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Supreme Court declines to hear cases

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a number of appeals, including a challenge to the federal No Child Left Behind law and a request from cattle ranchers who dispute the endangered status of the Mexican spotted owl.

The justices decided against hearing Connecticut’s challenge to No Child Left Behind, ending the state’s six-year lawsuit over how to pay for the stepped-up student testing considered one of the law’s cornerstones. The state’s lawsuit sought to push the federal government to either change its testing rules or cover the extra testing costs, which Connecticut officials say add up to many millions of dollars.

In the endangered owl case, the court has decided to let stand a Bush administration designation of 8.6 million acres in four Western states as critical habitat for the birds. The designation is aimed at protecting the habitat from activities that remove forest cover, including logging, cattle grazing, urban sprawl or power lines.

Additionally, the justices rejected appeals challenging campaign disclosure laws in Washington state, Nevada laws banning newspaper advertisements identifying places where prostitution is legal, and lower court rulings that bar the display of the Ten Commandments in two Kentucky courthouses.