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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: 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


Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court released decisions in three cases, including one of the highest-profile cases of the term. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court, by a vote of 5-4, struck down a Louisiana law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi provides an analysis at Subscript Law. Ronn Blitzer and others report at Fox News t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington Post, Mexico, Court, US, Bloomberg, Cnn, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal


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


Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court released one of its most eagerly anticipated decisions of the term, holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that federal employment discrimination law protects gay and transgender employees. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. At Reuters, Lawrence Hurley reports that “[t]he landmark 6-3 ruling represented the biggest m...
Tags: Texas, Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Washington Post, Virginia, Bloomberg, Cnn, United States, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Npr, Usa Today, Donald Trump


Wednesday round-up

At The Washington Free Beacon, Kevin Daley reports that Monday’s decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, in which a fractured court ruled that the Constitution requires a unanimous jury verdict in state criminal trials, “featured a continuing debate over the force of precedent” that “was something of a proxy for disputes over basic principles.” The editorial board of (subscription required) observes that the ruling “offers an illuminating look at the diversity of conservative thought.” Matt Ford write...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, New York Times, Wisconsin, Epa, Christian, Louisiana, Foley Hoag, ABA Journal, Round-up, New Republic, Josh Blackman, Adam Liptak, Ramos, Mark Walsh


Interim Stat Pack for October Term 2019

The Supreme Court has experienced a series of upheavals since October Term 2014 – and the current term is proving to be no exception. In February 2016, Justice Antonin Scalia passed away, leaving the court with eight members until Justice Neil Gorsuch came on board in April 2017. Then Justice Anthony Kennedy retired at the end of the 2017-2018 term. Justice Brett Kavanaugh took his place on the court in the second week of October Term 2018. Now with a slate of nine justices who could be on the ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, New York City, Department Of Homeland Security, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Corrections, University Of California, Trump, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Scalia, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Roberts, Ginsburg, Roberts Court


Ask the author: Lawyers’ law – Those who helped the Supreme Court shape the environmental law of the land

The following is a series of questions posed by Ronald Collins to Richard Lazarus in connection with Lazarus’ new book, “The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court” (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020). Lazarus is the Howard and Katherine Aibel Professor of Law at Harvard University, where he teaches environmental law, natural resources law, Supreme Court advocacy and torts. His previous works include “The Making of Environmental Law” (2004) and “Environmental...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, White House, Massachusetts, Court, Book Reviews, Chicago, United States, Harvard University, Paris, Warren, Epa


A “view” from the courtroom: “Strong feelings” in the latest abortion case

The court has just one case today to close out the argument portion of the February sitting, but it’s a big one. In June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, the justices will consider whether Louisiana’s law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals conflicts with the court’s decision just four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt striking down a similar law in Texas. There is also the cross-petition from Louisiana about whether abortion providers have th...
Tags: New York, Texas, Featured, Law, Congress, Chicago, Aclu, New Orleans, Dallas, Louisiana, Wall, Center For Reproductive Rights, Craig, John Roberts, East Texas, American Civil Liberties Union


Empirical SCOTUS: Things we haven’t seen before at the outset of a Roberts Court term

Editor’s note: The datasets in this piece were run before the court’s 5-4 decision in Kansas v. Garcia on March 3. The piece was originally published at Empirical SCOTUS. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is traditionally one of the most active justices at the beginning of each Supreme Court term. It should come as no surprise therefore that she authored three of the court’s first 13 decisions for the 2019 term. She tends to have the backing of the full court in these early term decisions, and her maj...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Arizona, Kansas, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Thompson, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Garcia, John Roberts, Scalia


Argument analysis: Justices grapple with Louisiana abortion law (Updated)

In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that (among other things) required doctors who perform abortions in that state to have the right to admit patients at nearby hospitals. In that case, Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the court’s four more liberal justices in concluding that the law made it harder for women to obtain abortions while not doing anything, despite the state’s argument to the contrary, to protect the health of pregnant women. Today the Supreme Court considered the const...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, DOE, Wall, Kennedy, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Ginsburg, Alito, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


Wednesday round-up

This morning the justices wrap up the February session with an oral argument in one of the marquee cases of the term, June Medical Services v. Russo, which involves a challenge to a Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Eric Cummings and Andrew Kingsbury have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. At Subscrip...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington Post, Court, Cnn, Liberty, New York Times, Kansas, SEC, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Chevron, Wall Street Journal


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: Resurrecting the fountainhead of removal doctrine

Ilya Shapiro is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, where Trevor Burrus is a research fellow and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. They filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been controversial since its creation. First proposed by then-Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB administers 19 federal consumer-pro...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Washington, Senate, America, United States, United, Ftc, Fed, Morrison, Antonin Scalia, Taft, Scalia


Symposium: Does the president have the right to fire the director of the CFPB without cause?

Alan B. Morrison is the Lerner Family Associate Dean for Public Interest & Public Service Law at George Washington University Law School. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of neither party in Seila Law, LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. For many years, supporters of the unitary executive theory have been hoping that the Supreme Court would take on the question of whether Congress can protect the heads of independent federal agencies from removal by the president except for cause, as ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, California, Barack Obama, United States, House Of Representatives, Federal Communications Commission, Donald Trump, National Labor Relations Board, Kennedy, Paul Clement, Securities And Exchange Commission, Trump


"What If Ordinary Juries Were More Like Impeachment Juries?"

The question in the title of this post is from this great new piece from The Appeal by Sarah Lustbader.  The piece thoughtfully builds off this post of mine from the past weekend titled "Some GOP Senators, fully aware of the mandatory minimum sentence, embrace a form of jury nullification to justify acquittal of Prez Trump."  Here is how it concludes: Rubio and Alexander are probably trying to hold on to their jobs; it’s hard to believe that they are taking a principled stance about mandatory m...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Virginia, Gop, United States, Ohio, Republican, St Louis, Turner, Rubio, Alexander, Powers, Stevenson, Anthony Kennedy, Seth Stevenson


Symposium: June Medical Services and the future of Article III standing in abortion cases

Leah Litman is an assistant professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School. She joined an amicus brief on behalf of constitutional law scholars in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Gee and the cross-respondents in Gee v. June Medical Services. Steve Vladeck is the A. Dalton Cross Professor in Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law. He joined an amicus brief on behalf of federal courts scholars in support of the petitioners and the cross-respondents...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Washington, Court, Nebraska, Louisiana, Meyer, Craig, Antonin Scalia, Hart, Scalia, Harvard Law Review, Carey


Symposium: Abortion: A right in name only?

Jennifer Dalven is the director of the Reproductive Freedom Project at the ACLU, which filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in June Medical Services v. Gee . Is the Supreme Court going to overturn Roe v. Wade ? Everywhere I go, that’s the question I get. And to be sure, it’s a legitimate and very frightening question. After all, in 2019 alone, seven states passed laws banning abortion from the earliest days of pregnancy, all in the hopes of getting the Supreme Court to ov...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Aclu, Louisiana, American Medical Association, Court of Appeals, Roe, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Anthony Kennedy, American College of Obstetricians, Hellerstedt


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


Empirical SCOTUS: Activist or restrained, the current court’s movement is often directed by the chief justice

At the helm of the Senate impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts is engaged in politics in a manner distinct from any other role he has or will play on the Supreme Court. At the impeachment trial Roberts presides over the Senate, mainly ruling on procedural issues, but he has also shown a willingness to exert control of the proceedings when he feels it is necessary. In this political thicket, the chief justice is working within a checks and balances framework that entangles the three bran...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Senate, United States, Baker, Miller, American Legion, Frank, Thomas, Carr, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Coleman, Roberts, Alito, Elena Kagan


A “view” from the courtroom: The daily grind

As the first substantive day of the impeachment trial wore on, and on, from yesterday into the early morning hours of today, one cable-TV pundit suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts might not feel compelled to attend today’s oral argument in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, an important case about government aid to religious education. That seemed most unlikely, although other thoughts went through my mind. One was a remark by the late Justice Antonin Scalia during arguments over ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Nbc News, Austin, Bill Clinton, Salem, Donald Trump, Sarah, Antonin Scalia, Scott, John Roberts, Emma, Roberts


Federal government’s brief in abortion case supports Louisiana’s position, raises possibility of overruling Whole Woman’s Health

On March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in one of the biggest cases of the new year: the challenge to the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at a nearby hospital. Four years ago, the justices struck down a similar law from Texas, by a vote of 5-3. But the court has changed since then: Justice Anthony Kennedy, who joined his more liberal colleagues in voting to invalidate the Texas law, retired in 2018...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Philadelphia, Louisiana, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Anthony Kennedy, Hellerstedt, 5th Circuit, Gosnell, Kermit Gosnell


Decade in review: Abortion

Abortion was a hot-button issue at the Supreme Court during the past decade, as it has been for almost 50 years. The right to obtain an abortion before a fetus becomes viable was first recognized in 1973 in Roe v. Wade and then curtailed in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey , which allowed states to regulate pre-viability abortions as long as the regulations do not pose an undue burden on abortion access. But for most of this decade, there were five votes on the Supreme Court to affirm Roe...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Kennedy, Roe, Casey, Anthony Kennedy, Brett Kavanaugh, 2010-2019 Decade in review


Decade in review: Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing

On July 9, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh, then a 53-year-old appeals court judge, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Republicans praised the pick and made plans to move forward quickly with a hearing and a vote, while Democrats rallied against Kavanaugh’s nomination but acknowledged that his confirmation was assured unless a few Republicans crossed the aisle. On September 4, the Senate Judiciary Committee began the hearing. The four...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, Senate, White House, Matt Damon, Fbi, Ford, Donald Trump, George W Bush, Senate Judiciary Committee, Anthony Kennedy, Kavanaugh, Jeff Flake R Ariz


Decade in review: Same-sex marriage

The LGBTQ rights movement experienced a handful of victories at the Supreme Court in the first half of the decade. A string of federal litigation culminated in the court’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges , which found that the Constitution includes a right for same-sex couples to marry. Although the court had addressed homosexuality in previous decades, it did not tackle the marriage question until a pair of 2013 decisions in Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor . Bot...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, United States, Kennedy, Windsor, Perry, Anthony Kennedy, Hodges, Obergefell, Hollingsworth, Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Masterpiece Cakeshop, 2010-2019 Decade in review


Decade in review: Citizens United and campaign spending

One of the first blockbuster Supreme Court decisions of the past 10 years will surely affect the election taking place at the beginning of the new decade. In January 2010, the court ruled 5-4 in  Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that corporations and unions have a First Amendment right to engage in independent spending to influence elections, overturning precedent to strike down part of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Barack Obama, Citizens United, McCain Feingold, Federal Election Commission, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, 2010-2019 Decade in review


Decade in review

As the second decade of the 21st century winds down, it’s a good time to take stock of what these past 10 years have meant for the Supreme Court – and, by extension, the country. The major change at the court, of course, has been in its makeup. Justices Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, and Anthony Kennedy, who retired in 2018, have been replaced by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, both chosen by President Donald Trump. The transition was marked by controversy and political polarizati...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Donald Trump, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, 2010-2019 Decade in review


Decade in review: The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy

The Supreme Court closed out its 2017-2018 term with high-profile rulings in the challenge to President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the United States by citizens of eight predominantly Muslim countries and the dispute over the payment of fees by public-sector employees who are represented by – but do not belong to – a union. But the biggest news of that term, and indeed of the decade, came shortly after the term ended, when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his plans to retire after 30 year...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Missouri, Muslim, Donald Trump, Kennedy, Trump, Anthony Kennedy, Kavanaugh, Sandra Day O'Connor, Brett Kavanaugh, 2010-2019 Decade in review


Empirical SCOTUS: The beginning of the 2019 term and how it stacks up

June is traditionally the month when the public focuses on the Supreme Court. Many of the court’s most politically tinged decisions in recent years were rendered during June. These include Rucho v. Common Cause and Department of Commerce v. New York (the census case) last term, Janus v. State, County, and Municipal Employees and Trump v. Hawaii the previous term, and Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project the term before that. Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was decided in June, a...
Tags: New York, Supreme Court, Law, Hawaii, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, King, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Ginsburg, Klemm, Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Burwell, Samuel Alito


A look back at 2019: A tale of two terms?

Any review of a calendar year at the Supreme Court necessarily includes two different terms: the term that ends in June and the new one that begins in October and will run into the following year. But a look back at 2019, in particular, reveals two very different terms. In the wake of the June 2018 retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who for many years had been the court’s “swing justice,” and the contentious confirmation hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Kennedy’s successor, the term tha...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Mississippi, Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, California, Washington, Mexico, Kentucky, White House, Lgbt, New York City, Alabama, Department Of Defense



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