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Torrance, Hermosa Beach Catholic schools at heart of SCOTUS discrimination decision

The Supreme Court sided with two South Bay Catholic schools — one in Torrance, the other in Hermosa Beach — in a ruling Wednesday, July 8, that expands the number of employees at religious schools and other institutions who can’t sue for employment discrimination. The 7-2 ruling stemmed from cases involving two teachers whose contracts were not renewed and argued their respective schools discriminated against them. In one case, Agnes Morrissey-Berru sued Our Lady of Guadalupe school, in Hermosa ...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Education, La, Religion, Court, Los Angeles, Sport, Soccer, Fund, Associated Press, Catholic, Las Vegas, Kristen, Trump, San Bernardino


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


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


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


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: 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


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


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


Supreme Court lifts ban on state aid to religious schooling

By MARK SHERMAN WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday made it easier for religious schools to obtain public funds, upholding a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling. The court’s 5-4 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts with conservatives in the majority, came in a dispute over a Montana scholarship program for private K-12 education that also makes donors eligible for up to $150 in state tax credits. The Legislature created the tax cred...
Tags: Business, News, Supreme Court, Montana, Washington, Religion, Uncategorized, Sport, Ap, Soccer, Missouri, Catholic, Trump, Mark Sherman, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts


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


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


"The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a challenge to new federal death penalty protocols..."

"... potentially clearing the way for the government to resume executions as soon as next month for the first time since 2003. The court, without comment, declined to take up the lawsuit filed by four death row inmates. As is customary, it gave no reason. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated they would have accepted the case.... The individual inmates facing execution could file additional challenges, which could affect whether and when these sentences are carried out.... A...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Gop, Death Penalty, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Sonia Sotomayor, D C Circuit, WaPo, U S Court of Appeals, Ann Althouse, William P Barr


Shocker: Supreme Court Preserves Abortion Rights, Strikes Down Louisiana Hospital Privileges Law

The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana abortion law that opponents say would have closed all but one abortion clinic in the state and had lasting repercussions for reproductive rights across the country.The Louisiana law, known as Act 620, would have required abortion providers to have the ability to admit patients at local hospitals. Supporters said the legislation promoted safety and continuity of care; abortion-rights advocates say it was a medically unnecessary restriction would force...
Tags: Texas, News, Supreme Court, Court, States, Louisiana, Center For Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, Trump, Rose, Sonia Sotomayor, Wade, John Roberts, Roberts, Stephen Breyer, Breyer


SCOTUS denies, by 7-2 vote, cert petition from federal death row defendants challenging federal execution protocol

As reported in this AP article, the "Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August."  Here is more: The justices rejected an appeal from four inmates who were convicted of killing children.  Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted that they would have blocked the executions from going forward. The court's action leaves no obstacles standing in the way of the executions, the first of wh...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Scotus, Washington, Indiana, Ap, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Department, Nelson, Sonia Sotomayor, Alito, Barr, Danny Lee


Monday round-up

Amy Howe reports for this blog that on Friday the court denied a request that it revive a lower court ruling allowing any Texas voter to vote by absentee ballot without an excuse for the 2020 election cycle; her post originally appeared at Howe on the Court. For , Adam Liptak reports that “[t]he Texas Democratic Party and several voters had urged the court to reinstate a federal trial judge’s injunction requiring state officials to allow all voters, and not just those who are 65 or older, to su...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Bloomberg, Harvard, Atlantic, United States, SEC, Fox News, Usa Today, Department Of Homeland Security, Securities And Exchange Commission, Trump, Round-up, Chapel Hill, University Of North Carolina


Supreme Court rebuffs Texas vote-by-mail expansion

The justices let stand the ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that halted a federal judge's earlier decision to permit any voter concerned about the threat of coronavirus infection to cast a ballot by mail. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, fought the expansion of mail-in voting. There were no noted dissents on the high court, although liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a statement saying she hopes the 5th Circuit issues a final decision on the ...
Tags: Texas, News, Supreme Court, New Orleans, Sonia Sotomayor, Ken Paxton, 5th Circuit, 5th U S Circuit Court of Appeals


SCOTUS Rebuffs Dems’ Request To Expand TX Absentee Voting Ahead Of July Primary

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not reverse an appeals court order that will keep vote-by-mail limited in Texas in the pandemic. The state Democratic party had sued the state over its absentee voting restrictions that allow only voters 65-and-older to vote by mail without any excuse. The lawsuit alleges that the policy violates the Constitution’s 26th Amendment ban on age-based voter discrimination. A federal judge agreed with the Democrats’ argument, but then an appeals court put t...
Tags: Texas, News, Supreme Court, Voting Rights, Tierney Sneed, Sonia Sotomayor, Adam Liptak, Texas Democrats


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


Happy Birthday Sonia Sotomayor, The Real Liberal Queen Of The Court

We see who is really holding down the Court.
Tags: Notorious Rbg, Supreme Court, Law, Scotus, Court, Birthday, Courts, Sonia Sotomayor


Supreme Court Sides with Trump Admin. in Landmark Asylum Case

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Trump administration on Thursday in a landmark immigration case involving the asylum process.In the case, Dept. of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, the court ruled 7-2 that if an asylum seeker is denied asylum during the beginning of the intake process, the applicant may not appeal that decision in federal court. The ruling also defines how the right to habeas corpus is applied to asylum seekers.The case was brought by Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a Sri L...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sri Lanka, Trump, Sonia Sotomayor, Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito, Dept Of Homeland Security, Supreme Court Sides, Trump Admin, Thuraissigiam, Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam


Supreme Court rules for Trump administration in deportation case

By MARK SHERMAN WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge. The high court’s 7-2 ruling applies to people who are picked up at or near the border and who fail their initial asylum screenings, making them eligible for quick deportation, or expedited removal. The justices ruled in the case of man who said he fled persecution as a member of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, b...
Tags: News, Supreme Court, Congress, California, Washington, Mexico, Immigration, Uncategorized, Sport, Soccer, United States, San Diego, Un, SEC, Associated Press, Guatemala


Tuesday round-up

Yesterday the court issued one decision, in Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, holding 8-1 that the SEC can seek disgorgement of profits as a remedy in court for violating the securities fraud laws if the amount does not exceed the wrongdoer’s net profit and is awarded for the victims. Ronald Mann analyzes the opinion for this blog. Adam Liptak reports for The New York Times that the ruling “preserv[es] a tool that has allowed [the SEC] to recover billions of dollars[, b]ut the justices ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Bloomberg, Chicago, New York Times, SEC, Department Of Homeland Security, University Of California, Federal Trade Commission, Securities And Exchange Commission, Round-up, Sonia Sotomayor, U S Supreme Court, Stephens, EEOC, Liu


Court narrows SEC power to recoup illegal gains in case tied to Laguna Niguel couple

By Greg Stohr, Bloomberg The U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the Securities and Exchange Commission to recoup illegal profits from wrongdoers, putting new curbs on one of the agency’s most potent legal weapons. The 8-1 ruling Monday preserved the SEC’s power to win “disgorgement” in federal court so long as the money is used to reimburse defrauded investors and doesn’t exceed the wrongdoer’s net profits. But the court also suggested that federal law bars awards from going further, blunti...
Tags: Business, New York, Supreme Court, Congress, Sport, Soccer, Treasury, SEC, Donald Trump, Securities And Exchange Commission, Sonia Sotomayor, Liu, Greg Stohr, Wang, Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas


Opinion analysis: Justices accept, but cabin, SEC’s right to disgorgement in securities litigation

The decision this morning in Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission struck a middle ground, rejecting the broad argument that the SEC could never obtain disgorgement of profits from unlawful activity in securities litigation, but sharply cutting back the remedy as the SEC has envisioned it in recent years. As securities cases go, the issue in the case was simple, involving the scope of relief in SEC enforcement actions brought in federal court, as opposed to agency administrative proceedings....
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Treasury, SEC, Securities And Exchange Commission, Sonia Sotomayor, Liu, Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Merits Cases, Charles Liu, Xin Wang