Court to rule on fathers' benefits

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a new twist on reverse discrimination that affects fathers across the country - a conflict over who should receive pregnancy benefits.

The court announced it will decide whether companies can legally deny male workers the unlimited health-insurance benefits provided female employees to cover pregnancy. Challengers say the difference in treatment violates federal anti-bias laws. If the court rules in favor of equalizing benefits, there are potentially heavy costs for American business.

Making its final announcements on which new cases it will take up this term, the court also agreed to hear a challenge to a Tennessee law that sets a two-year time limit for a mother to sue to establish the paternity of her child.

In other action, the court refused to referee a professional-sports squabble, leaving intact a finding that the National Football League illegally tried to block investment in United States soccer teams. On an 8-to-1 vote, the justices rejected the league's appeal of a ruling that threw out an attempt to prohibit NFL team owners from investing money in rival professional-sports leagues.

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