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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


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


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: 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


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


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


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: 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


Relist Watch in the Time of Cholera

John Elwood briefly reviews Monday’s relists This week’s installment of Relist Watch will be unlike any one you’ve ever read. Most of them read like they were written by some unshaven lout in his basement wearing sweatpants. By contrast, this one actually was written by an unshaven lout in his basement wearing sweatpants. So while this post may be bad as ever, at least it’s authentic . Practically nothing has happened since our last installment . This week, the Supreme Cou...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington, United States, Davis, Avery, Paul Clement, HARRIS, EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Cannon, Strickland, U S Court of Appeals


Friday round-up

Briefly: At USA Today, Richard Wolf predicts “a ferocious battle this year if a seat falls vacant” on the Supreme Court. Garrett Epps weighs in at The Atlantic on abortion case June Medical Services v. Russo, arguing that “third-party standing offers only illusory refuge from the grim truth that the Fifth Circuit has raised a judicial middle finger to the Court[:] If the five conservative justices let the lower court manipulate them this time, other conservative lower-court majorities will be b...
Tags: Usa, Supreme Court, Law, Atlantic, Madrid, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Round-up, John Roberts, Richard Wolf, Torres, Fifth Circuit, Quartz, Garrett Epps, Clarence Thomas, Russo, Goldstein Russell


Thursday round-up

Briefly: At CNN, Joan Biskupic argues that “Chief Justice John Roberts’ legacy will be forever entwined with President Donald Trump’s,” not only because “Roberts was in the chair presiding over the two-week hearing and historic vote on Wednesday to acquit Trump” but also because the chief “now faces unprecedented litigation at the Supreme Court involving the President’s personal business dealings.” At the Harvard Law Review Blog, Aaron Tang suggests that there is an issue lurking in Espinoza v....
Tags: Amazon, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Cnn, United States, South Dakota, House, Donald Trump, Trump, Round-up, John Roberts, Wayfair, Roberts


Wednesday round-up

Briefly: At The Hill, Nathaniel Weixel reports that this week Texas and 17 other conservative states, responding to a pair of petitions pending before the Supreme Court over a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, urged the justices not “to take up the case without first waiting for a decision from a district court judge in Texas.” At the Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, attended last nig...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, Round-up, John Roberts, Roberts, William Rehnquist, Janus, Goldstein Russell, Fleck, National Law Journal, Espinoza, Marcia Coyle, Daniel Dalton


Monday round-up

The second week of proceedings in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump concluded last week. At CNN, Joan Biskupic contends that Chief Justice John Roberts, used to “the heavy mantle of public expectations in his role at the middle of an ideologically divided bench,” has thus far “served as a careful steward of Senate procedures and ensured that the impeachment trial did not descend into nastiness.” John Kruzel at The Hill concludes similarly: “Court watchers said that approach ...
Tags: New York, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Court, Bloomberg, Cnn, Vox, Donald Trump, Gore, Trump, Round-up, Bush, John Roberts, Tom Steyer


Now available on Oyez: This week’s oral argument audio aligned with the transcripts

Oyez has posted the aligned audio and transcripts from this week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument this week in: Shular v. United States GE Energy Power Conversion France v. Outokumpu Stainless USA Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue The post Now available on Oyez: This week’s oral argument audio aligned with the transcripts appeared first on SCOTUSblog.
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Oyez, Merits Cases, Montana Department, Shular, United States GE Energy Power Conversion France, Outokumpu Stainless USA Espinoza


Friday round-up

At The Daily Signal, Elizabeth Slattery highlights “five key exchanges” from Wednesday’s argument in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which asks whether Montana’s invalidation of a law that created tax credits to provide scholarships for families who send their children to private schools, including religious schools, was constitutional. In an op-ed for The Washington Post (subscription required), Monica Kristin Blair argues that “[i]n addition to breaking down the separation of church...
Tags: Florida, Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Montana, Washington, Nbc News, Arizona, Trump, Round-up, U S Supreme Court, McKinney, Florida Supreme Court, Adam Feldman, Hurst, Tampa Bay Times


Thursday round-up

Amy Howe analyzes yesterday’s argument in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which asks whether Montana’s invalidation of a law that created tax credits to provide scholarships for families who send their children to private schools, including religious schools, was constitutional, for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mark Walsh has a first-hand view of the argument for this blog. [Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blo...
Tags: New York Post, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Npr, Los Angeles Times, Round-up, Reuters, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Jess Bravin, Nina Totenberg, The Hill, Lomax


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


Wednesday round-up

This morning the justices will close out the January session with one oral argument, in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which asks whether Montana’s invalidation of a law that created tax credits to provide scholarships for families who send their children to private schools, including religious schools, was constitutional. Amy Howe previewed the case for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Gabrielle Kanter and Prachee Sawant have a preview at Cornell Law Sc...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Senate, Court, Cnn, United States, Ford, Npr, Donald Trump, Wall Street Journal, Economist, Paul Clement, Trump, Round-up, Reuters



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