The U.S. Supreme Court announced in November that it would not hear an appeal of a judgment that the Southern Poverty Law Center won against National Alliance leader William Pierce. The court's ruling means that Center attorneys can now move to collect an $85,000 judgment for the family of Harold Mansfield, a black sailor murdered by a white separatist.

Last July, a federal appeals court upheld the Mansfield v. Pierce decision. Pierce now has no further avenue for appeal.

Mansfield was killed in 1991 by a "reverend" of the Church of the Creator (COTC), a hate group based in North Carolina. The Center sued the COTC in 1994 and won a $1 million default judgment for the Mansfield family, but the COTC's leader had transferred ownership of its property to Pierce to prevent it from going to Mansfield's heirs.

In May 1996, a North Carolina jury found that Pierce had been involved in the scheme to hide the COTC assets and returned a verdict for the Mansfield estate.