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Why victims can sometimes inherit from their abusers- even if they kill them

It is a basic rule of English law that a person who kills someone should not inherit from their victim. The justification behind the rule, known as the forfeiture rule, is that a person should not benefit from their crimes and therefore forfeits entitlement. Many other jurisdictions have the same basic rule for fundamental reasons of public policy, including the need to avoid incentivising homicide. Importantly, however, Parliament passed the Forfeiture Act 1982 to give courts in England and Wal...
Tags: Books, England, Featured, Law, Wales, Court of appeal, Manslaughter, Parliament, Richard, Sloan, Brian Sloan, Murder Case, Coercive Control, Law Of Succession, Sally Challen, Challen


Court grants Alabama’s request to block ruling on COVID-related accommodations for upcoming runoff election

Tonight a divided Supreme Court granted a request by Alabama to temporarily freeze a lower-court ruling, issued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that would make it easier for voters in the state to cast absentee ballots in the state’s upcoming primary election runoff, which is scheduled for July 14. By a vote of 5-4, the justices put the order by a federal district court in Alabama on hold while the state appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit and, if necessary, the Supre...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Senate, Court, Alabama, Wisconsin, Donald Trump, U S Senate, Howe, Auburn University, U S Court of Appeals, Jeff Sessions, Elena Kagan, 11th Circuit, Texas Democratic Party


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


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


Justices grant new cases, send Indiana abortion cases back for a new look

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference yesterday. The justices granted five new cases, for a total of four additional hours of argument. The biggest news from the order list was the announcement (which I covered in a separate post) that the court will weigh in on whether the Department of Justice must disclose secret materials from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to the House Judiciary Committee. The remaining new cases, which are likely...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Planned Parenthood, Kentucky, Germany, Nazis, Berlin, City, Indiana, Hungary, United States, Mali


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


Court will take up dispute over secret materials from Mueller report

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference yesterday. The justices added another high-profile case to their docket for the fall, involving a dispute over efforts by members of Congress to obtain secret materials from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller submitted a report last year to Attorney General William Barr on possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Barr released a redacted version of that report in April 2019...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington, D C Circuit, Howe, House Judiciary Committee, Mueller, Barr, Cases in the Pipeline, William Barr, Robert Mueller Mueller, Court The post Court


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: How to count to one

John Knepper is a private attorney based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He previously was chief deputy attorney general of Wyoming. He filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Susan B. Anthony List in support of the respondent in June Medical Services v. Russo. Marks v. United States instructs that when a majority of the justices cannot agree on more than the outcome, “the holding of the Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds.” Mu...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, United States, Wyoming, Louisiana, Kafka, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Casey, Stephen Breyer, Ramos, Clarence Thomas


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


Opinion analysis: Court holds that “generic.com” marks may be registered trademarks or service marks when consumers do not perceive them as generic

When the digital travel company Booking.com sought to register its domain name as a service mark for hotel reservation services, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office denied registration under a longstanding policy that the combination of a generic term for goods and services with the “.com” suffix did not create a protectable trademark. Booking.com sought review of the PTO’s decision in federal district court, and introduced survey evidence supporting an inference that 74 percent of consumers re...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Ginsburg, PTO, U S Court of Appeals, U S Patent and Trademark Office, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, 4th Circuit, Merits Cases, U S Patent and Trademark


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


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: June Medical Services v. Russo: When a “win” is not a win

Gretchen Borchelt is vice president for reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of NWLC and 72 other organizations in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. In June Medical Services v. Russo, a plurality of the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have thwarted abortion access to such a degree that it would have left “thousands of Louisiana women with no practical means of obtaining a safe, lega...
Tags: Health, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Louisiana, Donald Trump, John Roberts, Roberts, Casey, GONZALES, Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, Carhart, Hellerstedt, Russo


Relists Return

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relists. After a couple of weeks with no new relists, the Supreme Court is back this week with a vengeance. The court has scheduled an impromptu conference for Wednesday, July 1. In most years, an impromptu conference scheduled for the last week of June would be the mop-up conference for the entire term in which all outstanding business for the term is resolved. But the court still has enough outstanding opinions in argued cases that things may continue for a while y...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Colorado, Kentucky, Germany, Virginia, Hungary, United States, Williams, Tennessee, Sharp, Atkins


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


Symposium: June Medical decision is no cause for congressional complacency

Richard Blumenthal is the senior United States senator from Connecticut. He joined an amicus brief on behalf of 197 members of Congress in support of the petitioners in June Medical Services v. Russo. He is the Senate lead sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. Today’s Supreme Court decision in June Medical Services v. Russo is a landmark legal victory against radical politicians relentlessly attacking reproductive rights cross the country. Roe v. Wade is safe—for now. This ruling is an i...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, United States, Connecticut, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Richard Blumenthal, John Roberts, Baton Rouge, U S Court of Appeals, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


No new grants today

This morning the Supreme Court issued orders from the justices’ private conference last week. The court did not grant any new cases for oral argument in the fall, but with another conference now scheduled for Wednesday, more grants could come as soon as Thursday morning. The justices invited the federal government to file briefs in two cases: PennEast Pipeline Co. v. New Jersey, about whether the Natural Gas Act authorizes private companies to exercise the federal government’s eminent domain p...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Washington, New Jersey, Department Of Justice, Doj, Sonia Sotomayor, D C Circuit, Howe, House Judiciary Committee, FMC Corp, Robert Mueller, Shoshone Bannock Tribes, Tanya Chutkan, Cases in the Pipeline


Symposium: Chief Justice Roberts reins in the cavalry of abortion providers charging toward the elimination of abortion regulation

Cynthia Yee-Wallace is deputy attorney general of the state of Idaho. She filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state in support of the respondent in June Medical Services v. Russo, along with Brian Kane, who is the assistant chief deputy attorney general for the state of Idaho. Abortion providers won the most recent skirmish invalidating Louisiana’s admitting privileges law in June Medical Services v. Russo. But a close read of Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurring opinion will likely opera...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Planned Parenthood, Idaho, Alaska, Louisiana, U S Supreme Court, John Roberts, Roberts, Casey, Hellerstedt, Russo, Brian Kane, Medical Services


Opinion analysis: Court strikes down restrictions on removal of CFPB director but leaves bureau in place

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency with approximately 1,500 employees that tackles everything from payday loans to financial literacy programs and helping consumers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The director of the CFPB, Kathy Kraninger, was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate in December 2018 to serve a five-year term. Under the law that created the CFPB, Kraninger can be removed fro...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Senate, United States, Social Security Administration, Donald Trump, Paul Clement, Federal Trade Commission, Securities And Exchange Commission, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, 9th Circuit


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


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


Justices reject effort to allow mail-in voting for all in Texas

The Supreme Court today refused to reinstate a ruling by a federal trial court that would have allowed all eligible voters in Texas to vote by mail for the 2020 election cycle. In a brief order without any noted dissents, the justices turned down a request from the Texas Democratic Party and a group of Texas voters to block a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that put the trial court’s ruling on hold. In a short statement, Justice Sonia Sotomayor urged the 5th Circuit to se...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Sonia Sotomayor, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, 5th Circuit, Fred Biery, Texas Democratic Party, Biery, Emergency appeals and applications


Opinion analysis: Court confirms limitations on federal review for asylum seekers

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court in Department of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam upheld a scheme of limited and narrow judicial review over expedited removal, a bare-bones administrative process created under the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Expedited removal allows an immigration official to make the immediate decision to deport a person without a hearing if the person is apprehended within 100 miles of a border and if they cannot prove they have liv...
Tags: Featured, Guantanamo Bay, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Afghanistan, United States, Cuba, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sri Lanka, Executive Branch, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, 9th Circuit, Alito


Automation and the future of legal tech

Before it became a news source, or a legal database, or a Twitter presence often mistaken for the court itself, SCOTUSblog was a tool. It was created to give the public a way to access and understand, in real time, how the work of the justices affects their daily lives. Over the years, the blog has evolved significantly, but its usefulness as a resource for information about the Supreme Court remains fundamental. Technology has always driven our mission. Ever since Amy Howe and I founded SCOT...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Microsoft, Law, Amy Howe


Relist Watch: And then there were none

John Elwood reviews the empty space where Monday’s relists would be. I don’t know for sure what the justices will be talking about at their conference this week. But I do know what they won’t be talking about: relisted cases. That’s because there aren’t any. This is the first time I can recall that happening since March 2012. The court denied cert on the sole returning relist, the state of Kansas’ petition in Kansas v. Boettger, 19-1051, asking whether the First Amendment prohibits a state fro...
Tags: Featured, Law, United States, Kansas, Vermont, Thomas, State, Benedict, Clarence Thomas, Elonis, Cases in the Pipeline, John Elwood, Boettger


Black lives matter in prisons too

Recent events have spotlighted the pervasive and historic problem of racial disparities in criminal justice treatment in the United States. Videos of people seeking to use the police for racial control as well as videos of black people being killed by police have sparked outrage across the nation, and the world. Much of the attention, understandably, has been on police reform. However, if America’s knee, literally and figuratively, is on the neck of black people, its prisons and jails have playe...
Tags: Books, Featured, Law, America, Blog, United States, Black Lives Matter, Sentencing Project, Black Lives Matter In Prisons Too, Criminology And Criminal Justice, PixabayThe post Black


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



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