Phyllis Schlafly at Townhall : The U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in Brown v. Entertainment Merchant Association. This wasn’t a First Amendment case, it was a parents’ rights case — and only Justice Clarence Thomas understood that.
Ken KlukowskiWashington Examiner: Justice Antonin Scalia was dead wrong in striking down California’s restriction on selling horribly violent video games to children. And Justice Clarence Thomas did a spectacular job of showing why the Founders would uphold this law.
The Volokh Conspiracy » Court Takes Public Employee Union Dues Case: Among the eleven (11) cases upon which the Court granted cert this morning is ZZ: Knox v. Service Employees Int’l Union Local 1000 . . .
The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a provision of a campaign financing system in Arizona that gives extra cash to publicly funded candidates who face privately funded rivals and independent groups.
AP: The Supreme Court is expected to rule Monday on an Arizona campaign finance law that gives extra cash to publicly funded candidates who face privately funded rivals and independent groups.
The Washington Post: Kennedy has now served on the court for nearly 25 years. In the event that Obama should not win reelection next year, it seems probable that a Republican president would attempt to replace Kennedy, who turns 77 in 2013, with a justice less receptive to gay equality.
SCOTUSblog: The case also means that the Court has taken a sharp turn in favor of federal preemption, in effect turning the traditional presumption against so-called impossibility preemption toward a presumption in favor of federal preemption, at least under schemes that operate like the federal prescription drug laws here.
SCOTUSblog: The new ruling in Bond v. U.S. (docket 09-1227) stands, in a technical sense, for one simple proposition: a lawsuit claiming that Congress has stepped on the states’ sovereign authority does not need to be filed or joined by a state government. A number of courts had been assuming, and ruling, that state involvement in such a case was absolutely necessary, when the Tenth Amendment was being used to challenge a federal law passed by Congress.
USATODAY.com: Twenty years ago, when a senator asked then-appellate Judge Clarence Thomas why he wanted to be on the Supreme Court, Thomas said he often looked out his courthouse window at arriving prisoners and said to himself, “But for the grace of God, there go I.”
Washington Examiner: Nevada’s law barring public officials from voting—or officially speaking—for or against issues where they have a personal stake is okay under the First Amendment, according to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, the high court considered whether Nevada’s recusal statute for public officials violates those officials’ free speech rights.
Law.com: Since the days of Daniel Webster and Francis Scott Key, U.S. Supreme Court advocacy has been dominated by white men. It took until 1993 for a ladies’ room to be installed near the lawyers’ lounge at the Court. But change has arrived in the upper echelons of Supreme Court practice.
San Francisco Chroncle: The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge Monday to a California law granting college tuition discounts to high school graduates in the state, regardless of immigration status – a law that saves illegal immigrants, among others, nearly $23,000 a year at UC campuses.
Bloomberg: It’s Justice Anthony Kennedy’s country — the rest of us just live in it. Or so it sometimes feels when the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important and decisions come down from Mount Olympus, aka 1 First Street, NE, where the justices preside in their white marble temple in Washington.
Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: Tens of thousands of convicted felons could be coming to a neighborhood near you. How do you feel about letting your kids go outside tonight?
Debra J. Saunders at Rasmussen Reports: The U.S. Supreme Court effectively ordered California on Monday to release 33,000 inmates over two years from an in-state prison population that numbers about 143,000.
Wall Street Journal (via Google): Yesterday the Supreme Court ordered California to release 46,000 convicted criminals—people who society has decided, through a fair and impartial judicial system, are dangerous or deserve to be punished. Justice Antonin Scalia, in a powerful dissent, calls it “perhaps the most radical injunction issued by a court in our Nation’s history.” In Brown v. Plata, a 5-4 Court majority . . . | How Appealing links to more reports
Washington Post: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a dispute over whether to identify students challenging a private school system’s admissions policy that gives preference to those of Hawaiian ancestry.
New documents suggest Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan involved with crafting legal defense of Obamacare
Daily Caller: Newly released documents reveal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was more involved with President Obama’s health-care law than she disclosed previously. The documents likely will lead to a revival of questions about whether the Kagan should recuse herself from future cases.
Washington Post: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was welcomed with a mostly standing ovation when he took the podium Wednesday to dedicate Augusta’s sparkling new courthouse, but not everyone stood. Some in the crowd remained conspicuously seated, greeting the Georgia native with a studied silence.
McClatchy: A controversial Florida law that restricts state colleges and universities from traveling to Cuba and other “terrorist states” could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
Washington Post: Oral arguments usually get most of the attention when cases make it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Justice Samuel Alito said those arguments are a relatively small part of deciding each case.
AP: The Supreme Court is brushing aside an atheist’s challenge to religion in government, refusing to hear a complaint about President Barack Obama adding “so help me God” to his inaugural oath of office.
Washington Post (Apr. 29th): Kagan said it was not a surprise that Clement would resign from his law firm “rather than abandoning a client.” Those who criticize Clement “misunderstand the traditions and ethics of the legal profession,” she said.
Tony Mauro at the Blog of the Legal Times: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas heads to his home state of Georgia next week to help dedicate a new courthouse, but not everyone there is eager to see him.
Politico: But the vigorous legal, legislative and public relations campaigns mounted by the left against Thomas and the right against Kagan show no signs of abating – and that is hardly an accident. It means that both sides are determined to make the Supreme Court and its decisions a major political issue headed into the 2012 election.
David L. Hudson, Jr. at the First Amendment Center: The Court’s ultimate originalist believes strongly in applying the original views of the Founding Fathers in interpreting the Constitution. In First Amendment law, Thomas has taken bold stances that distance him from his colleagues. Usually, in separate concurring opinions, he explains why he would overrule a leading First Amendment decision or why the Court has gone astray.
AZ Republic: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that put the most controversial parts of the state’s immigration enforcement law on hold.
Amanda Frost at the SCOTUS Blog: The Supreme Court today has nearly complete discretion over its docket—too much discretion, some argue. In a world in which the Court grants only about one percent of the 8000 or so petitions it receives each year, the process of “deciding to decide” is almost as important as the Court’s rulings on the merits, and yet the public knows almost nothing about how such decisions are made.
Supreme Court Denies Review In Case Involving San Francisco’s Resolution Criticizing Cardinal Levada
Religion Clause Blog: The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights v. City and County of San Francisco, California (Docket No. 10-1034, cert. den. 5/2/2011). (Order List.)
Volokh Conspiracy: “From the Supreme Court’s own web site: This power of “judicial review” has given the Court a crucial responsibility in assuring individual rights, as well as in maintaining a “living Constitution” whose broad provisions are continually applied to complicated new situations.”
David L. Hudson at the First Amendment Center: Conservatives are often portrayed as hostile or indifferent to First Amendment freedoms. But in the arena of free speech Roberts has not been a disaster — far from it . . .
Choosing, for now, to remain on the sidelines of the national constitutional debate over the new health care law, the Supreme Court refused on Monday to put Virginia’s challenge to the law on a fast track with review by the Justices ahead of any appeals court decisions.
Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: Federal law allows state officials to sue each other in federal court, but it’s unconstitutional to sue a state for refusing to allow misbehaving inmates to attend religious services. Thus said the Supreme Court in two decisions this week, both by a 62 vote. (Justice Elena Kagan was recused from both cases.) And they could affect Obamacare.
The Hill: “This could mean that a justice is writing a dissent from the denial; or that a justice is writing a statement respecting denial; or that a potential fourth justice to grant is unsure and needs more time; or even that the Court is unsure whether to deny or dismiss the petition (for lack of jurisdiction),” writes Brad Joondeph of the ACA Litigation Blog, which tracks healthcare reform challenges.
SCOTUS Blog’s updated list of Petitions to Watch is here.
UPI: “A relatively quiet but intense struggle in the fedeal courts will decide under what conditions a company can patent the building blocks of life — or in some cases the building blocks of death — for profit.”
Jeremy Tedesco on the Janet Mefferd Show: AZ school tax credits and the victory at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Jeremy Tedesco appeared on the Janet Mefferd Show with a guest host to discus the Arizona school choice victory at the U.S. Supreme Court. | MP3 audio 16:04 mins
Greg Baylor on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra: Victory for school choice at the U.S. Supreme Court
ADF attorney Greg Baylor appeared on KDCR, Conversations with Carl Zylstra to discuss this: ADF attorneys win Arizona parental-choice-in-education case. | MP3 audio 21:13 mins
Mercator.net: The high court agreed 5–4 with the arguments of Alliance Defense Fund attorneys and dismissed an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against an Arizona program that promotes school choice.
AP: “George Washington didn’t really have a view about the Internet,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd of about 650 people at the Statehouse Convention Center.
Dave Cortman on the Hugh Hewitt Show: The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Arizona school tuition tax credit case
ADF attorney Dave Cortman appeared on the Hugh Hewitt Show to discuss the ruling in Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn. | MP3 audio 5:55 mins
Jeremy Tedesco on KFYI 550 AM with Mike Broomhead: A closer look at the Arizona school tuition tax credit victory
Candi Cushman at Citizen Link: As it has done many times before, this week the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit, finding that the ACLU’s clients lacked standing to file the lawsuit. “The decision creates a national precedent that will prevent similar legal attacks in the future,” said the Alliance Defense Fund press release. It affirms a key concept underlying most school choice programs—that private donations and the personal choices of families are voluntary and are not the same thing as government-forced religion.
Michael Foust at Baptist Press: Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, said in a news release. ADF supports the law and represented an STO — the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization — in the case. That particular organization was the main STO party in the case. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes,” Cortman said. “The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
Huffington Post: The Alliance Defense Fund, which argued for the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, hailed the “national precedent” that will limit similar suits in federal courts. “The court’s reasoning is sound,” said ADF senior counsel David Cortman. “The government does not own 100 percent of every American’s paycheck. The donations are private money, not government money.” Americans United for Separation of Church and State agreed the decision could prevent federal court action on the issue in the future, but vowed to continue the fight in state courts. “This is not a good day for the wall of separation,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “A few more bricks are out of it.”
Christian Post: The Alliance Defense Fund praised the judges’ decision. “The court’s reasoning is sound,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “The donations are private money, not government money.”
Ken Klukowski at the Washington Examiner: The tuition organization was represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, which argued that the program doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause because the choice of whether to support a religious school was being made by private citizens, not the government. ADF also argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing to file the suit.
NY Sun: [A] huge victory for proponents of parental choice in education” is how today’s news was characterized by the Alliance Defense Fund, a not-for-profit law firm that has played a leading role in the struggle to expand religious liberty. It represented a group called the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, one of more than 50 non-profit 501(c)(3) corporations that ADF said have been set up to distribute private donations in the form of scholarships to more than 27,000 students attending hundreds of private schools at the Grand Canyon State. It’s not just Christians who will benefit from this ruling.
Leader Telegram: The Alliance Defense Fund applauded the ruling and said it sets a “national precedent” that “empowers parents. (They) should be able to choose what’s best for their own children,” said David Cortman, its senior counsel.
Tucson Citizen: “It’s an extremely important decision, not only for all the citizens of Arizona but for the millions of Americans who support school choice,” said David Cortman, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian-oriented religious-rights group that represented the Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization, which intervened as a third party in the case. “But it’s much more broad than simply the issue of school choice. Any type of tax credit or tax deduction that may happen to benefit religious organizations would also have been suspect had the court accepted the ACLU’s arguments,” Cortman added.
Livingston Daily: David Cortman, an Alliance Defense Fund lawyer who represented a Christian school tuition organization that intervened in support of the Arizona policy, said the ruling “absolutely should embolden legislatures.” He said groups such as his that support “choice” programs would press states to enhance options for parents beyond public schools.
Daily Caller: The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) was thrilled to hear the decision. “Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” said ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes. The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
CNA: “Parents should decide what schools their children attend and where their money goes,” said Cortman, who serves as Senior Counsel for the defense fund. He said that the American Civil Liberties Union “failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”
One News Now: Cortman says the high court’s decision creates a national precedent that will prevent similar legal attacks in the future. “What’s important in this case is that the ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students across the country — and just as importantly, failed to demonstrate that its clients had any constitutional basis to file suit,” says the ADF attorney.
SCOTUS Blog: The Court pares down, to the absolute minimum, the right of taxpayers to challenge government programs that provide financial aid to religion. Arizona’s tax credit system that benefits parochial students survives a challenge.
Adam Liptak at the NY Times: The plaintiffs’ position, Justice Kennedy wrote, “assumes that income should be treated as if it were government property even if it has not come into the tax collector’s hands.” But, he added, “private bank accounts cannot be equated with the Arizona State Treasury.”
Wall Street Journal (full text via Google): With one more vote, the current Court’s liberal minority would surely ban school choice involving any religious schools. The Arizona decision shows again that the Court is only a single vote away from many decisions not all that far removed from those of the Ninth Circuit.
It held that the challengers to an Arizona tax credit which provides tax credits for contributions to tuition organizations, which then use the contributions to provide scholarships for, among others, religious schools, lack standing under Article III because they are challenging a tax credit, rather than government spending.
ACLU: Supreme Court Rules Arizona Taxpayers Lack Standing To Challenge Tax Credit System Used To Fund Religious-Based Scholarships
ACLU: “Unfortunately, today’s decision may encourage state legislatures seeking to subsidize religion without judicial review,” said Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University’s law school and former U.S. Deputy Solicitor General who served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs and argued the case in the Supreme Court.
But the Supreme Court saw through all of that rhetoric and held that the ACLU’s clients have no right to come to court in the first place because they have no legal standing. In simple terms, they have no injury to complain of. The Court agreed with ADF’s argument that the money donated is private money—not the government’s—and that someone else’s donation creates no legal injury to ACLU’s clients.
Liberty Counsel: Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of the Liberty University School of Law, commented: “Parents deserve the right to choose how to educate their children. This program gives parents the rights that everyone should enjoy. It is contrary to our history of liberty that parents should be forced to educate their children in government schools, particularly when some schools doom their children to failure. Parents know best about their children’s well-being and should be given every opportunity to provide a quality education of their choice.”
Family Research Council Praises U.S. Supreme Court for Upholding Parents’ Rights, Religious Liberty in Education
FRC applauds the work of its allies the Alliance Defense Fund, Liberty Counsel and the American Association of Christian Schools. We also thank U.S. Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), whose 1995 authorship of the Arizona Scholarship Tax Credit legislation while serving in the Arizona legislature set the groundwork for today’s historic ruling.”
AFC: The effort to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision was led by the Institute for Justice and the Alliance Defense Fund
Fox News: “Parents should be able to choose what’s best for their own children. This ruling empowers parents to do just that,” Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David Cortman said in a statement. “The ACLU failed in its attempt to eliminate school choice for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide and also failed to demonstrate that it had any constitutional basis for its clients to file suit in the first place.”