Tag Archives: Supreme Court of the United States

Justice denied: Why the government is not going to save us

Source: CounterPunch
by John W Whitehead

“The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: it will not hear the case of Young v. Borders. Despite the fact that a 26-year-old man was gunned down by police who banged on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense, the justices of the high court refused to intervene to address police misconduct. … The body count will continue to mount as long as the courts continue to march in lockstep with the police state, as long as police unions continue to strong-arm politicians into letting police agencies get away with murder, as long as legislators continue to care more about getting re-elected than about protecting the rights of the citizenry, as long as police continue to treat their fellow citizens as enemy combatants on a battlefield, as long as the media continues to focus the spotlight on circus politics, and as long as the citizenry fail to be alarmed and outraged every time the police state shoots another hole in the Constitution.” (01/10/18)


SCOTUS appears sympathetic to Ohio voter roll purge effort

Source: Chicago Tribune

The Supreme Court appeared sympathetic Wednesday to states that seek to prune their voting rolls by targeting people who haven’t voted in a while. In a case from Ohio, opponents of the practice called it a violation of a federal law that was intended to increase the ranks of registered voters. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said minorities and homeless people appear to be disproportionately kicked off the rolls. But the court’s conservatives and possibly also Justice Stephen Breyer indicated that they would uphold the state’s effort. Ohio is among a handful of states that use voters’ inactivity to trigger a process that could lead to their removal from voter rolls. A ruling for Ohio could prompt other states to adopt the practice, which generally pits Democrats against Republicans.” (01/10/18)


Four thoughts on Byrd v. United States

The Volokh Conspiracy

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Orin Kerr

“The Byrd case concerns a basic question in Fourth Amendment law: How much of a relationship does one need to have with property — in this case, a rented car — to be able to object to an illegal search or seizure of it? This is Question 2 in my textual breakdown of Fourth Amendment law, which everyone in Fourth Amendment law calls ‘standing’ even though the Supreme Court has told us we really shouldn’t call it standing (more on this below). When I teach Fourth Amendment standing, I generally teach it as a line-drawing exercise with points along a continuum. Everyone agrees on the extremes, and the disagreement is where to draw the line. How much of a connection, and what kind of connection, is enough?” (01/02/18)


The best way to rule for Carpenter (or, how to expand Fourth Amendment protections without making a mess)

The Volokh Conspiracy

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Orin Kerr

“Last month, the Supreme Court held argument in Carpenter v. United States, the pending case on whether the Fourth Amendment protects cell-site records. There seemed to be at least five votes sympathetic to ruling for Carpenter. At the same time, there was very little agreement about how to get there. What line should the Court draw, and based on what rationale? No clear answers emerged. In this post, I want to identify what I think is the best way to rule for Carpenter. To be clear, I don’t think this approach is the best way to rule. My amicus brief explains why I think cell phone users have no Fourth Amendment rights in their historial cell-site records. But if the Court wants to go the other way, there are better and worse ways to do that.” (12/30/17)


Political prisoner Ross Ulbricht appeals double life sentence to SCOTUS

Source: Bitcoin.com

“Ross Ulbricht formally submitted a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), seeking a hearing for the overturn of a decision upheld this year by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Ulbricht’s double-life sentence without the possibility of parole is at stake. … Mr. Ulbricht’s appeal focuses on two questions, according to the writ: ‘1. Whether the warrantless seizure of an individual’s Internet traffic information without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment. 2. Whether the Sixth Amendment permits judges to find the facts necessary to support an otherwise unreasonable sentence.'” (12/28/17)


Johnson, Stein ask SCOTUS to hear anti-trust debates lawsuit

Source: Ballot Access News

“On December 27, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Johnson v Commission on Presidential Debates, the case over whether federal anti-trust law has any bearing on the Commission on Presidential Debates’ restrictive policy on who gets into the debates.” (12/27/17)


Reconciling Katz and the Fourth Amendment text

The Volokh Conspiracy

Source: The Volokh Conspiracy
by Orin Kerr

“Monday was the 50th Anniversary of Katz v. United States, the Supreme Court’s big decision on the Fourth Amendment’s ‘search’ test. I often hear that Katz created a vague and non-textual notion of ‘privacy’ that is unmoored from the text. But it seems to me that it’s easy to reconcile Katz with the text of the Fourth Amendment. To be sure, Katz was decided in an era when text and history wasn’t particularly important. If you follow what opinions say on their face, rather what they actually do, Katz seems weirdly inattentive to the text. But if you focus on what the Katz framework actually does, it seems to me, the decision is readily reconcilable with the text. This post will explain why.” (12/21/17)


Sports betting case before SCOTUS has Tenth Amendment ramifications

Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Peter Weyrich

“Last week, the Supreme Court heard testimony on a case that could reinvigorate the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. Surprisingly, it’s all about football and sports betting in the State of New Jersey. The results of Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association may have consequences for a range of issues, including gun control, medical/recreational marijuana, and healthcare. The issue concerns the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA, outlawed all online gambling, with some exceptions for states that already had sports betting programs in place.” (12/11/17)


SCOTUS won’t hear LGBT job discrimination case

Source: USA Today

“The Supreme Court won’t consider a Georgia woman’s complaint that she was fired from her job because she is a lesbian, a temporary setback for LGBT rights. The court is widely expected to hear such a case in the near future because federal appeals courts are split on whether workplace discrimination laws protect sexual orientation. But the justices on Monday turned away the Georgia case, perhaps waiting for a similar challenge now pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York. In turning down Jameka Evans’ case against Georgia Regional Hospital, the high court avoided a split between lower courts that will have to be addressed in the future. The 11th Circuit appeals court upheld her firing, while the Chicago-based 7th Circuit appeals court ruled that sex discrimination laws protect gays and lesbians.” (12/11/17)


The oral argument in the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop same-sex marriage case is heartening

Source: Cato Institute
by Walter Olson

“The conventional split between the Supreme Court’s liberal and conservative wings came through in yesterday’s lively argument. Justice Sonia Sotomayor hammered the baker’s position, while the conservative trio of Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Chief Justice John Roberts did the same to Colorado’s. And yet on another level the Justices share a good deal of common ground. None were gunning for any major turnabout in Court doctrine. In conservative circles, some yearn for a sweeping new right to ignore discrimination laws in the name of religious liberty or freedom of association. That’s a non-starter, even (or especially) with today’s conservative Court. … On the Left, some pine for a hard-line opinion that claims of religious liberty or free speech can never, ever provide an excuse for discrimination. But it’s not just the Alitos and Clarence Thomases who would oppose that outcome.” (12/06/17)