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The court after COVID: A recipe for oral argument reform

The Supreme Court has not yet announced whether it will return to normal operations when the 2021-22 term begins in October. This article is the first entry in a symposium about how the coronavirus pandemic changed the court — and which of those changes are worth keeping. Steven V. Mazie covers the Supreme Court for The Economist and is professor of political studies at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. His most recent book is “American Justice 2015: The Dramatic Tenth Term of the Ro...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obamacare, California, Joe Biden, Manhattan, Economist, Sonia Sotomayor, Lyle Denniston, John Roberts, Capitol, Roberts, Roberts Court, Denniston


New York landlords ask court to block state eviction moratorium

Telling the justices that “the courthouse door has been barred to New York’s landlords” “for more than sixteen months and counting,” a group of New York landlords asked the Supreme Court to block a state moratorium on residential evictions put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal district court dismissed the landlords’ challenge, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit rejected the landlords’ request to put the moratorium on hold while they appeal, prompting the l...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Massachusetts, Alabama, Andrew Cuomo, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Centers for Disease Control, Howe, Jacobson, Brett Kavanaugh, U S Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Emergency appeals and applications, Chrysafis


A Senate panel just took a step closer to requiring women to register for the US military draft

Female soldiers from the US Army's 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division training on a firing range in Fort Campbell, Kentucky on September 18, 2012. Mark Humphrey/AP Photos A Senate panel included the requirement that women register for the draft in its annual defense policy bill. Changes to the draft law have been debated since restrictions on military service for women were lifted. Last year, a congressionally-mandated commission argued in favor of amending the law. See m...
Tags: Politics, Supreme Court, Congress, Senate, Politico, US, Trends, Joe Biden, Military, House, Vietnam, US Army, US supreme court, Sonia Sotomayor, Senate Armed Services Committee, National Coalition


The Supreme Court gets it right on Section 2

This article is the final entry in a symposium on the court’s decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee. Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow and manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation. He is former career counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee is not only the correct result under the applicable law – Section 2 ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, Dnc, House, Arizona, Vra, State, Sonia Sotomayor, Alito, Democratic National Committee, Shelby County, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan


In Barrett’s first term, conservative majority is dominant but divided

At the conclusion of Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first term, the Supreme Court’s six-justice conservative majority is grappling with its newfound control. A split developing among its members is complicating the conservative revolution some predicted after Barrett’s confirmation last October. But with no anticipation of a Republican-appointed justice retiring anytime soon, and a blockbuster docket next term featuring clashes over abortion and gun rights, the contours of the court’s rightward sh...
Tags: New York, Featured, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, California, Joe Biden, Harvard, Philadelphia, Smith, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Thomas, Democratic, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts


Court releases names of law clerks for 2021-22 term

As the justices ended their business for the 2020-21 term and began their summer recess on Friday, the court announced the names of the law clerks slated to work for each justice next term. Here are the clerks for the 2021-22 term, which will begin in October. Chief Justice John Roberts: Samuel Adkission Christina Gay Maxwell Gottschall Dennis Howe Justice Clarence Thomas: Christopher Goodnow Steven Lindsay Michael Proctor Jose Valle Justice Stephen Breyer: Elizabeth Deutsch Erika Hoglun...
Tags: Law, Kennedy, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, What's Happening Now, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, Elizabeth Nielson


Justices add one religious-rights case to docket but turn down another

Just before departing for their summer recess, the justices on Friday added 10 new cases to their docket for next term, including a high-profile dispute involving public funding for private schools that provide religious instruction. The busy order list was in some ways was a microcosm of the 2020-21 term as a whole. Although the decision to hear the school-funding case suggested that the court as a whole will continue to move to the right, the justices turned down another request to weigh in o...
Tags: Featured, Minnesota, Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Washington, Court, Alabama, City, Chicago, David, United States, New Hampshire, Maine, Tennessee


Divided court invalidates California donor-disclosure rules

This article was updated on July 1 at 6 p.m. The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down California’s requirement that charities and nonprofits operating in the state provide the state attorney general’s office with the names and addresses of their largest donors. The 6-3 ruling in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta was a major victory for the two nonprofit challengers, which had argued that the rule violates the First Amendment by deterring their donors from making contributions. In a ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Irs, Charles Koch, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, 9th Circuit, Roberts, Howe, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito


Bond eligibility for certain noncitizens divides court along ideological lines

Congress provided that noncitizens who have been removed from the country but are found back in the United States should be expeditiously removed again. The second deportation occurs through a reinstatement of the first removal order, normally without further hearing, procedure or review. A narrow exception allows people in that situation to apply for “withholding” relief, which does not render the noncitizen any less deportable or otherwise give them the right to remain in the U.S. However, it...
Tags: Featured, Law, Congress, United States, Johnson, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Alito, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Board of Immigration Appeals, Merits Cases, Brett Kavanaugh


Justices argue over text (and ceviche) in ruling that Alaska Native corporations are “Indian tribes”

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Alaska Native corporations constitute “Indian tribes” under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, making them eligible for $500 million in federal coronavirus relief. Though the court focused almost exclusively on the statutory text, the decision will likely have broader implications for Alaska Natives. The case, Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, centered on the 2020 CARES Act, which set aside $8 billion in ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Alaska, Yellen, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Treasury Department, Mark Bittman, Native, Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, Alaska Native, Gorsuch


In dispute over renewable fuels, justices unravel “extensions” of “exemptions”

When Congress says that a firm can apply for an “extension” of an exemption, is a firm that has allowed its exemption to lapse eligible to apply for the “extension?” That is the question that divided the Supreme Court justices Friday in HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Association. Six justices said yes, while three justices said no. The context in which the question arose was the Renewable Fuels Program that Congress established in 2005. The program is intended to increase th...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Epa, Environmental Protection Agency, Department Of Energy, RFA, Chevron, Sonia Sotomayor, Barrett, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan


Oil refineries win battle over renewable-fuel exemptions

The Supreme Court ruled Friday in favor of oil refineries seeking exemptions from a federal program that requires renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion in Hollyfrontier Cheyenne Refining v. Renewable Fuels Association. The case involved the Renewable Fuel Program, which Congress created in 2005 and expanded to its current form in 2007. Congress gave small refineries a temporary exemption from the program’s requirement to use increasing am...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Environmental Protection Agency, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Renewable Fuels Association, Elena Kagan, Gorsuch, HollyFrontier, Merits Cases, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, Renewable Fuel Program


Justices side with Alaska Native corporations in dispute over COVID aid

Alaska Native corporations are eligible for about $500 million in COVID-19 relief money that Congress earmarked for Native American tribes, the Supreme Court ruled Friday. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion in Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. The case required the court to decide whether Alaska Native corporations are “Indian tribes” for the purpose of the 2020 CARES Act. Those corporations are Native-owned companies that Congress created in 1971 to resolve land...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Alaska, Treasury, Yellen, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, ANC, Treasury Department, Native, Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Bureau of Indian Affairs


Justices craft their own remedy for violation of Constitution’s appointments clause

On Monday, the justices ruled 5-4 that the “unreviewable authority” of administrative patent judges meant those APJs were appointed in violation of the Constitution’s appointments clause. The justices then ruled 7-2 that the remedy was one of the court’s own making — that the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now has the discretion to review those APJ decisions. Both rulings occurred in United States v. Arthrex, Inc. A decade ago, Congress enacted a patent-reform bill, the Leah...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, Court, United States, AIA, Presidential, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, PTO, Barrett, Edmond, U S Patent and Trademark Office


Court holds that regulation guaranteeing union access to employees is unconstitutional

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a California regulation that permits union organizers to enter the property of agricultural businesses to talk with employees about supporting a union is unconstitutional. By a vote of 6-3, the court agreed with the two businesses challenging the regulation that the rule violates the Fifth Amendment, which bars the government from taking private property without compensation. The ruling was a major victory for property-rights advocates and a setback for...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, California, Court, Fresno, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Howe, Fowler, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Fowler Packing Co, Cedar Point


Despite constitutional violation, court rejects broad relief for shareholders of mortgage giants

The Supreme Court on Wednesday had mostly bad news for shareholders of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their lawsuit seeking to unwind a 2012 agreement that required the companies to transfer profits to the federal government. The justices unanimously agreed that one of the shareholders’ claims could not go forward. And although the court agreed, by a vote of 7-2, that the structure of the federal agency that regulates Fannie and Freddie is at least in part unconstitutional, ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, White House, Joe Biden, Treasury, Collins, Yellen, Sonia Sotomayor, Freddie Mac, Treasury Department, Alito, CFPB, Sotomayor


Justices scale back “unreviewable authority” of administrative patent judges

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that more than 200 administrative patent judges in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office must be subject to greater supervision by the agency director in order to comply with the Constitution’s appointments clause. The decision in United States v. Arthrex, Inc. was fragmented. The court ruled 5-4 that the level of authority exercised by the patent judges is incompatible with the Constitution because the patent judges are not nominated by the president and confirmed...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, United States, Commerce, Uspto, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts, Barrett, U S Patent and Trademark Office, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas


Justices send securities class action against Goldman Sachs back to lower court

The Supreme Court on Monday sent a shareholder class-action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs back to a lower court for a closer look at whether alleged misstatements by the bank were too general to have affected its stock price. In its opinion in Goldman Sachs Group v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, the court held that defendants in securities cases can rebut the presumption that class-based adjudication is appropriate by showing that the challenged statements were so generic that they would ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Arkansas, Goldman Sachs, Sonia Sotomayor, Goldman Sachs Group, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Goldstein Russell, Gorsuch, Merits Cases, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett


Court again leaves Affordable Care Act in place

This article was updated on June 17 at 5:16 p.m. In a much-anticipated decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected another effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law often regarded as the signature legislative achievement of former President Barack Obama. The justices did not reach the main issue in the case: whether the entirety of the ACA was rendered unconstitutional when Congress eliminated the penalty for failing to obtain health insurance. Instead, by a v...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Court, Barack Obama, House Of Representatives, Biden, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ACA, Medicaid, King, Irs, Trump


Unanimous ruling on crack-cocaine disparity is heavy on text, light on history

Sometimes, deep, conflicting social currents clash in titanic movements and romantic prose. Other times, they are submerged under rather drier land; underground rivers in a desert of language. On Monday, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that decades of roiling political turmoil surrounding the crack-cocaine epidemic could not compel a rereading of a single, highly consequential statutory clause, even if its primary authors pressed a different interpretation. Thus, in Terry v. Un...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, America, Terry, Black, Sonia Sotomayor, Congressional Black Caucus, Sotomayor, United States the Supreme Court, Merits Cases, Sentencing Commission, Tarahrick Terry, Clarence Thomas One


Court makes it easier for appellate courts to affirm federal felon-in-possession convictions after Rehaif

Federal felon-in-possession defendants who fail in the trial court to assert their rights under the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States face an “uphill climb” to get a new trial or plea proceeding, the court stated Monday in Greer v. United States and United States v. Gary. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a unanimous court affirming Greer and an 8-1 majority reversing Gary, stating that “if a defendant was in fact a felon, it will be difficult for him to carry the burden ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, United States, Gary, Sonia Sotomayor, Greer, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, 4th Circuit, Merits Cases, United States and United States, Brett Kavanaugh, Rehaif


Justices request government’s views on Harvard affirmative-action dispute

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the federal government to weigh in on whether the justices should once again wade into the battle over affirmative action. In an order list issued from last week’s private conference, the court asked Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to file a brief expressing the government’s views on a challenge to Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policy. Even if the justices ultimately decide to grant review in Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fello...
Tags: Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Harvard, Harvard University, Kennedy, University Of Michigan, University Of North Carolina, Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia, Lyle Denniston, Scalia, Fisher, University of Texas, Howe


Court limits new trials for people with felon-in-possession convictions

A defendant convicted of being a felon-in-possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) after the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States is not entitled to a new trial or plea hearing unless he “makes a sufficient argument or representation on appeal that he would have presented evidence at trial that he did not in fact know he was a felon,” the court ruled Monday in the cases of Greer v. United States and United States v. Gary. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote for the unanimo...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Gary, Sonia Sotomayor, Greer, U S Court of Appeals, Merits Cases, United States and United States, Brett Kavanaugh, Rehaif, Gregory Greer, Michael Andrew Gary, Gary Justice, Gary In Rehaif


Justices reject sentencing reductions for some crack-cocaine offenders

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that people convicted of certain low-level crack-cocaine offenses are not eligible for sentencing reductions under the First Step Act, a 2018 law that made some criminal-justice reforms retroactive. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for the court in Terry v. United States. In 2008, Tarahrick Terry was arrested in Florida for carrying just under 4 grams of crack cocaine. At the time, federal law treated offenses involving crack much more hars...
Tags: Florida, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, United States, Terry, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Merits Cases, Fortunately Congress


When is a habeas petition “second or successive”?

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. The Supreme Court cleared out both of last week’s new relists with dispatch. The court granted cert in Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga, 20-828, involving whether Section 1806(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which creates procedures for people to seek to suppress FISA evidence that will be introduce...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Court, Arizona, Davis, Woodford, California Supreme Court, Miranda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Reeves, Sonia Sotomayor, Scott, 9th Circuit


Justices grant state secrets case, won’t tackle male-only draft

The Supreme Court on Monday announced that it would add another case involving the state secrets privilege, which allows the government to block the release of sensitive national security information in litigation, to its argument calendar for next term. The court also turned down a challenge to the requirement that only men register for the draft, with three justices explaining that Congress is examining the issue right now. Both announcements came on the list of orders that the justices relea...
Tags: Featured, Guantanamo Bay, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Department Of Defense, Fbi, Muslim, Cia, Anthony Davis, Muslims, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sonia Sotomayor, American Civil Liberties Union, 9th Circuit, Howe


"It remains to be seen, of course, whether Congress will end gender-based registration under the Military Selective Service Act."

"But at least for now, the court’s longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue."Wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in a statement, joined by Justices Breyer and Kavanaugh, quoted in (NYT). It was a cert. denial, and the rest of the Justices had nothing to say.The requirement is one of the last sex-based distinctions in federal law, one that challengers say cannot be justified ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Sonia Sotomayor, Kavanaugh, The Draft, Ann Althouse, Gender Difference, Justices Breyer


The Supreme Court said it won't hear a case challenging why only men have to register for the draft in the US

U.S. Army soldiers from Stryker Brigade Combat Team stand after a live fire drill during joint exercises with South Korea, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, at Seungjin Fire Training Field in Pocheon, South Korea, Monday, March 7, 2011. South Korean and U.S. troops kicked off their annual drills on Feb. 28, while North Korea slammed the maneuvers as a rehearsal for invasion that could trigger a nuclear war on the divided peninsula. Ahn Young-joon/AP The Supreme Court on Monday said it wou...
Tags: South Korea, Politics, News, Supreme Court, Congress, North Korea, Court, US, Trends, Military, Sonia Sotomayor, The Supreme Court, U S Army, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Chris Geidner


Habeas restrictions, copyright and the potential return of the “community caretaking” exception

The Relist Watch column examines cert petitions that the Supreme Court has “relisted” for its upcoming conference. A short explanation of relists is available here. After the Supreme Court’s spring cleaning last week, the justices were down to just two relists on their rolls. Then on this week’s order list, the court denied cert on one of the remaining two, 10-time relist Johnson v. Precythe, 20-287, involving a death row prisoner’s method-of-execution claim under the Eighth Amendment. Three ju...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, Alabama, United States, Williams, Davis, New Mexico, Woodford, Johnson, Illinois, California Supreme Court, Sanders, Copyright Office


Court rejects non-citizen’s challenge to criminal re-entry charge

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled against a non-U.S. citizen who was contesting his indictment for criminal re-entry into the country. The case, United States v. Palomar-Santiago, involved Refugio Palomar-Santiago, a Mexican citizen who became a lawful permanent resident – that is, a green card holder – in 1990. Eight years later, an immigration judge found that his California conviction for driving under the influence was an aggravated felony under the federal immigration laws. Pal...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, California, Court, United States, Sonia Sotomayor, 9th Circuit, Gonzalez, U S Court of Appeals, Customs Enforcement, Lopez, Holder, Sotomayor, Ashcroft



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