Supreme Court to Rule on Privacy Rights

THE United States Supreme Court agreed Nov. 2 to decide whether criminal suspects' privacy-right protections extend to evidence illegally seized from their alleged partners in crime. The court's study of a case involving 1,000 pounds of cocaine seized by police in Arizona could lead to a significant criminal-law ruling. A decision is expected by July.

The justices said they will review a ruling that blocked full use of the cocaine as evidence because police discovered most of it after illegally stopping a car.

A federal appeals court said that members of the alleged drug ring, even though they were not in the car when it was searched, had the right to challenge the search, conducted after the driver of the automobile consented to a police request.

In other action, the court:

* Refused to let the National Basketball Association limit the number of games televised over television superstations. The court left intact rulings that the NBA's attempt to limit the number of games was an illegal restraint of competition.

* Let stand a Wisconsin law that gives grandparents visitation rights to their grandchildren even when the children's parents object.

* Refused in a Maryland case to make it easier for the Internal Revenue Service to meet its requirement to notify taxpayers at new addresses that they owe back taxes.

* Limited the ability of a Delaware man accused of filing numerous "totally frivilous" appeals to file them free of charge.

* Agreed to use a South Carolina housing case to decide how far people must carry an administrative appeal of a federal agency action before they may take the matter to court.

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