convictions against Alamo in 2009. Social workers feared the children might someday be abused, and told the parents to break their financial dependence on Alamo's ministry. The parents refused.
The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that the taking of the children was not a barrier to the parents' constitutional rights to practice religion.
The case is Myers v. Arkansas Department of Social Services 11-126.
MUMIA ABU-JAMAL PROSECUTORS REBUFFED
The justices rejected a request from Philadelphia prosecutors who want to re-impose a death sentence on former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted of killing a white Philadelphia police officer 30 years ago. The justices refused to get involved in the racially charged case. A federal appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing for Abu-Jamal after finding that the death-penalty instructions given to the jury at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial were potentially misleading.
Courts have upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction for killing Officer Daniel Faulkner over objections that African-Americans were improperly excluded from the jury.
The federal appeals court in Philadelphia said prosecutors could agree to a life sentence for Abu-Jamal or try again to sentence him to death.
GAY DADS BIRTH CERTIFICATE CASE STYMIED
The Supreme Court also rejected an appeal from a gay couple who want both of their names to appear on the Louisiana birth certificate of the child they adopted.
The court said Tuesday it won't review a federal appeals court ruling against the adoptive parents. The appeals court ruled that the Louisiana registrar's insistence that only one father's name can go on the certificate does not violate the child's right to equal protection under the law or deny legal recognition of the adoption by both men. The adoption occurred in New York, which allows same-sex couples to adopt.
Louisiana says its birth certificate policy reflects state law prohibiting adoption by unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or gay. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)