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Empirical SCOTUS: The importance of state court cases before the Supreme Court

Supreme Court review is often thought of as mainly monitoring the federal courts and circuit splits. The reasons for this are obvious. Article III of the Constitution gives the Supreme Court broad authority to review questions of federal law, but the court’s power to supervise state courts has been limited since the Judiciary Act of 1789, which made clear that the Supreme Court cannot review state court judgments on questions of purely state law. Rule 10 of the Supreme Court Rules, which sets fo...
Tags: Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, South Dakota, Hogan Lovells, Ford Motor, American Bar Association, Jones, Ford Motor Company, Roberts, Neal Katyal, U S Chamber of Commerce, U S Court of Appeals, Eric Miller, Espinoza


Monday round-up

Briefly: In USA Today, Richard Wolf examines how the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this summer in June Medical Services v. Russo, striking down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law, is affecting other abortion litigation in the lower courts. Wolf reports that “[o]fficials in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma have in recent weeks argued that the high court’s narrow 5-4 ruling actually bolsters their defense of anti-abortion laws,” largely as a result of Chief Justice John Roberts’ c...
Tags: Usa, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Round-up, Wolf, John Roberts, Richard Wolf, Clayton County, Montana Department of Revenue, Russo, Espinoza, June Medical Services, Bostock


Wednesday round-up

Briefly: At the Legal Docket podcast, Mary Reichard and Jenny Rough speak with Kendra Espinoza, the lead challenger in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which the Supreme Court decided in June that Montana could not prohibit a state scholarship program from helping families who send their children to religious schools. The Omaha World-Herald republishes a recent Los Angeles Times editorial calling for the court to make live audio of oral arguments a permanent feature. The live audio...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, India, Los Angeles Times, Round-up, U S Supreme Court, Montana Department of Revenue, Raj, Omaha World Herald, Espinoza, Mary Reichard, Kendra Espinoza, Jenny Rough, Vatsal Raj


Symposium: Free exercise, RFRA and the need for a constitutional safety net

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Kim Colby is director of the Christian Legal Society’s Center for Law and Religious Freedom. She was counsel on amicus briefs on behalf of the Christian Legal Society in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Tanzin v. Tanvir and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. Americans’ religious freedom depends on a patchwork of protections scattered throughout fed...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Fbi, House Of Representatives, Bill Clinton, Philadelphia, Catholic, Smith, Fulton, The Supreme Court, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Roberts, Clayton County


Monday round-up

Briefly: In the Atlantic, Ryan Doerfler and Samuel Moyn weigh in on the debate over potential structural reforms to the Supreme Court, arguing that Democrats should abandon proposals to add justices or impose term limits and, instead, should strip power from the institution itself by “removing certain cases from its jurisdiction, requiring a greater number of justices to agree in order to interfere with democratic choices, or letting Congress override any glaring mistakes.” At the National Revi...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Atlantic, United States, Vermont, Round-up, National Review, Kenneth Jost, Jost, Montana Department of Revenue, Kane County, Espinoza, Samuel Moyn, Des Moines Independent Community School District, John Bursch


Symposium: Religious freedom and the Roberts court’s doctrinal clean-up

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and is the founding director of the school’s Program on Church, State and Society. He wrote or joined amicus briefs in several of the cases described below, including most recently joining an amicus brief on behalf of the petitioners in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru. Tho...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Smith, Morrissey, Larry David, Lemon, American Legion, Antonin Scalia, Thomas Jefferson, John Roberts, Fulton


Symposium: The unfolding revolution in the jurisprudence of the religion clauses

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean and Jesse H. Choper distinguished professor of law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Howard Gillman is the chancellor and a professor of political science and law at University of California, Irvine. Their book, “The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State,” will be published by Oxford University Press in September. Although there were ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Philadelphia, Catholic, Smith, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American Legion, Trump, John Roberts, Fulton, Board of Education, EEOC


Symposium: Amid polarization and chaos, the court charts a path toward peaceful pluralism

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Mark Rienzi is president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents parties or amici in many of the cases described below, including Bostock v. Clayton County, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia and Tanzin v. Tanvir. Rienzi is also a professor of law at the ...
Tags: Featured, Law, Congress, Montana, City, Css, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Catholic, Smith, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Small, American Legion, Harvard Law School, Sonia Sotomayor


Symposium: Religions’ wins are losses

This is the first entry in a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Leslie C. Griffin is the William S. Boyd professor of law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the author of Law and Religion: Cases and Materials. She wrote amicus briefs in support of the respondents in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, and she is writing an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Fulton v. City of Philade...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Fbi, Pennsylvania, United States, Pakistan, Philadelphia, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Salvation Army, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor


Event recap: 2020 Supreme Court Roundup Webinar with Casetext

Casetext and SCOTUSblog hosted a webinar on July 23 to debrief the blockbuster 2019-20 Supreme Court term. SCOTUSblog Publisher and Co-Founder Tom Goldstein and Goldstein & Russell Partner Sarah Harrington led the discussion, moderated by Casetext Chief Operating Officer Laura Safdie. The event was co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Federalist Society.  The webinar began with an overview of the current landscape of Supreme Court litigation. Sarah covered the court’s...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Pennsylvania, United States, ACS, Lgbtq, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Department Of Homeland Security, University Of California, Sarah, Casetext, Trump, Tom, John Roberts


Monday round-up

The Supreme Court’s Friday night decision to deny emergency relief to a Nevada church that challenged the state’s coronavirus restrictions generated strong reactions over the weekend. In a story for SCOTUSblog (which was first published at Howe on the Court), Amy Howe explains the church’s challenge to a state policy that limits church gatherings to 50 people while allowing other facilities – including bars and casinos – to operate at 50% of their capacity. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Court, Comcast, Npr, Nevada, Oklahoma, Round-up, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Jess Bravin, Nina Totenberg, Clayton County


John Roberts: Mr. First Amendment

Ronald Collins is the books editor for SCOTUSblog. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the First Amendment Salons and was formerly the Harold S. Shefelman scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. David Hudson, Jr. is an assistant professor of law at Belmont University. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of numerous books, and he has published widely on First Amendment issues. “I would never underestimate his ability to influence people.” – Joan Biskupic, discussing her book ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Massachusetts, Court, United States, Citizens United, Quinn, Price, Madison, Kennedy, Trump, Marshall, Thomas, Reed


Thursday round-up

For the second time this week, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in the middle of the night allowing the federal government to proceed with the execution of a person on death row. Mark Berman and Tim Elfrink of the Washington Post report that the court’s ruling, which cleared the way for the execution of Wesley Purkey, was posted after 3 a.m. on Thursday. The decision comes two days after the court issued a 5-4 ruling at 2 a.m. on Tuesday allowing the execution of Daniel Lee. The Lee execu...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Bloomberg, Indianapolis, Cnn, Pennsylvania, Fox News, Npr, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Baltimore, Trump, Round-up, Peter, Lee


Wednesday round-up

Two big stories generated substantial news coverage of the Supreme Court on Tuesday: the hospitalization of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the court’s 5-4 ruling allowing the federal government to begin reinstating the death penalty after a 17-year de facto moratorium on federal executions. In a story for SCOTUSblog that was first published at Howe on the Court, Amy Howe reports that Ginsburg was admitted Tuesday morning to the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with a possible infection afte...
Tags: Texas, Nbc, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Washington, Cnn, Pennsylvania, New York Times, Dallas, Department Of Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Baltimore, Wall Street Journal, Round-up, Fallon


Tuesday round-up

The ink is still drying on the Supreme Court’s opinions for the 2019-20 term, but court watchers are already looking ahead to the cases that will open next term. The court on Monday released its calendar of oral arguments for its October sitting, which will consist of 10 cases that initially had been scheduled for this spring but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amy Howe provides a run-down of all 10 cases in a story that first appeared at Howe on the Court. The October schedule indi...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Obamacare, California, Bloomberg, Atlantic, Pennsylvania, King, Round-up, Noah Feldman, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, John Marshall, Barr


Friday round-up

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued its final opinions of the 2019-20 term, deciding blockbuster cases on President Donald Trump’s financial documents and the status of Native American land in Oklahoma. Amy Howe explains the pair of rulings on Trump’s financial records in an analysis for SCOTUSblog that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Adam Liptak of the New York Times writes that the decision in Trump v. Vance — involving a Manhattan grand jury’s access to Trumps’s records — is “a stunning...
Tags: New York, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington Post, Cnn, Pennsylvania, United States, New York Times, Manhattan, Associated Press, Npr, Oklahoma, Usa Today, Donald Trump


Thursday round-up

At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that the court “will end its term Thursday morning with historic rulings that will probably determine whether the public sees President Donald Trump’s long-hidden financial records before the November election.” For The New York Times, Adam Liptak looks at the two cases involving the president’s records, “one concerning subpoenas from House committees, the other a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat.” Yesterday the court ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Bloomberg, Cnn, Pennsylvania, House, New York Times, Manhattan, Fox News, Catholic, The New York Times, Illinois, Vox


Opinion analysis: Court rules that Catholic elementary school teachers are “ministers,” cannot sue for employment discrimination

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that a doctrine known as the “ministerial exception,” which bars ministers from suing churches and other religious institutions for employment discrimination, prohibited a lawsuit filed by a teacher at a Lutheran school who was also an ordained minister. Today, by a vote of 7-2, the court held in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru that the exception also forecloses lawsuits by two teachers at Catholic elementary schools in southern California. Althou...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Los Angeles, Css, United States, Philadelphia, Catholic, Jesus Christ, Sonia Sotomayor, Fulton, 9th Circuit, The Supreme Court, Torrance, Howe


Wednesday round-up

For The Washington Post (subscription required), Robert Barnes reports that “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suffered a fall at a Maryland country club last month that required an overnight stay in the hospital, a Supreme Court spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday night.” Adam Liptak reports tor The New York Times that “[t]he chief justice has twice had seizures, in 1993 and 2007, but [the spokeswoman’s] statement said his latest fall had not been caused by one.” At CNN, Ariane de Vogue and Paul LeBl...
Tags: Maryland, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Montana, Court, Bloomberg, Ap, United States, New York Times, Keystone Xl, Marcus, Round-up, Robert Barnes, Roberts, Greenwire


Monday round-up

Today the Supreme Court will issue decisions in July for the first time since 1996, after the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of oral arguments in 10 cases. Greg Stohr reports at Bloomberg that “[t]he U.S. Supreme Court is poised to cap a term like no other with potentially blockbuster decisions covering birth control, religious rights and President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep his financial records private.” At The Hill, Harper Neidig and John Kruzel highlight “the five most-anti...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Bloomberg, Chicago, Louisiana, Illinois, Donald Trump, Forest Service, Round-up, Reuters, U S Supreme Court, U S Forest Service, Roberts, Jess Bravin, Greg Stohr


Symposium: A takedown of the Blaine Amendments

James Hirsen is an attorney, author, commentator and former professor at Trinity Law School. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Justice and Freedom Fund, Institute for Faith and Family and North Carolina School Choice in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue will shape how the First Amendment’s religion clauses apply to state and local restrictions on how public money is spent. In ...
Tags: Featured, Justice, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, United States, Missouri, House, Catholic, State, John Roberts, Roberts, Alito, Blaine, Montana Department of Revenue, Elena Kagan


Symposium: What’s “the use” of the Constitution’s distinctive treatment of religion if it is disregarded as discrimination?

Holly Hollman is general counsel for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which submitted an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.  The Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza  v. Montana Department of Revenue purports to be “unremarkable,” particularly in light of Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, decided just three years ago. But the multiple opinions – four for the majority and three dissenting opinions – belie that assertion and demonst...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Washington, Missouri, Ohio, State, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Locke, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Davey


Thursday round-up

Court-watchers are focusing on Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, in which the court held on Tuesday that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. At Reason’s Volokh Conspiracy blog, Ilya Somin finds it “unfortunate” that the decision was “a close 5-4 ruling, split along ideological lines with the five conservative justices in the majority, and the four liberals all dissenting,” because “[s]triking ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Planned Parenthood, Washington Post, Montana, United States, ACS, Louisiana, Jackson, ACA, Economist, Round-up, Lech, National Review


Symposium: Espinoza, funding of religious service providers, and religious freedom

Thomas Berg is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota). Douglas Laycock is the Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia. They filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of religious and school groups in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. Tuesday’s ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue came as no surprise. The Montana Supreme Court had invalidated a...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, University Of Virginia, Smith, Madison, Robert, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Locke, Davey, Trinity Lutheran Church, Montana Supreme Court, Zelman


Symposium: What “play in the joints” remains after Espinoza?

Grant T. Sullivan is an assistant solicitor general with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of nine states in support of respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author and should not be imputed in whole or in part to any other state or state official unless expressly endorsed by an authorized representative of the state. For state policymakers, crafting sound (and constitutional)...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Montana, Washington, States, Sonia Sotomayor, William Rehnquist, Locke, Davey, Montana Supreme Court, Espinoza, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer, Comer, Neil Gorsuch


Symposium: Clarity in an era of confusion — The Supreme Court will not tolerate hostility to religion

Mithun Mansinghani serves as solicitor general for the state of Oklahoma. Bryan Cleveland and Zach West, assistant solicitors general, also contributed to this article. The state of Oklahoma, through Attorney General Mike Hunter, led an 18-state amicus brief  in support of the petitioners in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. On one level, the Supreme Court’s decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue is entirely unsurprising—a straightforward application of precedent, both lo...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Locke, Blaine, Montana Department of Revenue, Davey, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Montana Supreme Court, Zelman, Espinoza, Comer


Wednesday round-up

Yesterday the court issued two opinions, whittling its remaining cases down to eight. In Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, the court held 5-4 that Montana’s exclusion of religious schools from a state-funded scholarship program for private schools violates the First Amendment. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi has an analysis at Subscript Law. At NPR, Nina Totenberg and Brian Naylor report that “[t]he court’s...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Bloomberg, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal, Trump, Round-up, National Review, John `` Roberts, The Supreme Court, Roberts


Opinion analysis: Court rules that religious schools cannot be excluded from state funding for private schools

In 2015, the Montana legislature created a scholarship program that provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to private scholarship organizations. Those organizations used the money to fund scholarships for children to attend private schools – which, in Montana, are primarily religious schools. In 2018, the Montana Supreme Court struck down the tax-credit program, holding that it violated the state constitution’s ban on aid for churches and religious schools. Today the U.S. Supreme ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Court, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Institute for Justice, Stillwater, Roberts, Howe, Ginsburg


Symposium: RIP state “Blaine Amendments” – Espinoza and the “no-aid” principle

Steven Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of a number of religious groups in support of the respondents in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. There is so much contained in the various opinions in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue that a college instructor could use that one case to teach an entire course about American church-state law: di...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, California, Montana, Senate, Pennsylvania, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mitchell, Thomas, U S Supreme Court, The Supreme Court, Alito, William Rehnquist, Locke


Live blog of opinions (Update: Completed)

We live-blogged on Tuesday, June 30, as the court released opinions in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. SCOTUSblog is sponsored by Casetext: making litigation more efficient with A.I. and machine learning technology. The post Live blog of opinions (Update: Completed) appeared first on SCOTUSblog.
Tags: Law, Live, U S Patent and Trademark Office, Espinoza, Montana Department



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