The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact lower court rulings
allowing certain state-chartered banks to trade securities and
keeping in India a lawsuit against Union Carbide Corp. stemming from
the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
The high court also allowed Michigan to continue a Sunday ban on
car sales. And it set aside a ruling requiring Delta Air Lines to
submit to arbitration a dispute growing out of its $860 million
merger with Western Air Lines.
In some important labor decisions, the justices agreed to
consider broadening the remedy for workers claiming to be victims of
racial harassment, but refused to revive the sex-discrimination
lawsuit of seven men claiming a female co-worker who dated the boss
was unfairly promoted.
State-chartered banks that are not members of the Federal
Reserve System were permitted to continue trading stocks and bonds
when the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal to a lower court
ruling by two trade groups.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, in keeping with
a recent deregulatory trend, ruled last April that the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corp. didn't violate the Glass-Steagall Act of
1933 by permitting such banks to move into the securities business.
The Depression-era law was passed by Congress in response to a
wave of bank failures many saw as the result of stock market
speculation by the banking industry.
The appeals court said Congress ``clearly intended'' to allow
the banks ``to maintain subsidiary or affiliate relationships with
In the case involving Union Carbide, the Supreme Court, without
comment, refused to move to the United States a massive lawsuit
against the Danbury, Conn., company following the 1984 Bhopal
chemical plant disaster that killed more than 2,000 people.
The justices also rejected an Indian government appeal aimed at
placing tougher procedural restraints on Union Carbide, owner of the
Bhopal plant, when the claims are tried in India.
Thousands of claims filed in the United States against Union
Carbide and a suit filed by the government of India were
consolidated and assigned to U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan in
New York City.
Keenan dismissed the suits on grounds the case should be heard
before a more convenient forum in India.
In other cases Monday, the Supreme Court:
- Left intact a Michigan law permitting a ban of car sales on
Sundays while allowing other businesses to remain open. The court
said, ``. . .We are not going to be tempted to open the floodgates
to declare all regulatory legislation of Sunday sales
- Told a federal appeals court to review its ruling requiring
arbitration for Delta's merger with Western. Two Western unions
challenged the agreement, contending it didn't live up to collective
bargaining promises. …