"Better known as the “Jane Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade
, Norma McCorvey
has led a conflicted life. Forty years ago, she was at the center of the court decision that famously legalized abortion. Today, she is a zealous anti-abortion advocate
." Why did McCorvey turn against the cause she once championed? Tracing the life of an Accidental Activist
How John Roberts Orchestrated the Citizens United decision. [more inside]
The Supreme Court of the United States has held only one criminal trial in its history: United States v. Shipp
. [more inside]
Yesterday, the Supreme court granted certiorari
to several of the challenges to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Here
's a great roundup of several news stories. I like the NPR
story for a quick summary of the issues. The Court will hear a total of 5.5 hours of oral argument, and a decision is expected by the end of the current term, in June.
In a 5-4 decision in the case of Berghuis v. Thompkins
, the Supreme Court has ruled that suspects must explicitly assert their right to remain silent
under the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona
decision. [more inside]
NPR is reporting
that Supreme Court Justice David Souter
will retire at the end of the current Court term, pending the approval of a replacement to be appointed by President Obama. Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, Souter's replacement will presumably maintain the balance of ascribed "left-leaning" to "right-leaning" justices at 4-5, but will increase the number of justices on the bench appointed by a Democratic president to 3. At 69, Souter is in fact the youngest of the so-called "left-leaning" justices currently on the bench.
The Supreme Court's Big Day
The court chose not to review the controversy surrounding "reporter's privilege"
in withholding the names of confidential sources; meaning reporters may continue to be jailed or fined for refusing to name sources in court.
, the Court decided 6-3
that cable providers did not have to allow competitors to access their lines (the way DSL companies do). FCC opponents had been hopeful the Court would find the other way, opening new markets for competition and service options.
The Court ruled one of two
Ten Commandment displays are unconstitutional. The decalogue display on a courthouse wall in Kentucky was found 5-4
to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was serving a religious purpose. However, the Ten Commandments display on the grounds of Texas' state capitol were found to be constitutional.
The Court finally decided the MGM v Grokster case
. The Court found unanimously
that the file sharing service can be held liable
for the copyright infringement of their users.
Apparently, thousands of Ten Commandments monuments around the country began their lives as promos for the 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments"
(Including the one in the case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month). "The stars of the movie, Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Martha Scott, attended many of the dedications."
Transcripts of the March 2nd arguments here
. This was also pointed out on the NPR radio comedy program "Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me"
(click the "Listen" link next to "Opening Panel Round: The Supreme Court and Cecil B. DeMille"). Does/should this affect your views on the case? Is this a minor detail, or is it an under-reported fact in the U.S. media?
Only in 1967 did Loving v. Virginia
overturn vigorously-enforced laws against interracial marriage in these 15 states--Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Only in 1964 did the Civil Rights Act
overturn laws against equal access to voting, public accommodation, and public education. Only in 1963 did the Equal Pay Act
mandate that men and women be paid the same wage for the same work at the same job.
isn't a superhighway, leading us in straight lines toward utopia. We fall back
and we move forward
, but over the past fifty years, the United States has become considerably more inclusive and equality of access to opportunity has widened. Take a look at this article
from the Atlantic Monthly
in 1956--1956!--if you don't believe me.