Toyota Motor Corp. has won the first bellwether trial over sudden-acceleration defects after a Los Angeles jury found no design defects caused the death of 66-year-old Noriko Uno, who was driving a 2006 Camry. The jury found fault on the part of another driver whose Lexus struck Uno just before her car began accelerating down a residential road in Upland, Calif. Uno’s survivors claimed that Toyota failed to install a brake override system that would have automatically shut off the engine and saved her life.


The worst fears of campaign finance reformers played out in real time last week in the U.S. Supreme Court as a majority of justices appeared disinclined to make another campaign contribution barrier. In arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, a deep divide on the court over First Amendment speech protection and campaign finance limits surfaced again. Three years ago, in Citizens United, the court stuck down restrictions on political independent expenditures by corporations. This time, the challenge targets federal limits on the total amount of money an individual may contribute to candidates and political groups in a two-year election cycle.


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