182 posts tagged with scotus.
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American gun violence and legislation in the "shelter in place" age

We teach our students that the first move in an argument is often one of definition: gun as tool. Gun as "objective correlative" (T. S. Eliot) of "liberty" (Wayne LaPierre). Gun as "right" that, if left "unexercised," will be lost (opencarry.org). While running for president, Jeb Bush argued that our country is a gun when he tweeted a photo of his engraved handgun with a one-word caption, "America." A gun is a little cannon for killing that we've sentimentalized and normalized. [American Weather]
posted by amnesia and magnets on Oct 20, 2016 - 27 comments

“You cannot really calculate the loss of consumer trust in money.”

A Bad Week for Samsung [The New York Times] “Samsung Electronics is killing its troubled Galaxy Note 7 [wiki] smartphone, a humbling about-face for the South Korean giant and its global brand. In an unprecedented move, the company will no longer produce or market the smartphones. The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Oct 11, 2016 - 129 comments

Is The Texas AG Leading A Nationwide War Against Transgender People?

Most of the media focus on Transgender rights up until now have been on "Bathroom Bills" that are being presented across the country, yet in doing so, we are, as Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney for the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project states, ...ceding the terms of this conversation to the people who want to expel trans people from public life and write us out of existence."

But is that really happening? Are there people who want to write trans people out of existence? [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada on Aug 26, 2016 - 71 comments

SCOTUS decisions database, 1791-2015

The Supreme Court Database is a comprehensive, Creative Commons-licensed database of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, broken down by justices, issues, votes, and numerous other variables. Yesterday marked the newest release, including comprehensive coverage from 1791 through the recently concluded 2015 term. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Jul 13, 2016 - 14 comments

HB2 is "an undue burden on abortion access"

Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions. In a 5-3 decision the Supreme Court has held that the two restrictions placed on abortion clinics, namely the requirement that all clinics in the state to meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and, staffing and also requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital "places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution". The decision was authored by Breyer and was joined by Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor Elena Kagan. Roberts, Thomas, and Alito dissented. [more inside]
posted by Talez on Jun 27, 2016 - 171 comments

Foster v. Chatman

The Supreme Court today overruled the Superior Court of Georgia. In 1987, Timothy Foster – a low-income, intellectually disabled, black teenager was charged with the murder of a white woman and was tried by an all-white jury after Georgia prosecutors used their peremptory strikes to exclude all black prospective jurors from jury service. He was sentenced to death, and has been appealing this sentence for almost thirty years. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 23, 2016 - 25 comments

ASL at the Supreme Court

This week, 12 members of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association were sworn in to the Supreme Court bar. After they were presented to the court for admission, Roberts signed in American Sign Language: “Your motion is granted.” [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 24, 2016 - 8 comments

"I had to tell the truth"

Twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill stood before 20 million people and testified that then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her while she’d worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Apr 14, 2016 - 33 comments

“As a practical matter, the ruling mostly helped Democrats.”

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to ‘One Person One Vote’ by Adam Liptak [The New York Times] The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that states may count all residents, whether or not they are eligible to vote, in drawing election districts. The decision was a major statement on the meaning of a fundamental principle of the American political system, that of “one person one vote.” Until this decision, the court had never resolved whether voting districts should contain the same number of people, or the same number of eligible voters. Counting all people amplifies the voting power of places that have large numbers of residents who cannot vote legally — including immigrants who are here legally but are not citizens, illegal immigrants, children and prisoners. Those places tend to be urban and to vote Democratic. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 4, 2016 - 84 comments

"The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court."

In only the second case decided since the recent death of Justice Scalia, the United States Supreme Court today reached a decision [PDF] in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, deadlocking in a four-to-four tie that upholds an earlier circuit court ruling finding agency fees for non-union teachers to be constitutional, but that sets no precedent for future cases. [more inside]
posted by cjelli on Mar 29, 2016 - 51 comments

"...and do equal right to the poor and to the rich..."

At 11am Eastern time, President Obama will nominate Merrick Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court. Judge Garland is a centrist who was previously considered by the President for SCOTUS nomination in 2010, during the selection process which gave us Justice Sotomayor. He is reportedly "well known, well respected, and tremendously well liked in Washington legal circles; even Republicans have nice things to say about him." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 16, 2016 - 463 comments

Antonin Scalia (March 11, 1936 - February 13, 2016)

Reports indicate that he died of natural causes on a West Texas ranch.
posted by Ouverture on Feb 13, 2016 - 1414 comments

"The earth just had a terrible day in court"

For the moment, the fate of the Clean Power Plan — and the question of just how capable the United States is of self-governance — remains uncertain. The Supreme Court ordered the Plan to be temporarily halted, most likely until the Court hands down an opinion on the legality of the Plan in June of 2017. If the Plan survives the next presidential election, and if it is ultimately upheld by the Court, then Tuesday’s order will only succeed in delaying the new rules. If the Court ultimately strikes down the Plan, however, the United States could be left impotent in the face of a looming catastrophe — and not just with respect to this particular catastrophe. The states challenging the Clean Power Plan call for sweeping changes to the balance of power between the regulator and the regulated. Indeed, if some of their most aggressive arguments succeed, it’s unclear that the federal government is permitted to do much of anything at all.
-Ian Millhiser for ThinkProgress, "Inside The Most Important Supreme Court Case In Human History"
posted by zombieflanders on Feb 12, 2016 - 57 comments

Montgomery v. Louisiana

"Petitioner Montgomery was 17 years old in 1963, when he killed a deputy sheriff in Louisiana. The jury returned a verdict of “guilty without capital punishment,” which carried an automatic sentence of life without parole. Nearly 50 years after Montgomery was taken into custody, this Court decided that mandatory life without parole for juvenile homicide offenders violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on “ ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’" Today, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, said that ruling will apply retroactively. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 25, 2016 - 52 comments

'...follow the law or you’re no better than the crook.'

Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
posted by zarq on Jan 13, 2016 - 17 comments

Does free speech protect free riders?

Oral arguments were heard on Monday in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a Supreme Court case in which the plaintiffs are attempting to invoke their First Amendment right to free speech to avoid being compelled to pay their share of the costs of union representation. Summarizing the oral arguments for SCOTUSblog, Amy Howe notes that "public-employee unions are likely very nervous, as the Court’s more conservative Justices appeared ready to overrule the Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and strike down the fees." [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Jan 12, 2016 - 112 comments

Safe and Unrestricted Access to Abortion

“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus on Jan 8, 2016 - 55 comments

The Court takes its time on Fisher

Abigail Fisher, the white student who is challenging the use of race in admissions at the university which rejected her application in 2008, was back at the Supreme Court again, as she was for the first round of arguments in her case in October 2012. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 10, 2015 - 158 comments

The Notorious RBG

'Marty Was Always My Best Friend': Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Love Story, an excerpt in Jezebel from the new book Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik. [Don't read this unless you're ready to sob like a baby.]
posted by Ragini on Nov 8, 2015 - 16 comments

“It’s not quite what it was... it’s more sophisticated now.”

A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2015 - 17 comments

Nonpartisan Redistricting

Supreme Court rules against gerrymandering - "Ginsburg's opinion is now the law, and I suspect that, in a few decades, this case will be considered one of the most important of the term. Thus far, only California has copied Arizona and created an independent redistricting commission. But with the court's blessing, more states are likely to follow suit. These commissions have been hugely successful thus far, a real boost for representative democracy and a cure for the notoriously stubborn problem of gerrymandering. Had Justice Anthony Kennedy swung away from Ginsburg and aligned with his fellow conservatives, America would be facing down a distressingly undemocratic future."
posted by kliuless on Jul 7, 2015 - 62 comments


Jim Obergefell and John Arthur had been together nearly two decades when John was stricken by terminal ALS. With their union unconstitutional in Ohio, the couple turned to friends and family to fund a medical flight to Maryland, where they wed, tearfully, on the tarmac [prev.]. After John's death, however, Jim found himself embroiled in an ugly legal battle with his native state over the right to survivor status on John's death certificate -- a fight he eventually took all the way to the Supreme Court. And that's how this morning -- two years after U.S. v. Windsor, a dozen after Lawrence v. Texas, and at the crest of an unprecedented wave of social change -- the heartbreaking case of Obergefell v. Hodges has at long last rendered same-sex marriage legal nationwide in a 5-4 decision lead by Justice Anthony Kennedy. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 26, 2015 - 1258 comments

ACA passed "to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them"

The US Supreme Court upholds subsidies on the federal exchanges in King v. Burwell in a 6-3 ruling written by the Chief Justice Roberts. Rejecting Chevron deference, the court decided that Congress actually intended for the federal exchanges to work like the state exchanges.
posted by anotherpanacea on Jun 25, 2015 - 306 comments

Well, let’s not go there yet, and let’s certainly not start there.

The Seven Minutes In 2000 When The Clinton White House Considered Endorsing Marriage Equality (SL Longform Buzzfeed)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 17, 2015 - 10 comments

Congratulations on not being driven completely batshit insane!

What does all of this mean to the Davids of the world, the gay assimilationists that want to, wish they could, somebody do something, there's gotta be a way we can, Dignify This Parade? The ones begging: "Can't we get our people to at least DRESS respectfully for one lousy day? Is that too much to ask of our people? " Yes, yes it is.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 13, 2015 - 58 comments

"The practice is called "pay or stay" — pay the fine or stay in jail."

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons Judge Robert Swisher, a Superior Court judge in Benton County, says he'll make judgments based on how people present themselves in court. "They come in wearing expensive jackets," he says referring to defendants who wear NFL football team jackets, "or maybe a thousand dollars' worth of tattoos on their arms. And they say, 'I'm just living on handouts.' " If the jacket or tattoos were a gift, he tells the defendants they should have asked the giver for the cash to pay their court fees instead.
[more inside] posted by sio42 on Jun 4, 2015 - 54 comments

These are nobody's memories

"There is nothing borrowed, or blue." As the Sixth Circuit marriage cases head to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, LGBT organizations make their closing arguments via YouTube.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 26, 2015 - 16 comments

Waiting for the dogs Unconstitutional

In the case, Rodriguez v. United States, the Supreme Court ruled (6-3) today that a police officer may not extend a traffic stop beyond the time needed to complete the tasks related to that stop for the purposes of allowing a trained dog to sniff for drugs. Supremecourt.gov pdf, Washington Post article.
posted by meta87 on Apr 21, 2015 - 45 comments

We landed at Baltimore, sat on the tarmac for a little bit, said ‘I do.'

Buzzfeed profiles Jim Obergefell, the widower whose case will be heard, among others, at the Supreme Court in next month. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 23, 2015 - 27 comments

The plural of fish is not "tangible objects"

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States ruled (PDF) on the case of Yates v. United States, whether the captain of a fishing boat violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by throwing undersized red grouper overboard to avoid prosecution. [more inside]
posted by dirigibleman on Mar 1, 2015 - 25 comments


Now in open beta, SCOTUS Search allows users to "search the text of 1,424,780 individual statements within 6,683 Supreme Court oral arguments." [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Feb 18, 2015 - 11 comments

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear cases on same-sex marriage. The focus of the Court’s review will be a decision issued in early November by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The Court will rule on the power of U.S. states to ban same-sex marriages or refuse to recognize such marriages when performed in another state. Hearings will likely take place in April, and a final ruling is expected in late June. [more inside]
posted by kyrademon on Jan 16, 2015 - 120 comments

Miami, Miami, you've got style....

On August 21, a federal judge in Florida ruled that that the state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, but the ruling was stayed until January 5. Although the state Attorney General appealed the ruling and asked for a further stay, both the 11th circuit, and os of last night the Supreme Court have denied the appeal, and Florida will become the 36th marriage equality state on January 6th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 20, 2014 - 36 comments

Heien vs. North Carolina

This morning, the Supreme Court released an opinion (pdf) in Heien vs. North Carolina, finding that because the Fourth Amendment requires government officials to act reasonably, not perfectly, and gives those officials “fair leeway for enforcing the law,” an officer in North Carolina did not act unconstitutionally when they stopped and searched a car driving with a broken brake light, even though North Carolina law requires only one vehicle brake light to be working. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 15, 2014 - 127 comments

Social media as a crime scene

On Monday, the Supreme Court (with a recovering Ruth Bader Ginsburg) will hear argument in Elonis v. United States, a case where a man was convicted for posts and messages on Facebook that prosecutors treated as threats of actual violence. (trigger warning: descriptions of violence) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 29, 2014 - 52 comments

The circuit split.

Today, by a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit upheld the same-sex marriage bans in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan. reversing a federal district court decision and creating a circuit split: the Sixth Circuit has upheld bans, while the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits have struck them down. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 6, 2014 - 67 comments

The Obama Legacy

The Obama Brief: The President considers his judicial legacy. (SL New Yorker)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 20, 2014 - 30 comments


This morning, the Supreme Court denied cert petitions in all seven same-sex marriage cases that had been brought to the SCOTUS level. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 6, 2014 - 213 comments

Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the East

Hey, remember when the Supreme Court ruled that every religion needs to have a shot at opening a legislative session with a prayer? Well, ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for David Suhor, Agnostic Pagan Pantheist. Wait, where are you going?
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Oct 1, 2014 - 69 comments

Do you even know who the Notorious B.I.G. is?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on her career, her fame, and the law.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 29, 2014 - 47 comments

I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious.

I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious. "Some people expect me to feel satisfied, or even happy. The truth is: I am angry. I am angry that we live in a world where two disabled boys can have their lives stolen from them, where cops can lie and intimidate with impunity, where innocent people can be condemned to die and where injustice is so difficult to bring to light. As I lie awake at night, mulling over the maddening details of this case, I wonder: How many more Henry McCollums are still imprisoned, waiting for help that will never come?" [more inside]
posted by scody on Sep 8, 2014 - 110 comments

The Trouble with Amicus Facts

When the Supreme Court agrees to hear a case, they often receive dozens of amicus briefs, or "friend of the court" briefs; SCOTUS "opinions are increasingly studded with citations of facts they learned from amicus briefs." "The trouble with amicus facts... is that today anyone can claim to be a factual expert."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 2, 2014 - 20 comments

“They paid the ultimate price for standing up for the working class”

One Generation’s Time: The Legacy of Silme Domingo and Gene Viernes (YouTube, 1 hour). The story of two activists who fought to improve the lives of Filipino workers in Alaskan canneries, their murders by members of a street gang, and the eight-year investigation that ultimately found Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos responsible for their deaths. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year on Aug 22, 2014 - 5 comments

"Liberty, tolerance, and respect are not zero-sum concepts."

A federal judge has struck down Florida's state constitutional ban against gay marriage. Four state justices have previously struck down the ban, but U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle became the first federal judge to rule the Sunshine State's ban unconstitutional. [more inside]
posted by none of these will bring disaster on Aug 22, 2014 - 38 comments

Hobby Lobby

The Supreme Court holds closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage with Justice Alito authoring the majority decision. Justice Ginsburg, in her dissent, calls it a "decision of startling breadth." SCOTUSBlog has a live blog of todays' decisions, which also includes Harris v. Quinn, on the ability of unions to require certain types of employees to contribute.
posted by leotrotsky on Jun 30, 2014 - 1168 comments

End of the line for Aereo?

Internet TV/DVR start-up Aereo lost its copyright-infringement case at the Supreme Court today in a 6-3 decision, with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissenting. This decision effectively reverses an earlier lower court ruling that found Aereo safely within the law. Although Aereo based its case on the 2008 Cablevision decision, which upheld the legality of cloud-based DVR systems, the majority ruling (PDF) states that "[B]ehind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems, which do perform publicly." This decision effectively puts Aereo out of business, given CEO Chet Kanojia's earlier statement that there was "no Plan B" if the Supreme Court ruled against the company. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Jun 25, 2014 - 151 comments

The Founding Fathers Would Have Protected Your Smartphone

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 25, 2014 - 57 comments

Five facts about Clarence Thomas that perhaps you didn’t know.

Clarence Thomas's Counterrevolution: "The first time Clarence Thomas went to Washington, DC, it was to protest the Vietnam War. The last time that Clarence Thomas attended a protest, as far as I can tell, it was to free Bobby Seale and Erikah Huggins." Corey Robin (previously) discusses the intellectual legacy of Justice Clarence Thomas. See also: "Clarence X? The Black Nationalist behind Clarence Thomas's Constitutionalism. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Jun 23, 2014 - 80 comments

Just because you used a computer doesn't make your idea new.

We hold that the claims at issue are drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement, and that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.
We must first determine whether the claims at issue are directed to a patent-ineligible concept. We conclude that they are.
The United States Supreme Court has ruled 9-0 [pdf], invalidating many but by no means all software patents, in Alice v CLS Bank. [more inside]
posted by atbash on Jun 19, 2014 - 57 comments

Corporations are people too, my friends. Special, unaccountable people.

How corporations became people you can't sue.
posted by T.D. Strange on Jun 15, 2014 - 75 comments

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