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.
posted by insectosaurus
on Nov 15, 2011 -
How “secure” do our homes remain if police, armed with no warrant, can pound on doors at will and, on hearing sounds indicative of things moving, forcibly enter and search for evidence of unlawful activity?
Supreme Court OKs More Warrantless Searches [more inside]
posted by AceRock
on May 17, 2011 -
Third, class arbitration greatly increases risks to defendants. Informal procedures do of course have a cost: The absence of multilayered review makes it more likely that errors will go uncorrected. Defendants are willing to accept the costs of these errors in arbitration, since their impact is limited to the size of individual disputes, and presumably outweighed by savings from avoiding the courts. But when damages allegedly owed to tens of thousands of potential claimants are aggregated and decided at once, the risk of an error will often become unacceptable. Faced with even a small chance of a devastating loss, defendants will be pressured into settling questionable claims.
—Justice Scalia delivers the opinion of the Court, and a knife in the back of class-action suits. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley
on Apr 27, 2011 -
The latest attempt to mitigate the impact of the Citizens United
decision has failed, with an attempt to pass transparency rules for corporations funding political advertising failing to reach cloture
. Obama comments on this vote in his most recent weekly address
Citizens United v Federal Election Commission
(2010) held that corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited under the First Amendment. [more inside]
posted by lucien_reeve
on Sep 24, 2010 -
On Monday the SCOTUS said
juveniles who commit crimes in which no one is killed may not be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Thomas, ever the orginalist
, apparently said
they should only consider practices at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted. Stevens, however, noted people as young as 7 were put to death in the 18th century. "Knowledge accumulates," he wrote. "We learn, sometimes, from our mistakes." So, did they really
put kids that young to death? Well, Probably Not
. A look back at all the death sentences handed down for children under age fourteen by a well documented court in London found in every case (over 100 in all) the initial death sentence was eventually changed to transportation, imprisonment, and/or whipping. No child criminal was actually put to death.
posted by Blake
on May 21, 2010 -
Yesterday, in a highly split decision
with six separate opinions, the United States Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit ruling in Salazar v. Buono
. The issue at hand? Whether the location of the Mojave Memorial Cross
represented an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The Ninth Circuit decided that it did, but its ruling has been called into question by the high court on several levels. [more inside]
posted by Riki tiki
on Apr 29, 2010 -
Alan Grayson (D - FL) has introduced a bill
to tax corporate political campaign donations at 500% (via
). The bill is called the "Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act."
posted by lohmannn
on Jan 25, 2010 -
Today began Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings, with opening remarks from the Senators on the Judiciary Committee, introductions from NY Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and an opening statement
from Judge Sotomayor herself. Among the shouted protests from pro-life advocates in the gallery, highlights included Sen. Lindsay Graham's statement
about what he thinks the advise-and-consent function of the senate should entail, and Sen. Al Franken's first real moment
in the U.S. Congress.
posted by Navelgazer
on Jul 13, 2009 -
Today, on the last day of this year's term, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion
, the latest in the Court's line of decisions on Title VII
and the role of race in employment decisions. The famous case centers on white firefighters' claims of race discrimination
following the town of New Haven's decision to scuttle a promotion exam
after white test takers performed disproportionately better than black firefighters. [more inside]
posted by Law Talkin' Guy
on Jun 29, 2009 -
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.
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Apr 30, 2009 -
Summums want to place their own monument
in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode
in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]
: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur
on Nov 13, 2008 -
In a five-to-four decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that detainees at Guantanamo Bay have a constitutional right to habeas corpus review:
Security depends upon a sophisticated intelligence apparatus and the ability of our Armed Forces to act and to interdict. There are further considerations, however. Security subsists, too, in fidelity to freedom’s first principles. Chief among these are freedom from arbitrary and unlawful restraint and the personal liberty that is secured by adherence to the separation of powers.[...] Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system they are reconciled within the framework of the law. The Framers decided that habeas corpus, a right of first importance, must be a part of that framework, a part of that law.
posted by anotherpanacea
on Jun 12, 2008 -
Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast
) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
posted by ao4047
on Dec 5, 2007 -
- Yakov Spektor, a New York-based attorney, combed through two decades of US Supreme Court opinions "to discern certain trends in the Court's treatment of various issues" related to the War on Drugs. The collection of opinions are organized by case
posted by daksya
on Nov 26, 2007 -
The Supreme Court issued its opinion Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly [pdf]
today. Although superficially an antitrust case, the Court examined the standard of review under 12(b)(6) and concluded that the old "no set of facts" standard should be officially retired.
posted by monju_bosatsu
on May 21, 2007 -
The Supreme Court has upheld the federal ban on "Partial-Birth Abortion,"
in a 5-4 decision. The federal ban
provides no exceptions for the health of the mother, the reason previous Courts overturned the law. Justice Kennedy argued
the law banning the procedure should stay, as opponents "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases." In a scathing dissent, Justice Ginsburg alluded to the politics of recent judicial appointments, noting "...the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives. A decision of the character the Court makes today should not have staying power."
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Apr 18, 2007 -
In a 5-4 opinion [pdf]
, the Supreme Court concluded today that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases that may contribute to global warming, and must examine the scientific evidence of a link between those gases contained in the exhausts of new cars and trucks and climate change. Justice Stevens wrote the majority opinion, and Justice Scalia wrote a dissent, joined by Roberts, Thomas, and Alito. ScotusBlog summary here
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Apr 2, 2007 -
Tighter restrictions on damage awards. The two questions presented
to the U.S. Supreme Court centered on whether or not the highly reprehensible conduct of a defendant is analogous to a crime and can "override" the constitutional requirement that punitive damages be reasonably related to the plaintiffs harm. The answer is no. (21 page pdf)
Held: 1. A punitive damages award based in part on a jury’s desire to punish a defendant for harming nonparties amounts to a taking of property from the defendant without due process. The majority: Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Souter, and Breyer. Dissenting: Ginsburg, Scalia, Stevens, and Thomas.
posted by three blind mice
on Feb 20, 2007 -
The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled President Bush overstepped his authority
in creating military war crimes trials for Guantanamo Bay detainees. The 5-3 vote (Roberts recused himself) found the "military commissions" illegal under both military justice law and the Geneva Convention. More from SCOTUSblog
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Jun 29, 2006 -
SCOTUS strikes down campaign finance restrictions [pdf].
The Supreme Court issued an opinion today in Randall v. Sorrell
, striking down limits on campaign contributions and campaign spending imposed by the state of Vermont. The Court, in a fractured opinion (six separate opinions, including two dissents), concluded that restrictions on both contributions and expenditures ran afoul of the First Amendment. More
from Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog. Expect more from Rick Hasen
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Jun 26, 2006 -
Injunctions in patent cases not automatic.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision (16 page pdf)
on Monday in the dispute between eBay and MercExchange. The Court ruled in favor of eBay finding that the lower Appeals Court erred as a matter of law in creating a general rule that “courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances.” In the concurring opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts, joined by Scalia and Ginsberg, Roberts citing Court precedent noted that: “[d]iscretion is not whim, and limiting discretion according to legal standards helps promote the basic principle of justice that like cases should be decided alike.”
posted by three blind mice
on May 17, 2006 -
The Fourth Amendment
provides, in part, that "...no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause." The Supreme Court has issued its (yet another) 8-0 opinion
, authored by Justice Scalia in the case of United States v. Grubbs
, overturning the Ninth Circuit decision
. Justice Souter filed a concurring opinion
deals with the question of anticipatory warrants, and it is the first time that the Court has addressed the practice. It appears that under this ruling, preemptive warrants can issue without existing probable cause, but merely on the supposition that probable cause will exist in the future.
Some legal scholars had anticipated
that at least the more conservative
members of the Court would rule against anticipatory warrants. After all, under Blackstone's analysis
of the common law rule that contributed to the Fourth Amendment, as noted by Professor Orin Kerr in the NYU Journal of Law and Liberty symposium
on the subject, warrants "issue" when they are signed by the judge, and not when the precedent condition occurs. Professor Chris Slobogin disagrees
. Kerr has posted a preliminary analysis
of the decision on his new blawg
. The case has previously
by the smart people over at the Volokh Conspiracy
posted by Pontius Pilate
on Mar 22, 2006 -
David Garrow reviewed Justice Blackmun's papers
, released to the public in 2005
, and concludes
that towards the end of his career, Blackmun's clerks all but signed his opinions. In an interview
, discussing senility and Supreme Court Justices, Garrow argues that there has been "a dramatic increase over the last 35 or 45 years in the amount of the justices’ work that is performed by their law clerks," and recommends a "reduction to two or, even better yet, one clerk" from the four clerks available per Justice now. Garrow also comments on the now-deceased Chief Justice Rehnquist, who suffered from an addiction to painkillers in the 1980s
. Garrow's view is controversial
, though, and Legal Affairs published several responses
in the same issue. Other law professors have weighed in, including Dan Markel
, Mark Tushnet
, and some of the folks at the Volokh Conspiracy
. So how large
is the impact
of law clerks?
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Feb 15, 2006 -