Archive for the 'United States Supreme Court' Category


Erwin Chemerinksy: This love affair is over

After nearly four decades as a lawyer and 30 years teaching would-be lawyers, and after writing a leading textbook on constitutional law and helping establish a law school, and after standing before the justices five times on behalf of his clients, Erwin Chemerinsky has fallen out of love with the Supreme Court.


His break-up note runs for 342 pages and is called “The Case Against the Supreme Court.” The book makes its regretful message clear at the very beginning:

“We should realize that this is an emperor that truly has no clothes. For too long, we have treated the Court is if they are the high priests of the law, or at least as if they are the smartest and best lawyers in society.”


Sotomayor: Americans Should be Alarmed by Spread of Drones

Americans should be more concerned about their privacy being invaded by the spread of drones, Justice Sonia Sotomayor told an Oklahoma City audience.

Speaking before a group of faculty members and students at Oklahoma City University’s law school on Sept. 11, Justice Sotomayor said “frightening” changes in surveillance technology should encourage citizens to take a more active role in the privacy debate. She said she’s particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.


Most Americans Want Cameras in the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has long resisted efforts to allow cameras to broadcast its proceedings, despite overwhelming public support for the idea. A video of a federal court session in New York this week might shed a little light on why.


The Supreme Court’s NOT Top 10

The Supreme Court press and other court observers have spilled a lot of ink this past month discussing the cases the Supreme Court took and decided during October Term 2013. Relatively little was said about the cases the court chose not to decide—and it passed over some doozies. But as Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart put it so eloquently, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”


Lawmaker Accuses Two Justices of Misleading the Senate

A recent controversial ruling by the Supreme Court reveals that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. were less than transparent during their Supreme Court confirmation hearings, a Democratic lawmaker charged.

And the lawmaker, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is none too happy about it.

The Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraception case, Durbin said, goes against the landmark 1965 privacy case, Griswold v. Connecticut, which both justices vowed to uphold during their confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee nearly a decade ago.


Supreme Court’s First Amendment Hypocrisy

The Supreme Court’s reverence for the First Amendment would ring truer if justices applied the same standard to their own surroundings.

In June, the court unanimously rejected the Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law on grounds that it restricts free speech on a public sidewalk. Yet, as other media outlets have reported, the court selectively enforces a protest-free zone in its own backyard — or more precisely, on its plaza.


Judge to Supreme Court: ‘STFU’

The Supreme Court is used to having its decisions publicly criticized, but rarely in R-rated language spouted by a federal judge, who says the justices should just “stfu.”

The remarks come from Nebraska-based Judge Richard Kopf, who has a reputation for provocative commentary on his personal blog.


Birth Control Order Deepens Divide Among Justices

In a decision that drew an unusually fierce dissent from the three female justices, the Supreme Court sided with religiously affiliated nonprofit groups in a clash between religious freedom and women’s rights.

The decision temporarily exempts a Christian college from part of the regulations that provide contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The court’s order was brief, provisional and unsigned, but it drew a furious reaction from the three female members, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. The order, Justice Sotomayor wrote, was at odds with the 5-to-4 decision on Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which involved for-profit corporations.


Compromise at the Supreme Court Veils Its Rifts

Two very different group portraits of the Supreme Court emerged this term, one familiar and one unexpected.

The familiar was on display Monday in two 5-to-4 decisions that were split by angry divisions and seemed to advance a conservative agenda.

But the more finely drawn portrait takes account of the 67 decisions in argued cases this term. The court was unanimous about two-thirds of the time, and those cases revealed signs of compromise and restraint, which many Supreme Court specialists said was a testament to the leadership of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., 59.


Supreme Court Rules Whistleblower Testimony is Protected

The First Amendment protects public employees from job retaliation when they are called to testify in court about official corruption, the Supreme Court ruled.

The unanimous decision cheered whistleblower advocates, who said it could encourage more government workers to cooperate with prosecutors in public fraud cases without fear of losing their livelihoods.

The justices decided in favor of Edward Lane, a former Alabama community college official who says he was fired after testifying at the criminal fraud trial of a state lawmaker. Lower courts had ruled against Lane, finding that he was testifying as a college employee, not as a citizen.

October 2020