Share of Cost, Federal News Digest for March 22, 2012

Saturday, Sep. 29th 2012 12:17 PM

Washington Post

Supreme Court allows Idaho Couple to challenge EPA on wetlands ruling [Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Water Act, wetlands] – Juliet Eilperin and Robert Barnes report that the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the Environmental Protection Agency had overreached when it prohibited a couple who sought to build on their property, which the EPA said was on protected “wetlands,” from appealing the agency’s determination in court; EPA had ordered construction blocked and the property restored to its former state or the couple would face severe fines; the government argued that the property owner’s lawsuit to overturn EPA’s order would have been premature

Pentagon suspends efforts to recover remains of troops in North Korea [Pentagon, State Dept., North Korea] – William Wan reports that efforts to locate the remains of 5,300 U.S. service personnel assumed buried in North Korea after the Korean war is at another impasse, a casualty of North Korea’s announcement that it would conduct a missile test after raising hopes that it would agree to limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for food aid

Supreme Court expands plea bargain rights of criminal defendants [Supreme Court, right to attorney] – Robert Barnes reports that the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the right to adequate legal representation guaranteed under the Sixth Amendment applies to plea agreements, not just when a defendant goes to trial, opening the door for a multitude of appeals based on ineffective legal counsel during the plea bargaining phase of a case; Justice Anthony Kennedy once more provided the pivotal vote, joining the Court’s liberal wing in the decision

Obama touts solar in Nev. As part of four-state tour on energy policy [President Obama, energy policy] – Scott Wilson reports that President Obama struck back at Republicans ridiculing his support for solar power and his energy policy in general in a campaign-styled tour of states that included stops at solar manufacturing companies, oil and gas production fields and Cushing, Oklahoma, the southern end of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline

New York Times

To cut costs, postal service turns to rural stores [U.S. Postal Service] – Ron Nixon reports that the Postal Service is increasing its presence in retail stores because most post offices lose money; the agency has proposed closing 3,700 post offices

Wall Street Journal

Spending clash looms on election eve [federal budget] – Damian Paletta and Naftali Bendavid report that it’s déjà vu all over again with the White House and congressional Republicans far apart on spending, which could lead to a partial government shut-down just before the November election

FCC plans new rules on satellite airwaves [Federal Communications Commission] – Amy Schatz reports that the Federal Communications Commission took steps toward developing regulations to open up satellite airwaves for wireless phone use, including technical standards to increase participation of smaller phone companies and avoid technical interference

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