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Interim Stat Pack for October Term 2019

With the 2019-2020 Supreme Court term coming to a close, the discussion among court-watchers continues to focus on Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision-making. Much has been made of his siding with the more liberal justices in striking down a Louisiana abortion law in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo and upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (at least temporarily) in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. Roberts’ positions in these c...
Tags: Health, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Hawaii, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, King, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg

Symposium: June Medical and the many faces of judicial discretion

Jane Schacter is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of law at Stanford Law School. She signed an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. The headline from the 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo striking down Louisiana’s abortion restriction is unquestionably the vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. He determined the outcome. While he may have previewed his position a year ago when he voted to stay the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Law, Stanford, Louisiana, King, John Roberts, Roberts, Williamson, Lochner, Alito, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Breyer

Symposium: The chief justice restores the Casey standard even while undermining women’s interests in Louisiana

Erika Bachiochi is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Senior Fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute. Follow her at @erikabachiochi. In comparison to the high court’s bombshell opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County earlier this month, June Medical Services v. Russo would seem relatively straightforward. The challenged admitting privileges requirement for Louisiana abortion providers is virtually the same as the law struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt just four year...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, Court, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, John Roberts, Richard Posner, Roberts, Alito, Clayton County, Casey

Opinion analysis: With Roberts providing the fifth vote, court strikes down Louisiana abortion law (Updated)

Four years ago, by a vote of 5-3, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that (among other things) required doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy joined his four more liberal colleagues in holding that, although Texas has a genuine interest in protecting the health of pregnant women, there was no evidence that the law actually did anything to promote that interest – but it did make it more difficult for wo...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, New Orleans, Louisiana, Kennedy, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts, Baton Rouge, District Court, Alito, U S Court of Appeals

SCOTUS Liberals Take Last Stand In The Face Of Almost Certain Abortion Case Defeat

The liberal contingent of the Supreme Court sounded off during Wednesday’s oral arguments about the legality of Louisiana’s abortion regulation law, which is nearly identical to a Texas law the court struck down two years ago. What’s changed since then is the composition of the Court, which has shifted to the right since Justice Anthony Kennedy’s 2018 departure. Kennedy had joined the liberals in ruling against the Texas law in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  But Wedn...
Tags: Health, Texas, News, Supreme Court, Abortion, Louisiana, Department Of Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Madison, Wall, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Ginsburg, Alito, Roe

Argument preview: Abortion debate returns to the Roberts Court

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post ran on January 27, 2020, as an introduction to this blog’s symposium on June Medical Services v. Russo, as well as at Howe on the Court, where it was originally published. When he ran for president in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump promised that, if elected, he would appoint “pro-life” Supreme Court justices, which would result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. In the three ...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Idaho, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Center For Reproductive Rights, Kennedy, Trump, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts

Symposium: Abortion debate returns to the Roberts Court

When he ran for president in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump promised that, if elected, he would appoint “pro-life” Supreme Court justices, which would result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. In the three years since taking office, Trump has put two new justices on the bench: Justice Neil Gorsuch, who filled the vacancy created after the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was ...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Idaho, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Center For Reproductive Rights, Kennedy, Trump, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts

Symposium: In the Louisiana abortion case, maybe the best defense is a good offense

Michael C. Dorf is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. He blogs at . Chief Justice John Roberts surprised some observers when he joined his four more liberal colleagues to grant a stay of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in . The stay blocked Louisiana’s law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The petitioners argued that the Louisiana law was substantially similar to the Tex...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Senate, Court, Mitch McConnell, Nebraska, Knox, Louisiana, SEIU, Cornell University, Trump, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts

Empirical SCOTUS: If Ginsburg leaves, it could be the liberals’ biggest loss yet – A look back at previous justices replaced with more conservative successors

The saga over Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health seems to ebb and flow from the headlines almost daily. Part of the mystery relates to the amount of information shared with the public. We know that, while treating Ginsburg for rib fractures, doctors found malignant lesions in her lungs that were promptly removed, and that subsequent tests have shown no evidence of any other cancer. Ginsburg has since missed oral arguments and is reportedly recovering at home while keeping current with the cour...
Tags: Health, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Planned Parenthood, Washington Post, Kentucky, White House, Politico, Barack Obama, Indiana, Austin, United States, Kansas, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Kennedy: A justice who changed his mind

Daniel Hemel is an assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School. Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the online-sales-tax case South Dakota v. Wayfair was his final — and most significant — decision involving the dormant commerce clause doctrine, which prohibits state and local governments from passing laws that discriminate against or unduly burden interstate commerce unless Congress consents. Wayfair also was a sharp break from Kennedy’s dormant commerce clause ...
Tags: Health, Texas, Maryland, Law, Congress, California, Planned Parenthood, Newegg, Walmart, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, South Dakota, Davis, North Carolina, Kennedy, Thomas

The Truth About the Post-Truth World (And Why Businesses Should Care)

  Continuing with a longstanding tradition, the Oxford Dictionary has chosen 2016’s word of the year: post-truth. Sound nonsensical? That’s actually kind of the point. Post-truth, according to Oxford, is, “an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.’” In a year punctuated by a bitter American election and mind-boggling Brexit vote, that sounds about right...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Facebook, Post, Design, Colorado, Marketing, US, Sales, Neuroscience, Research, Oxford, Emotions, Starbucks, Dc, Vox

Alito (Religion) v. Alito (Abortion)

Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent from a denial of certiorari in Storman’s Inc. v. Wiesman (2016) undermines his opposition to abortion and is a devastating rebuttal to the conservative dissents in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016).  His accusation that Washington engaged in a religious gerrymander implicitly acknowledges that no secular reason exists for opposing birth control and abortion.  Alito’s concern for the plight of those who might have to travel an extra mile or so for needed me...
Tags: Health, Texas, Washington, Smith, Branding, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Samuel Alito, Hellerstedt, Storman, Mark Graber, Employment Division

Symposium: Is Hellerstedt this Generation’s Roe?

Erika Bachiochi is a Visiting Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Research Fellow at the University of St. Thomas Law School. There is no question that the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is a win for abortion clinics and their doctors. Whether the decision is a victory for women and for liberty, we ought not be so sure. Abortion-rights organizations quickly claimed that the decision was this generation’s Roe v. Wade, and in certain ways...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito, Roe, Casey, Breyer, GONZALES, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito

Symposium: The wages of guerrilla warfare against abortion

Michael C. Dorf is the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University Law School; he blogs at Dorf on Law and is the co-author of the book Beating Hearts: Abortion & Animal Rights (2016). During the oral argument last year in Glossip v. Gross, Justice Samuel Alito accused the lawyers arguing that Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol was unconstitutional of trying to take advantage of a “guerilla war against the death penalty” by pressuring companies to make tested drugs unavailable and...
Tags: Health, Texas, Law, Court, Oklahoma, Thomas, Alito, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Dorf, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Hellerstedt, Glossip, HB

Whole Woman's Health I: Justice Kennedy's Undue Burden Test

“Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court” is the most important, unnecessary and interesting sentence in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016).  The sentence is important because even unsophisticated court observers could deduce that the Texas regulations on abortion were going to be declared unconstitutional once they knew that Justice Breyer was writing the majority opinion.  The sentence is unnecessary because almost every paragraph in the majority opinion exhibits Justice Brey...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Court, United States, Les Miserables, Kennedy, Branding, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Breyer, GONZALES, Anthony Kennedy, Carhart, Mark Graber

For the Supreme Court, March Comes in Like a Lion - And Goes Out Like One, Too

March 2016 was the Supreme Court’s first full month in session with only eight justices in more than 25 years -- and its first in almost 30 years without Antonin Scalia. The difference was clearly felt all month long. The cases that so sharply divided the Court in March on reproductive rights, religion and other issues, and the controversy outside the Court resulting from the Republican Senate’s refusal to even consider the President’s nominee to fill the vacancy, have underlined the imp...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Senate, Court, Tennessee, Nebraska, Huffington Post, Kennedy, Thomas, Friedrichs, Antonin Scalia, Scalia, Roberts, Ginsburg, California Teachers Association

Argument analysis: Two options on abortion law?

Analysis It was unmistakably clear on Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s first close look at abortion rights in nine years will turn on the reaction of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, and there were at least sturdy hints that he would lead the Court in one of two directions.  In an intense argument in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that ran nineteen minutes longer than scheduled, Kennedy seemed poised to find a way out of a four-to-four split — if the initial vote comes to that — or to strike d...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Obama, New York City, Court, Analysis, Center For Reproductive Rights, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Alito, Casey, Sotomayor, Anthony M Kennedy

How A Right-Wing Media Myth Made It Into Oral Arguments For A Case Challenging Texas' Restrictive Abortion Law

In the oral arguments for Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt -- the case before the Supreme Court concerning Texas' anti-choice law, HB 2 -- Texas Solicitor General Scott Keller relied on a common right-wing media myth to justify medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. In his argument, Keller made the long-debunked claim -- pushed for years by right-wing media -- that HB 2 was passed to prevent another "Kermit Gosnell scandal," in which illegal operations led to multiple deaths at a Phi...
Tags: Health, Hollywood, Texas, Supreme Court, Alabama, Fox, Pennsylvania, United States, New York Times, Rick Perry, The Times, Fox News, Philadelphia, Louisiana, Msnbc, Crowley

Monday round-up

Justice Samuel Alito took his seat on the Court ten years ago yesterday. Reporting on the anniversary for the ABA Journal, Mark Walsh observes that Alito “has quietly helped move the court rightward on issues such as race in K-12 education, abortion rights, campaign finance, voting rights and religious accommodation.” Tamara Tabo of Above the Law contends that Alito may be “the most important conservative currently on the Court,” because he is “more coherent than Kennedy, more conventional than ...
Tags: Health, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Jordan, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal, Aba, Kennedy, Montgomery, Miller, Round-up, Thomas, John Roberts, Scalia, Roberts

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