Posts Tagged ‘ SCOTUS ’

Don’t let principals censor the Internet

December 23, 2015
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"In a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit last August, Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale argued that a rap song featuring allegations of sexual harassment against two high school coaches represented a threat to civilization itself. As Barksdale explained it, coaches are teachers, teachers are essential to education, and 'without education, there can be little, if any, civilization.' If Barksdale is right, public school officials in Itawamba County, Mississippi, were valiantly fighting a return of the Dark Ages when they suspended Taylor Bell, an 18-year-old senior, for posting his song online. A less generous view, one that Bell is asking the Supreme Court to consider, suggests they were doing something a bit less noble: punishing speech that offended them." (12/23/15)

https://reason.com/archives/2015/12/23/dont-let-principals-censor-the-internet  

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Serpent in the Supreme Court: The folly of “strict scrutiny,” from Japanese internment to affirmative action

December 14, 2015
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by Jonathan Bean  

"The news media is covering yet another Supreme Court review of affirmative action: The Fisher II case involving the use of race in admissions to the University of Texas at Austin. This case, like other college admission decisions dating to Bakke (1978), hinges on how the Supreme Court applies a 'strict scrutiny' standard that originated with a decision upholding Japanese internment (Korematsu v. United States, 1944). Now heralded as an advanced yardstick in civil rights jurisprudence, this contrived standard did Japanese Americans little good: the Court deferred to the government's wisdom in interning citizens based on their race or national origin." (12/10/15)

http://blog.independent.org/2015/12/10/serpent-in-the-supreme-court-the-folly-of-strict-scrutiny-from-japanese-internment-to-affirmative-action/  

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Universities and race

December 9, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by David B Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M Grossman  

"The don't-ask-don't-tell era of racial preferences in college admissions may soon be at an end, as Abigail Fisher's challenge to the University of Texas's affirmative-action program makes its second appearance before the Supreme Court, which will hear the case this Wednesday. Significantly, Ms. Fisher isn't asking the Court to ban affirmative action. Instead, her case seeks to hold schools to the general rule that the government may employ race-based measures only as a last resort. And even then, such measures must be almost perfectly calibrated to serve a compelling interest -- in this instance, achieving the educational benefits of diversity." (12/08/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/universities-race  

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SCOTUS to hear two disputes over how to draw political maps

December 8, 2015
posted by

MarketWatch MarketWatch    

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear two cases that dispute the methods used to draw political maps, with a challenge from Texas having the potential to create the greatest upheaval in legislative districts since the 1960s voting-rights rulings. The Texas lawsuit contends the Constitution forbids the formula 49 states have used for decades: applying a state's total population, as determined by the census, as the numerator under a doctrine known as one-person, one-vote. It argues political districts should be drawn instead from 'eligible voters,' a requirement that would exclude swaths of the population currently used in map calculations, such as children, illegal immigrants and others who can't vote." (12/08/15)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/supreme-court-to-hear-two-disputes-over-how-to-draw-political-maps-2015-12-08-81035049  

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SCOTUS won’t review unconstitutional state, local victim disarmament laws

December 8, 2015
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"The Supreme Court on Monday declined to review the ability of cities and states to prohibit semiautomatic high-capacity assault weapons that have been used in some of the nation's most deadly recent mass shootings. The justices decided not to reconsider a lower court's decision in a case from the city of Highland Park, Ill., near Chicago. But seven states -- Maryland, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York -- have similar bans, and all of the prohibitions remain in place. ... Gun rights advocates say cities and states continue to put unreasonable restrictions on the constitutional right. But the court has not yet found a case it thinks requires its intervention." (12/07/15)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/supreme-court-wont-review-laws-banning-so-called-assault-weapons/2015/12/07/b562678e-96fb-11e5-94f0-9eeaff906ef3_story.html  

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SCOTUS blocks Hawaiian election vote count

December 3, 2015
posted by

Lisbon Morning Journal    

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked votes from being counted in a unique election that's considered a major step toward self-governance for Native Hawaiians. The high court granted an injunction requested by a group of Native Hawaiians and non-Hawaiians challenging the election. They argue Hawaii residents who don't have Native Hawaiian ancestry are being excluded from the vote, in violation of their constitutional rights." [editor's note: If you were born in Hawaii, you're a native Hawaiian. The people referred to here as such are people who can claim some non-trivial degree of descent from the Hawaiians who lived there before the arrival of Europeans et. al - TLK] (12/02/15)

http://www.morningjournalnews.com/page/content.detail/id/993789/Supreme-Court-blocks-Native-Hawaiian-election-vote-count.html?isap=1&nav=5021  

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Abortion again goes to the Supreme Court

December 2, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow The American Spectator
by Doug Bandow  

"Abortion is again headed to the Supreme Court. At issue is a Texas law setting medical standards for abortionists. Clinics must maintain the standards of 'ambulatory surgical centers' and doctors must have 'admitting privileges' at local hospitals. The rules would close three-fourths of existing clinics, so abortion advocates filed suit. The case has national implications since six states mandate the former while ten impose the latter. ... Flagrant hypocrisy afflicts virtually everyone involved in the debate. Pro-life conservatives, who tend to be skeptical of government mandates, wax eloquent about the importance of ensuring the safety of abortion patients. Pro-abortion liberals, normally enthralled when government substitutes its judgment for that of anyone and everyone else for most any purpose, suddenly reject measures that make abortion safer. It's a form of American Kabuki Theater, bound to entertain if not enlighten." (11/30/15)

http://spectator.org/articles/64797/abortion-again-goes-supreme-court  

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The Supreme Court should hurry up and wait on immigration

November 24, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro and Josh Blackman  

"On Friday, less than two weeks after a federal appellate court affirmed the injunction against President Obama's executive action on immigration, the administration asked the Supreme Court to give the case 'immediate review.' Despite the administration's desperate plea to resolve the case as soon as possible --to allow a policy whose general thrust we agree with to proceed --the justices need not rush what could become a landmark separation-of-powers case." [editor's note: But the case is so SIMPLE -- Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution clearly and unambiguously empowers the president to "grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment" -- that there's really no reason to wait; it's a slam dunk if the Constitution means what it says - TLK] (11/24/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/supreme-court-should-hurry-wait-immigration  

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Little Sisters of the Poor vs. government almighty

November 17, 2015
posted by

The American Spectator
by David Catron  

"The Supreme Court's decision to hear Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell means that another group of Christians bedeviled by Beltway bureaucrats must beg permission from nine unelected government officials to practice their faith unmolested. This isn't about women’s health or reproductive rights. It's just another battle in the war on religious liberty waged by various manifestations of the state for two millennia. Whether it's President Obama ordering his HHS secretary to bring intransigent nuns to heel or the Emperor Trajan advising a provincial governor on the proper punishment of unrepentant Christians, it's all about worshipping the state gods." (11/16/15)

http://spectator.org/articles/64664/little-sisters-poor-vs-government-almighty  

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SCOTUS turns down case seeking disclosure on corporate welfare for Planned Parenthood

November 16, 2015
posted by

Kokomo Tribune    

"The Supreme Court has rejected an anti-abortion group's bid to force disclosure of confidential Planned Parenthood and federal government records about a contract for family planning services in New Hampshire. The justices on Monday let stand a ruling that allowed the U.S. Health and Human Services Department to withhold some documents in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by New Hampshire Right to Life. Abortion opponents objected to a $1 million contract HHS awarded Planned Parenthood in 2011 for family planning services in New Hampshire.

http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/nation_world_news/supreme-court-won-t-hear-case-over-grant-to-planned/article_3ebae7a0-8c79-11e5-9845-77a56b01dac8.html  

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SCOTUS to hear Texas case on abortion clinic rules

November 15, 2015
posted by

CNN CNN    

"The Supreme Court announced Friday that it will hear a challenge to key parts of Texas'[s] 2013 abortion law that supporters of abortion rights say is one of the strictest in the nation. The court has not heard a major abortion case since 2007, and its decision will likely come down sometime next spring or early summer in the heat of the presidential campaign. ... While supporters of the law argue it's meant to protect women's health, opponents say it has nothing to do with health and safety, but instead is a disguised attempt to put an end to abortion. Other states have similar legislation percolating through the lower courts. One provision at issue requires that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The other mandates that clinics upgrade their facilities to hospital-like standards." (11/13/15)

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/13/politics/supreme-court-to-hear-major-abortion-case/  

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SCOTUS appeal of immigration case comes mid-campaign

November 10, 2015
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"The Obama administration said Tuesday it will ask the Supreme Court to save its plans to shield from deportation millions of immigrants living in the country illegally [sic]. The appeal advances a legal confrontation with 26 states during a presidential race already roiled by disputes over U.S. immigration policy. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday effectively blocked President Barack Obama's plan to protect as many as 5 million immigrants, primarily the immigrant parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. It upheld a Texas-based federal judge's earlier injunction." (11/10/15)

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/high-court-appeal-immigration-case-mid-campaign-35102618  

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MO: SCOTUS halts planned killing of inmate by state employees

November 3, 2015
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday night halted a scheduled execution in Missouri, saying that the lethal injection should be delayed until after a lower court rules. Ernest Lee Johnson was sentenced to death for killing three people with a claw hammer in 1994. His attorneys wrote in filings asking the Supreme Court to stay the execution that Johnson had brain surgery in 2008 to remove a tumor, but that part of the tumor could not be removed. Johnson is missing between 15 and 20 percent of his brain, the attorneys wrote. As a result, Johnson has brain damage and a doctor cited as a medical expert believes he could suffer seizures due to the lethal injection, his attorneys said." (11/03/15)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2015/11/03/supreme-court-halts-missouri-execution/  

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SCOTUS to consider racial bias in selecting jurors

November 2, 2015
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"Prosecutors used green highlighters to mark the names of black people on a list of potential jurors. Five black panelists qualified to serve were the first five on a government list of 'definite NO's.' And prospective black jurors were noted as 'B#1, B#2, and B#3.' On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether those are signs that Georgia prosecutors impermissibly based their jury selection choices on race, ending up with an all-white jury in the murder trial of a black man." (11/02/15)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-supreme-court-consider-racial-bias-selecting-jurors-n455566  

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SCOTUS rejects appeal of California’s “top two” election-rigging scheme

October 14, 2015
posted by

Courthouse News Service    

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to a hear the case of minor political parties in California who claim they're shut out of general elections because of the state's top-two primary system. In November 2011, the Green Party of Alameda County joined the state's Libertarian Party and Peace and Freedom Party in suing the California Secretary of State after voters passed a top-two system for electing statewide and legislative officeholders in 2010. Under the system, an open nonpartisan primary is followed by a general-election runoff between the primary's top two vote-getters. The minor parties complained the change kept them off the ballot because -- regardless of any support their candidates may have received in the primary -- they would never get enough votes to get into the top two and thus on to the general election ballot." [hat tip -- Ballot Access News] (10/13/15)

http://bit.ly/1k34yE7  

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The death penalty feud at the Supreme Court

October 14, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps  

"Justice Stephen Breyer, in a separate opinion for himself and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, announced in Glossip that, in his view, the death penalty could no longer be administered fairly, and thus was unconstitutional. That didn't sit well with Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in a separate opinion that Breyer's 'argument is full of internal contradictions and (it must be said) gobbledy-gook.'" (10/13/15)

http://theatln.tc/1VPXBHJ  

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The Supreme Court’s dreadful record on freedom

October 2, 2015
posted by

James Bovard Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard  

"Supreme Court decisions on asset forfeiture have helped police confiscate cars, cash, and other property from scores of thousands of Americans without a criminal conviction. In 1996, the Supreme Court upheld the seizure of an automobile jointly owned by a husband and a wife after the husband was caught with a prostitute on the front seat. The Clinton administration brief to the Supreme Court blamed the wife for her husband's illicit use of the auto, claiming that she had not taken 'all reasonable steps to prevent illegal use of the car.' Chief Justice William Rehnquist based his pro-government decision heavily on an 1827 case involving the seizure of a Spanish pirate ship that had attacked U.S. ships. Rehnquist did not deign to explain the legal equivalence of piracy in the 1820s and prostitution in the 1990s." (10/01/15)

http://bit.ly/1OatRkk  

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Four justices who stood for justice

September 27, 2015
posted by

Lawrence W. Reed Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W Reed  

"Four justices in particular drew FDR's wrath in the 1930s. They did the job they were sworn to do: uphold the Constitution as it was written against all attempts to subvert it or the liberties of the people it protected. They were respected legal scholars of the first order. Unlike Roosevelt, they didn't think it was their duty to torture the Constitution until it confessed to federal powers never dreamed of by those who designed it. Power and political expediency were not among their priorities. These four heroes were George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter, James Clark McReynolds, and Pierce Butler. In few law schools today are these four defended as heroes." (09/25/15)

https://fee.org/freeman/four-justices-who-stood-for-justice/  

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Can the Supreme Court force Congress to own the war on ISIS?

August 25, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Bruce Ackerman  

"The biggest casualty in the struggle against the Islamic State so far has been the American Constitution. One year into the battle, the president and Congress threaten to destroy all serious restraints against open-ended war-making by the commander-in-chief. President Obama waited for half a year before even submitting a draft resolution authorizing his initiative. But it is now obvious that the Republican-controlled Congress finds it politically convenient to stand on the sidelines and let Obama take the blame for the escalating instability. That leaves only the Supreme Court to halt this transformation of the president into a latter-day King George III."

http://tinyurl.com/po85k6p  

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Supreme Court: No more lifetime appointments

August 4, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Foundation for Economic Education
by Doug Bandow  

"Life tenure is enshrined in the Constitution and rooted in history. The justification for lifetime appointment is to insulate the courts from transient political pressures. Some such protection is necessary if judges are to feel free to make unpopular decisions upholding the nation’s fundamental law. Yet, judicial independence does not require lack of accountability." (08/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oqlg93u  

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Clarence Thomas’s unusual evolution

July 15, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps  

"Thomas receives a lot of unmerited criticism. Critics disparage his intelligence; but read enough of his work and that illusion becomes unsupportable. He is not disengaged on the bench; indeed, he follows oral argument carefully, if silently. He is clearly on good terms with his colleagues, and is a beloved figure within the small world of Court personnel. He has, of course, scarcely bothered to conceal his bitterness at what happened in his confirmation hearings. Other giants of the bench, however, went through difficult confirmations and then, to use a phrase of Justice Scalia's, got over it." (07/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pyt5duq  

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Clarence Thomas’s confused notion of freedom

July 6, 2015
posted by

Sheldon Richman Free Association
by Sheldon Richman  

"Compared to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, his colleague Clarence Thomas is well regarded by at least some devotees of liberty. This is not totally unjustified. Thomas has demonstrated a familiarity with the philosophy and history of natural law and natural rights, which he (at times) sees rooted in individual persons. For this reason, in some areas he has opposed expansion of government power; for example in U.S. v. Lopez, he broke long precedent and held that the commerce clause of the Constitution is not a blank check to the government. However, this background knowledge has not kept him from taking positions abhorrent by libertarian standards." (07/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o5eu22k  

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The lasting legacy of Antonin Scalia?

July 5, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Emma Green  

"In the latest round of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, the country got a doozy's worth of linguistic throwdowns from Antonin Scalia, the Court's longest-serving and possibly most-crotchety justice. His dissenting opinion in King v. Burwell, a ruling on a clause in the Affordable Care Act, referred to the majority's reasoning as both 'jiggery-pokery' and 'pure applesauce.' His objection, he wrote, was that the majority relied on an interpretation of the legislative intent behind the law, instead of relying on the text of the law itself. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the Court's opinion, 'It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner,' to which Scalia replied, in brief, 'Words no longer have meaning.'" (07/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ozxe8t4  

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Deferring to Congress, Roberts takes over its job

July 2, 2015
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"Three years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts rewrote the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, to save a key provision that he believed would otherwise be unconstitutional. Last week he did it again, this time to make the law work better. In both cases, Roberts claimed he was deferring to the legislature when he was doing just the opposite: applying the law he thought Congress should have enacted instead of the one it actually passed. Such arrogance disguised as modesty undermines the rule of law while encouraging legislative laziness." (07/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ozr9nsw  

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What Justice Breyer’s dissent on lethal injection showed about the death penalty’s defenders

July 1, 2015
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Liliana Segura  

"That the United States sends innocent people to die was only one part of Breyer's wide-ranging dissent. Forty pages long and rife with data and documentation, it strayed from the constitutional question of lethal injection to attack the death penalty from every angle -- from the 'dehumanizing effect of solitary confinement' (one thing that makes it cruel), to the ever-dwindling number of jurisdictions that continue to apply it (which makes it unusual). The conclusion was inescapable. More than 20 years after Justice Harry Blackmun ended his Supreme Court tenure with his famed declaration that 'I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death,' Justice Breyer struck a similar, if less eloquent chord." (06/30/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7ctbwc  

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