The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether employers ever may bar their workers from serving in the military or military reserves.
The court said it will review a U.S. district judge's ruling in Alabama - and one upheld by an appellate panel - that said an employee's request for a military leave may be denied if it is ``unreasonable.' A decision is expected in 1992.The Bush administration asked the justices to reverse the lower courts' decision. ``In view of Congress' increasing reliance on the reserve forces as an integral part of the nation's military preparedness, the question is one of great importance,' Justice Department lawyers said.
Although the court's action comes at a time when more than 200,000 reservists have been called to active duty because of the Persian Gulf war, they will not be affected.
The Alabama case before the court focuses on a federal law dealing with reserve duty for training - not a similar law dealing with reservists called by presidential order to active duty in time of crisis.
In a separate action, the justices voted to decide whether federal courts should continue supervising the racial desegregation of student populations in DeKalb County, Ga., public schools.
The court will review a ruling that said continued judicial supervision is required because the county schools never achieved full integration.
The high court's decision, also expected in 1992, could provide important new guidelines as to just what amounts to full racial integration of a school district.
The justices left that question unanswered in recently deciding an Oklahoma City case and making it easier for school districts to escape forced busing plans imposed by federal courts.
In other matters Tuesday, the court:
Refused to renew an antitrust lawsuit filed against the Coca-Cola Co. and bottlers in six Southeastern states, including North Carolina.
The court, without comment, rejected arguments from the nation's largest maker of plastic soft drink bottles that Coca-Cola illegally conspired with the bottlers to reduce competition.
Rejected an appeal by the owners of a Charlotte adult film and book store who were sentenced to six years in prison on obscenity charges.
The court, without comment, left intact a ruling that the rights of Jim St. John and Curtis Renee Peterson, owners of Cinema Blue in Charlotte, were not violated.