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Cheever appeal goes before U.S. Supreme Court next week

Over the next three months, Kansas will see two major cases go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Next Wednesday, the court will hear arguments about the overturned conviction in Kansas vs. Cheever, the state's prosecution of Scott Cheever in the 2005 murder of Greenwood County Sheriff Matt Samuels.

The Kansas Supreme Court ordered a new trial last year, citing constitutional violations. It said the district court allowed a psychiatrist to tell the jury about a court-ordered mental examination before Cheever had waived his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. The court also let the psychiatrist testify about his opinions even though Cheever hadn't used mental health issues as a defense.

Samuels was killed as law enforcement raided a meth lab near Hilltop in 2005.

Also, Kansas and several other states have sued the Environmental Protection Agency to block air-quality regulations they say were improsed without due legal process. A federal appeals court agreed with the states. The case will be heard Dec. 10.

In addition, Kansas has joined in "friend of the court" briefs in nine other cases, even though the state is not itself a party.

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