Tag Archives: Supreme Court of the United States

SCOTUS will hear challenge to California law requiring anti-abortion groups to promote state-funded abortions

Source: KSRO News

"The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider whether a California requirement for pregnancy centers in that state to provide information about publicly funded abortion and contraceptive services violates free-speech rights. The petitioners, which say they are 'life-affirming pregnancy centers,' argue that California’s Reproductive FACT ACT, 'Forces licensed pro-life medical centers to post notices informing women how to contact the State at a particular phone number for information on how to obtain state-funded abortions, directly contradicting the centers' pro-life message.' And that petitioners argue is a violation of the First Amendment, both its protections of speech and of free exercise." (11/13/17)


SCOTUS: Go ahead, Alabama state employees, kill that blind, lame, demented prisoner

Source: MSN

"The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday overturned a lower court ruling that an Alabama man convicted of killing a police officer in 1985 was no longer legally eligible to be executed because strokes wiped out his memory of committing the murder. The nine justices ruled unanimously that Alabama can execute 67-year-old Vernon Madison, who has spent decades on death row. They said Supreme Court precedent had not established 'that a prisoner is incompetent to be executed because of a failure to remember his commission of the crime.' Madison has suffered several strokes in recent years, resulting in dementia and memory impairment, court papers said. He is legally blind, cannot walk on his own and speaks with a slur." (11/06/17)


SCOTUS dismisses one of two Muslim ban cases

Source: Seattle Times

"The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed one of two cases over President Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from mostly Muslim countries, suggesting it will step away from the controversy for now. The court got rid of a case that originated in Maryland and involves a ban that has now expired and been replaced by a new version. But the justices took no action on a separate case from Hawaii. That dispute concerns both the travel ban and a separate ban on refugees, which does not expire until Oct. 24." (10/10/17)


Supreme Court takes on public sector unions

Source: Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro & Frank Garrison

"At the start of this 'momentous' Supreme Court term — as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called it — most people are focused on partisan gerrymandering. But it's not clear that there are five votes for inserting courts into every redistricting decision, thereby creating an election-lawyer full-employment act. Instead, as far as politics are concerned, what the term may become known for is blunting the power and influence of public-sector unions. Two cases now before the Court pit the First Amendment rights of millions of workers against a sort of government-union cartel that makes the most feverish theories of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign look like child’s play. Both revolve around one fundamental question: whether state legislatures can force workers into unwanted relationships with unions." [editor's note: No, it doesn't revolve around that question, since the next time a state legislature forces a worker into an unwanted relationship with a union will be the first time – TLK] (10/10/17)


SCOTUS: Live streaming would "adversely affect" oral arguments

Source: Ars Technica

"The Supreme Court is setting aside a request to live stream its oral arguments. The attorney for Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. told members of Congress that live streaming even the audio portion of its oral arguments might impact the outcome. 'The Chief Justice appreciated and shares your ultimate goal of increasing public transparency and improving public understanding of the Supreme Court,' Roberts'[s] attorney, Jeffrey P. Minear, wrote the four members of Congress seeking to have the court's gerrymandering case live streamed in audio. 'I am sure you are, however, familiar with the Justices' concerns surrounding the live broadcast or streaming of oral arguments, which could adversely affect the character and quality of the dialogue between the attorneys and Justices. Consequently, the Court is unable to accommodate your request.'" (10/05/17)


SCOTUS adds more cases to 2017-2018 term, including union dispute

Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

"The Supreme Court added 11 cases to its term that begins next week, agreeing to hear a pivotal case on unions that represent government employees. Other cases involve a range of topics, from searches by police to overtime pay for car dealership service advisers. The newly accepted cases were announced Thursday morning — and so far, the union case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, is attracting the most attention. The Associated Press says that with a conservative majority, the Supreme Court will hear 'a new case with the potential to financially cripple Democratic-leaning labor unions that represent government workers. The justices deadlocked 4-4 in a similar case last year.'" (09/28/17)


SCOTUS allows Trump Muslim ban enforcement, but says it must allow broader exemptions for relatives

Source: Washington Post

"The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Trump administration to enforce its refu­gee ban for now, but said it must allow broader exemptions to the president’s travel ban for family members, including grandparents. The justices in a short order refused the administration’s request that it stay a lower court’s decision that said the Trump administration had too severely interpreted the court’s decision last month about exempting those with close family relationships. The justices on Wednesday said the government’s appeal of the lower court should go through normal channels, with the next stop at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit." (07/19/17)


TX: Supreme Court rules that state can discriminate against same-sex married couples

Source: Austin-American Statesman

"Finding no established right to spousal benefits in same-sex marriages, a unanimous Texas Supreme Court on Friday revived a lawsuit challenging the city of Houston’s insurance plans for married gay employees. According to the all-Republican Texas court, the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established the right to same-sex marriage did not decide all marriage-related matters, leaving room for state courts to explore the decision’s 'reach and ramifications.' Advocates of same-sex marriage reacted with dismay and anger, arguing that the Texas court ignored clear and undeniable instructions from the nation’s highest court." (06/30/17)


Trump, immigration and the Supreme Court

Source: LewRockwell.com
by Andrew P Napolitano

"Earlier this week, after nearly uniform rejections by judges all across the country, President Donald Trump achieved a court victory in the persistent challenges to his most recent executive order restricting the immigration of people into the United States from six predominately Muslim countries. Lower federal courts had consistently ruled that the president’s behavior was animated by an anti-Muslim bias — a bias he forcefully articulated during the presidential election campaign — concluding that what appeared to be, on its face, a travel ban based rationally on national security needs was in reality a 'Muslim ban' based on religious fear, prejudice or hatred. The Supreme Court unanimously saw it differently. Here is the back story." (06/28/17)


Another bleak Supreme Court decision for property rights

Source: Cato Institute
by Roger Pilon

"Property owners have long suffered under the Supreme Court’s erratic rulings. It got worse last Friday when the court ruled against owners who wanted simply to sell their property. Both facts and law in Murr v. Wisconsin are complicated. But in a nutshell, the Murrs, four siblings, inherited adjoining lots on the St. Croix River that their parents had purchased at separate times in the 1960s, building a home on one and keeping the other as an investment. Deeded and taxed separately, the two lots remained so to the present. But in 1975 a local zoning ordinance combined the lots. The effect, as the Murrs discovered in 2004 when they sought to sell the investment lot (valued at $410,000), was to prohibit them from doing so unless they sold the other lot and house with it." (06/28/17)