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Is the US supreme court having a liberal moment? Not when it comes to voting rights

John Roberts sided with the court’s liberal bloc in two notable recent cases, but critics say he’s no swing voter on voting rightsTo an outside observer, it might seem like the US supreme court is having a liberal moment, mostly thanks to one justice.Chief Justice John Roberts – the court’s swing vote – surprised many this term by siding with the court’s left-leaning bloc and casting the deciding vote in two of the most high-stakes cases, with rulings that ensured abortion access in Louisiana an...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, US, Alabama, Los Angeles, United States, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, University Of Michigan, University Of Southern California, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts


Is the US supreme court having a liberal moment? Not on one crucial issue

John Roberts sided with the court’s liberal bloc in two notable recent cases, but critics say he’s no swing voter on voting rightsTo an outside observer, it might seem like the US supreme court is having a liberal moment, mostly thanks to one justice.Chief Justice John Roberts – the court’s swing vote – surprised many this term by siding with the court’s left-leaning bloc and casting the deciding vote in two of the most high-stakes cases, with rulings that ensured abortion access in Louisiana an...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, US, Alabama, Los Angeles, United States, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, University Of Michigan, University Of Southern California, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Roberts


Final Stat Pack for October Term 2019

A Supreme Court term unlike any other has finally come to an end. In March, some observers thought the term would end early after the court shut its doors and postponed oral arguments — the first time since the 1919 Spanish Flu outbreak that the court closed due to a pandemic. Instead, the term lasted longer than usual, extending well into July for the first time in decades. And in May, the court heard remote arguments over the telephone with a public live audio feed for the first time ever. Tho...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Pennsylvania, United States, Williams, Johnson, Donald Trump, Morrissey, Kennedy, Trump, Thomas, Peter, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Vance


Symposium: A resounding rejection of Trump’s authoritarian approach to the presidency

Jamila Benkato and Ben Berwick are counsels, and Justin Florence is legal director, at Protect Democracy. They filed an amicus brief on behalf of former Republican members of Congress, former executive branch members under Republican administrations, and legal experts in support of the respondent in Trump v. Vance. There has been much focus in the immediate commentary on whether the decisions in Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars are a “ ” or “loss” for President Donald Trump. Experts are alread...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Court, United States, Department Of Justice, Republican, Donald Trump, Doj, Justice Department, Jones, Clinton, Trump, Thomas Jefferson


Supreme Court upholds American Indian treaty promises, orders Oklahoma to follow federal law

Land in eastern Oklahoma that the United States promised to the Creek Nation in an 1833 treaty is still a reservation under tribal sovereignty, at least when it comes to criminal law, the Supreme Court ruled on July 9. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the majority, “Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.”To most Americans, it may seem obvious that a government should live up to its word. But the United States has regularly reneged on the promises that it made ...
Tags: Florida, News, Supreme Court, Congress, United States, Michigan, Oklahoma, American Indians, South Carolina, Creek Nation, Creek, Carlson, Elena Kagan, Gorsuch, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Gorsuch


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


Opinion analysis: Justices toe hard line in affirming reservation status for eastern Oklahoma

The first thing we learned this morning with the announcement of the decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma was that Chief Justice John Roberts didn’t manage to be in the majority in every single 5-4 decision this term. Today, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for a majority of five (joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan), with Roberts writing for the four dissenters and Justice Clarence Thomas appending a brief solo dissent to assert that the court lacked juri...
Tags: Featured, Law, Congress, Alabama, Georgia, Sharp, States, Oklahoma, John Roberts, Creek Nation, Murphy, Roberts, Creek, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Patrick Murphy


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


Court's contraception ruling spotlights Trump administration's end goal

The Supreme Court's ruling that the Trump administration could weaken Obamacare's contraceptive mandate was a stinging defeat for vulnerable women, says Ilyse Hogue, but a surprising concurrence in the 7-2 decision from liberal justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer spotlights fundamental battles over women's control of their bodies that are still right there underneath.
Tags: Supreme Court, Obamacare, Cnn, Trump, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Ilyse Hogue


Opinion analysis: Court rejects challenge to exemptions from birth-control mandate

The Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate requires most employers to provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to certain forms of contraceptives. In 2017, the Trump administration issued new rules that expanded an exemption from the mandate to allow private employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing coverage without any notice. Today, by a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania rejected a chall...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, Court, Pennsylvania, United States, New Jersey, Fda, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ACA, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor


Court: Some employers can refuse to offer free birth control on religious grounds

By JESSICA GRESKO WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Trump administration rules allowing some employers to decline to provide contraceptive coverage on religious or moral grounds, which could leave more than 70,000 women without cost-free birth control. The high court ruled 7-2 for the administration, which made a policy change to allow some employers who cite religious or moral objections to opt out of providing no-cost birth control required by the Obama-era healthcare law. Low...
Tags: Health, Business, News, Supreme Court, Obama, Congress, Washington, Russia, Religion, Court, Uncategorized, Sport, Soccer, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Associated Press


Empirical SCOTUS: Precedent: Which justices practice what they preach

Although Supreme Court justices are by no means bound by their past decisions, they often respect them, for a variety of reasons. Justice Elena Kagan offered her reasons for remaining faithful to precedent in her dissent from last term’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, which overturned the court’s precedent on the issue of eminent domain in the state law context in Williamson County Regional Planning Comm’n v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City: “[I]t promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Court, United States, Louisiana, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, Wade, John Roberts, Lawrence, Scalia, Roberts, Gamble


Opinion analysis: Fractured court rules in favor of political consultants in First Amendment challenge to federal robocall law but keeps robocall ban in place

On Monday, in a fractured set of opinions, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an association of political consultants challenging the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. That statute bans robocalls to cellphones. In 2015 Congress added an exception to permit robocalls collecting government-backed debts. In Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, the court decided that the 2015 exception violates the First Amendment’s speech clause. The consultants won the constitutional ar...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Town, Thomas, Reed, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, U S Court of Appeals, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Breyer, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, TCPA


Justices reference ‘Hamilton,’ ‘Veep’ in Electoral College decision

By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press WASHINGTON — In a decision flavored with references to “Hamilton” and “Veep,” the Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College. The ruling, in cases in Washington state and Colorado just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind electors to vote for the popular-vote winner, as elect...
Tags: Florida, Politics, Texas, News, Minnesota, Supreme Court, Congress, Colorado, Washington, Sport, Ap, Soccer, Hillary Clinton, Maine, Hawaii, House


Opinion analysis: Court upholds “faithless elector” laws

This morning the Supreme Court unanimously rejected two challenges to the constitutionality of so-called “faithless elector” laws, which penalize or remove presidential electors who fail to vote for the candidate they have pledged to support. The rulings came with just under four months remaining before the 2020 election. The Supreme Court heard arguments in May in two different disputes involving states’ efforts to enforce their faithless elector laws during the 2016 presidential election proce...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Colorado, Washington, Hillary Clinton, Broadway, Ohio, States, District Of Columbia, Donald Trump, Hamilton, Clinton, John Kasich, Thomas, State


"The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that states may require presidential electors to support the winner of the popular vote and punish or replace those who don’t..."

"... settling a disputed issue in advance of this fall’s election. Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court, and settled the disputed 'faithless elector' issue before it affected the coming presidential contest. The Washington state law at issue 'reflects a tradition more than two centuries old,' she wrote. 'In that practice, electors are not free agents; they are to vote for the candidate whom the state’s voters have chosen.' Lower courts had split on the issue, with one saying the Constitution...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington, Donald Trump, Robert Barnes, WaPo, Elena Kagan, Electoral College, Ann Althouse, Chiafolo, Biden Sanders Warren Bloomberg


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


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


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 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


Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the Supreme Court released decisions in three cases, including one of the highest-profile cases of the term. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court, by a vote of 5-4, struck down a Louisiana law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Amy Howe analyzes the opinion for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Mariam Marshedi provides an analysis at Subscript Law. Ronn Blitzer and others report at Fox News t...
Tags: Health, Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington Post, Mexico, Court, US, Bloomberg, Cnn, New York Times, Fox News, Npr, Louisiana, Wall Street Journal


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


Supreme Court Rules CFPB Director Structure Unconstitutional, Keeps Agency Intact

The President of the United States has the authority to fire the CFPB director with or without cause, though the Bureau itself is remaining intact, the United States Supreme Court decided Monday. Provisions of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requiring the single director the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) only be fired for instances of inefficiency, malfeasance or neglect is a violation of the Constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers, and ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Minneapolis, Finance, Court, Elizabeth Warren, Gop, United States, Bureau, John Roberts, U S Department of Justice, Roberts, CFPB, Elena Kagan, Kagan, United States Supreme Court, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


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


Supreme Court makes it easier for president to fire CFPB head

In her scathing dissent, Justice Elena Kagan called the ruling the "civics class version of separation of powers."
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Elena Kagan


Supreme Court Upholds Anti-Prostitution Requirement for Groups Fighting AIDS Abroad

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a requirement that foreign affiliates of U.S.-based health organizations pledge to oppose prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive federal funding to combat HIV and AIDS overseas.The court ruled 5-to-3 that the government may enforce the pledge, with Justice Brett Kavanaugh penning the opinion for court's conservative majority.The court ruled previously in 2013 that the pledge against prostitution, which comes from a 2003 law, cannot be imposed ...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, George W Bush, Trump, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Clarence Thomas, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, Alliance for Open Society International


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


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