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The Daily Muck

The Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could establish rules for when elected judges should remain neutral in cases that concern their campaign contributors. A senior executive of Massey Coal Company spent more than $3 million to elect West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin, who ruled in Massey's favor in a case that concerned a feud between two West Virginia oil companies. Massey's opponent appealed, claiming that Justice Benjamin's involvement violated a constitutional right to due process. (Washington Post)

A South Carolina-based contractor, has been sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to repay $15.5 million to the Pentagon, after pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. government. Among other infractions, Charlene Corley charged the Pentagon nearly $1 million to ship two 19 cent washers to a base in Texas. Corley used her profits - nearly $20 million - for cosmetic surgery and vacations to Hawaii. (Bloomberg)

Buried within the stimulus bill is $212 million to fund what a U.S. district judge called an "environmental bridge to nowhere." The provision for the bridge flies in the face of a court order that construction be halted due to the danger of flooding and damage to reservation land and opposition to the project from the Miccosukee Native American reservation. Proponents of the bridge, including Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), say it's needed to maintain the flow of water to the Everglades. (Washington Times)