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Court to rule on fathers' benefits

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a new twist on reverse discrimination that affects fathers across the country - a conflict over who should receive pregnancy benefits.

The court announced it will decide whether companies can legally deny male workers the unlimited health-insurance benefits provided female employees to cover pregnancy. Challengers say the difference in treatment violates federal anti-bias laws. If the court rules in favor of equalizing benefits, there are potentially heavy costs for American business.

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Making its final announcements on which new cases it will take up this term, the court also agreed to hear a challenge to a Tennessee law that sets a two-year time limit for a mother to sue to establish the paternity of her child.

In other action, the court refused to referee a professional-sports squabble, leaving intact a finding that the National Football League illegally tried to block investment in United States soccer teams. On an 8-to-1 vote, the justices rejected the league's appeal of a ruling that threw out an attempt to prohibit NFL team owners from investing money in rival professional-sports leagues.

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