Court to rule on unionist ousters

The Supreme Court agreed to consider what grounds companies may use to get rid of workers who are involved in union organizing.

The justices will hear arguments this term on what a company must show to avoid the protection federal labor law gives to workers who want to be represented by a union. The government appealed a ruling that a company must only produce evidence it would have dismissed the worker anyway, for a permissible reason, to avoid running afoul of union protection guarantees.

The court also issued its first formal opinion of the term, a 9-to-0 ruling that reverses a decision that immigration officials feared would have made it more difficult to deport resident aliens caught smuggling drugs or illegal aliens into the country.

In other moves Monday, the court:

* Decided to hear an appeal by an investment analyst censured by the Securities and Exchange Commission after exposing one of the biggest insurance scandals in history - a $2 billion fraud involving the Equity Funding Corporation of America.

* Decided to address a Wyoming ruling denying a man claiming to be the biological father of a child the right to establish his paternity.

* Let stand a ruling that a husband or wife may not be required to testify when a spouse is involved in a criminal grand jury investigation.

* Agreed to reexamine a dispute between New Mexico and the Mescalero Apache tribe over who controls hunting and fishing on its reservation.

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