Public universities and colleges can use money from mandatory undergraduate fees to finance campus groups that engage in political speech some students find objectionable, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously. Overturning lower-court findings, it upheld the University of Wisconsin's fee system, which the justices said does not violate free-speech rights. The justices also unanimously overturned rulings that found Wal-Mart to have improperly copied designs used by a manufacturer of children's clothing. The decision, which reasons that "design ... is not inherently distinctive," makes it harder for companies to have their product designs qualify for trademark-law protection, analysts said.
The Senate unanimously passed legislation to stop taking Social Security benefits away from people who continue to work through their late 60s. The bill will go back to the House, which also passed it overwhelmingly and is expected to again, because the Senate added a measure to assure that 64-year-olds are not penalized. President Clinton has said he will sign the bill.
The Federal Reserve boosted interest rates for the fifth time since last June in an attempt to keep inflation in check and slow a record-breaking economy. The federal-funds rate, the interest that banks charge on overnight loans, was raised a quarter-point to 6 percent. Economists predicted Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan will announce further rate hikes at least twice this year.
Two gunmakers, Glock Inc. and Browning, said they won't sign voluntary agreements similar to the deal on production restrictions reached last week between Smith & Wesson Corp. and the Clinton administration. The deal-breaker for Glock was the creation of an "oversight commission," made up of local, state, and federal officials. …