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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


Opinion analysis: Justices uphold condition for HIV/AIDS funding

Seven years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that nongovernmental organizations based in the United States cannot be required to have a policy that expressly opposes prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive government funds to fight HIV/AIDS. However, by a vote of 5-3, the court held today in U.S. Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International that enforcement of a similar requirement against the foreign affiliates of the same U.S.-based NGOs does not vio...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Cnn, United States, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Agency for International Development, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh


America Loves Ruth Bader Ginsburg, But Isn’t Too Fond Of Brett Kavanaugh Or Neil Gorsuch

People either don't like them very much or don't even know who they are.
Tags: Law, America, Courts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch


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


Friday round-up

Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports for The New York Times that “[t]he Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act — a move that, if successful, would bring a permanent end to the health insurance program popularly known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans.” At ABC News, Devin Dwyer reports that “[t]he administration makes the case in a legal brief filed Thursday in” California v. Texas, “the case brought by 20 Republi...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Bloomberg, New York Times, Npr, Usa Today, Abc News, Kevin Johnson, Department Of Homeland Security, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, University Of California, ABA Journal, Trump, Round-up


Wednesday round-up

At NBC News (via How Appealing), Julie Moreau reports that last week’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, in which the court held that federal employment discrimination law protects gay and transgender employees, “which was widely praised by LGBTQ advocates but condemned by social conservatives[,] will likely have broad ramifications that go far beyond employment protections.” At the Duke Center for Firearms Law’s Second Thoughts blog, Darrell Miller looks at the decision’s “implica...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Court, Nbc News, Bloomberg, Lgbtq, Trump, Round-up, Stephens, EEOC, Urban Institute, Rodriguez, Daily Journal, Goldstein Russell, City of San Jose


Interim Stat Pack for October Term 2019

OT 2019 has turned out to be a term of unexpected twists and turns. From coronavirus and an oral argument sitting in May — instead of March and April — with remote arguments for the first time ever, to fewer decided cases than in any term since the 19th century, to Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the court’s liberals in some of the most significant decisions of the term, nothing seems to be going according to common expectations. This interim Stat Pack contains data for all decided and ar...
Tags: Featured, Law, Georgia, Department Of Homeland Security, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, University Of California, Republican National Committee, John Roberts, Roberts, Alito, Democratic National Committee, Samuel Alito, Regents, Kavanaugh, Brett Kavanaugh, Office of the Solicitor General


Symposium: SCOTUS 2020 and the DACA decision: just another reason to wish it were still 2019

Kimberly Hermann is General Counsel at Southeastern Legal Foundation, which filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. The date is June 19, 2020. The America we live in today is drastically different from the America we lived in when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. In the past six months, our country has endured a pandemic, economic instability, tragedy, hard yet overdue conversations and riots. I...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, America, Barack Obama, Dhs, Pandora, United States, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, Environmental Protection Agency, University Of California, Duke


Symposium: DACA déjà vu

Nicholas Bronni is the solicitor general for the state of Arkansas, which joined an amicus brief in support of the federal government in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. Yesterday, the Supreme Court concluded that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke acted arbitrarily and capriciously when she rescinded the Obama administration’s memorandum creating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But although that decision is important,...
Tags: New York, Featured, Law, Obama, Congress, Court, Barack Obama, Arkansas, Nielsen, Department Of Homeland Security, Executive Branch, State Farm, Trump, Thomas, John Roberts, Roberts


Opinion analysis: Court rejects Trump administration’s effort to end DACA (Updated)

It has been eight years since the Obama administration created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, which allows undocumented young adults who came to the United States as children to apply for protection from deportation. In 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would end the program, which it believed had been illegal in the first place. Today, by a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the administration acted improperly in terminating the program,...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Microsoft, Law, Obama, Congress, California, Mexico, Dhs, United States, Nielsen, District Of Columbia, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, Duke


Opinion analysis: Appalachian Trail no barrier for major gas pipeline

In one of the major environmental cases of the term, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 this week that the U.S. Forest Service could permit the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross underneath the Appalachian Trail in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. The ruling in the consolidated cases U.S. Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association and Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association lifts one major obstacle to the 600-mile pipeline, which could carry ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Virginia, West Virginia, Circuit, North Carolina, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, East Coast, Forest Service, Duke Energy, Trail, National Park Service, Midwest, Thomas


Justices block Texas execution

Tonight the Supreme Court put a temporary hold on the execution of Texas death-row inmate Ruben Gutierrez, who had been scheduled to die at 7 p.m. EDT. In a short unsigned order, the justices granted a request by Gutierrez to stay his execution while it considers his petition to review his case on the merits. Gutierrez has spent more than 20 years on death row for the murder of 85-year-old Escolastica Harrison. Gutierrez and an accomplice robbed Harrison of cash, beat her and stabbed her repea...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Muslim, Catholic, Christian, Buddhist, Murphy, Gutierrez, Howe, Harrison, U S Court of Appeals, Patrick Murphy, Kavanaugh, 5th Circuit


Symposium: Progressive textualism and LGBTQ rights

Katie Eyer is a professor of law at Rutgers Law School. She co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of scholars of statutory interpretation and equality law arguing that textualism required a finding in favor of LGBTQ employees.  Title VII has prohibited discrimination “because of … sex” since 1964—and yet many lower courts have long held that employers are free to discriminate against LGBTQ employees. Yesterday, the Supreme Court held that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is indeed “because of sex” unde...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, John, Lgbtq, Thomas, Mark, Antonin Scalia, Susan, Scalia, EEOC, Baxter, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh


Relist Watch: And then there was one

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relist. Whatever the opposite of “status quo watch” is, that is what we have this week. In one remarkable day, the Supreme Court denied review to the 10 relisted firearm cases (over the dissenting opinion of Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Brett Kavanaugh and, somewhat surprisingly, no one else); the nine relisted qualified immunity cases (over the dissenting opinion of Thomas, who argued that “[b]ecause our [42 U.S.C.] §1983 qualified immunity doctrine ap...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, United States, Archer, Kansas, Rogers, Thomas, Alito, Andrus, Clarence Thomas, Henry Schein Inc, Samuel Alito, Texas Court of Criminal 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


Symposium: The triumph of textualism: “Only the written word is the law”

Jonathan Skrmetti is chief deputy attorney general of the state of Tennessee, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of 15 states in support of the employers in Bostock v. Clayton County and Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. Justice Elena Kagan famously remarked, eulogizing her friend Justice Antonin Scalia, that “[w]e are all textualists now.”  Bostock v. Clayton County puts to rest any doubt about that sentiment. Although the 6-3 decision prompted vigorous dissents, all nine justices adopt a purely...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Tennessee, District Of Columbia, Antonin Scalia, Scalia, EEOC, Matthew Shepard, Alito, Clayton County, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Kavanaugh


Empirical SCOTUS: Interesting meetings of the minds of Supreme Court justices

Unanimity in the Supreme Court used to be the norm. In the early years of court history there were few dissents, and so there was little opportunity to examine differences between the justices outside of how they authored their majority opinions. This practice has changed over the years, and decisions are more frequently divided rather than unanimous. Certain justices are also more likely to vote alongside, or against, one another. Differences in voting agreements can be somewhat staggering. ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, State, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg, Alito, William Rehnquist, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan


After long wait, court spurns gun-rights challenges

In late April the Supreme Court sent a challenge to the constitutionality of New York City’s ban on the transport of handguns outside the city back to the lower court without ruling on whether the ban was constitutional. By a vote of 6-3, the justices concluded that the case was moot – that is, no longer a live controversy – because the city had changed the rule last year. In a concurring opinion, Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested that the lower courts “may not be properly applying” the Supreme ...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, New York City, Court, New Jersey, Rogers, Thomas, Howe, Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh, Grewal, Cases in the Pipeline, Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Rogers


Opinion analysis: Federal employment discrimination law protects gay and transgender employees (Updated)

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination “because of sex.” Today the Supreme Court, by a vote of 6-3, ruled that even if Congress may not have had discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status in mind when it enacted the landmark law over a half century ago, Title VII’s ban on discrimination protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees. Because fewer than half of the 50 states currently ban employment discrimination based on gender ident...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, Lgbt, Court, House Of Representatives, Michigan, John Roberts, Scalia, Stephens, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Howe, Donna, Alito


FAQs: Announcements of orders and opinions

This post — which is an updated version of posts that we have published in earlier terms — addresses some of the questions about orders and opinion announcements that we have commonly received during our live blogs. If you have a question that you don’t see answered here, please feel free to ask it during today’s live blog. ORDERS Question: What do you mean by orders? Answer: When we talk about orders or the order list, we are usually referring to the actions that the court took at its most rece...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Live, United States, Elena Kagan, New York State Rifle Pistol Association, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, City of New York


"Each passing day sees more scenes that recall something closer to cult religion than politics."

"White protesters in Floyd’s Houston hometown kneeling and praying to black residents for 'forgiveness… for years and years of racism' are one thing, but what are we to make of white police in Cary, North Carolina, kneeling and washing the feet of Black pastors? What about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer kneeling while dressed in 'African kente cloth scarves'? There is symbolism here that goes beyond frustration with police or even with racism: these are orgiastic, quasi-religious, and most of al...
Tags: Law, Journalism, Matt Taibbi, Nancy Pelosi, Houston, James Comey, Floyd, Chuck Schumer, Cary North Carolina, Robert Mueller, Ann Althouse, Religion Substitutes, Brett Kavanaugh, Religion And Journalism, Ukrainegate


You be the political consultant: Should Joe Biden release a SCOTUS short-list?

I continue to think that then-candidate Donald Trump's decision in May 2016 to release a list of people he would consider as potential Supreme Court appointments was a quite clever and consequential campaign strategy.  Among other political benefits, the list honored and vindicated the decision by Senate Republicans to refuse of consider then-Prez Obama's nomination to the Court and reminded voters that the first critical act of whomever was to be elected in 2016 was to reshape the composition o...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Scotus, Abc, Senate, White House, Court, America, Joe Biden, Gop, Biden, Naacp, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump, Hill


Opinion analysis: Supreme Court protects defined-benefit plan fiduciaries from lawsuits

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held in Thole v. U.S. Bank that participants and beneficiaries in defined-benefit plans do not have the legal right, known as standing, to assert fiduciary breach claims, at least in the absence of catastrophic plan and sponsor failure. James Thole and Sherry Smith, retirees from U.S. Bank, alleged that plan fiduciaries breached their duties of loyalty and care, which caused the plan to lose more than $748 million. After the district court held that Thole and...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Labor, Smith, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, U S Bank, ERISA, U S Court of Appeals, Elena Kagan, Department of Labor, Sandra Day O'Connor, Gorsuch


Opinion analysis: Federal courts can review factual findings of a Convention Against Torture claim raised as a defense to crime-based removal

In a narrow, textualist decision, the Supreme Court today agreed with Nidal Khalid Nasrallah that a federal court of appeals has jurisdiction to review, albeit deferentially, the factual basis of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of his claim that he qualifies for protection under the Convention Against Torture. Nasrallah sought the United States’ protection under CAT, which prohibits removal of a noncitizen to a country where the noncitizen likely would be tortured. An immigration judge ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Thomas, John Roberts, Alito, U S Court of Appeals, Nasrallah, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Kavanaugh, INS, 11th Circuit, United Nations Convention Against Torture


Chief Justice Upholds CA COVID Restrictions Because FFS Grocery Stores Aren’t Churches

Wegmans is a sacred space, but it's not actually a church!
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Religion, Courts, First Amendment, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh


"Last night the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis...."

"The court issued only a terse order in the Illinois case that referred to the new guidance issued by the state earlier this week. But the justices were closely divided in the California case, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing a late-night opinion to explain his decision to deny relief. The California case was filed on Tuesday by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church, which is located in Chula Vista, California – just south of San Diego. The church argued th...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, California, Chicago, San Diego, Illinois, San Diego County, Gavin Newsom, State, John Roberts, Roberts, Kavanaugh, Chula Vista California, Religion And Government, Ann Althouse, SCOTUSblog


Court declines to lift restrictions on crowds at church services (UPDATED)

Last night the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The churches had asked the justices earlier this week to lift restrictions on crowds in time for them to hold services on Sunday, when Christians celebrate the holy day of Pentecost. But the justices turned them down. The court issued only a terse order in the Illinois case that referred to the new guidance issu...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Chicago, San Diego, Illinois, San Diego County, Gavin Newsom, Thomas, John Roberts, South Bay, Roberts, Kavanaugh, Chula Vista California, What's Happening Now


Court declines to lift restrictions on crowds at church services

Last night the Supreme Court declined to intervene in challenges by churches in southern California and the Chicago area to stay-at-home orders issued as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The churches had asked the justices earlier this week to lift restrictions on crowds in time for them to hold services on Sunday, when Christians celebrate the holy day of Pentecost. But the justices turned them down. The court issued only a terse order in the Illinois case that referred to the new guidance issu...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Chicago, San Diego, Illinois, San Diego County, Gavin Newsom, John Roberts, South Bay, Roberts, Chula Vista California, What's Happening Now, Brett Kavanaugh, San Diego County Health Department


Empirical SCOTUS: How the justices and advocates spent their speaking time during the May arguments

Editor’s note: This is the third post in a series analyzing the Supreme Court’s telephonic oral arguments with live audio instituted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court heard some of the most important cases of the term in a month when there almost were no arguments at all. The court canceled its March and April sittings due to COVID-19. With flexible ingenuity, it then rescheduled 10 arguments for May, which was the first time the court has had anything near a full May sitting since...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Pennsylvania, United States, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Francisco, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Vance, Fisher, Roberts, Alito, Koons, Sotomayor



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