WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court Monday refused to shield the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church from being sued by two former members who say they were duped into joining it. The court, without comment, rejected arguments that religious freedom protects the church against allegations of ``brainwashing'' and fraudulent recruiting.
The court also turned down an appeal by mass murderer John Wayne Gacy, convicted and sentenced to death in 1980 for killing 33 boys and young men.
In the Gacy case, the justices rejected arguments that Illinois's death-penalty law wrongly gives county prosecutors ``complete and unguided discretion to determine whether to seek the death penalty in murder cases.''
In other action, the court:
Limited federal judges' power to exclude potentially prejudicial evidence from civil trials, ruling against a young Pennsylvania man who lost his arm in a car-wash accident.
Agreed to study a federal regulation aimed at saving the government time and money when it mistakenly overpays some social security recipients.
Refused to shield Chicago from being sued for monetary damages in state court for allegedly allowing excessive noise and air pollution at O'Hare International Airport.
Ruled that a lawsuit stemming from the terrorist hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985 may be tried in a federal court in New York City.
Made deadlines for the filing of civil-rights lawsuits by some prison inmates more flexible.