ACSTO: So what did the Supreme Court think?

Bush: “The Wolves of Washington” and the Roberts/Miers/Alito Nominations

Ken Klukowski: Supreme Court weighs AZ tax credit for Christian schools

Supreme Court to hear argument on the citizenship rights of non-marital children, part 2

Kagan may decide ObamaCare despite admin role

Cert. filed in Seventh Day Adventist case: Does RFRA apply to suits between private parties?

Supreme Court allows child custody ruling in favor of former lesbian partner versus mom to stand

Supreme Court to hear argument on the citizenship rights of non-marital children

SCOTUSblog: Last week’s arguments in Plain English

High court turns down early health care challenge

David French on tax-credit voucher programs

SCOTUSblog: Ten Commandments issue — again

Ken Klukowski: Does First Amendment require selling violent video games to children?

Retired Justice Stevens says Americans should accept mosque near Ground Zero in spirit of tolerance

Solicitor general surprises justices with standing argument in religious schools case

AZ school choice case: Does it hinge on whether the government owns everything?

Supreme Court argument recap: “Common sense” and violence

Supreme Court weighs tax credits for AZ school choice program

Phyllis Schlafly: Gov’t trampling on constitutional rights of parents

Calif. pushes to uphold ban on violent video games

High court rejects campaign finance appeal

Heritage Foundation: School choice on trial at the U.S. Supreme Court

High Court seen snubbing religious-expression cases

Arizona tax-credit case a test of church vs. state

White House praises Sotomayor after Tribe’s slap leaks

Can states keep kids from violent video games?

To choose or not to choose: That’s the U.S. Supreme Court’s question Wednesday

RLUIPA argument preview: Reach of Congress’s powers: SCOTUSblog

Coalition asks Senate to pass bill allowing cameras to broadcast Supreme Court arguments

    ACLU Press Release: “A coalition of public interest advocates led by the American Civil Liberties Union, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Alliance for Justice sent a letter to the Senate today urging action on a bill that would allow television coverage of open Supreme Court proceedings. In the letter, the groups argue that broadcasting Supreme Court arguments would lead Americans to have a greater understanding of the justice system and the government overall. The bill, S. 446, was introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) early last year and was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June on a bipartisan vote of approval.”


  • Posted: 10/28/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar
  • |
  • Source: www.aclu.org

  • Tags: , ,

Laurence Tribe’s letter to Obama: Sotomayor “not nearly as smart as she thinks she is”

Daniel Henninger: The rage against Citizens United

    Daniel Henninger writing at The Wall Street Journal: “Presidencies and parties decline for lots of reasons, but looking back, one of the pivotal events in writing the history of the first Obama term is likely to be the tongue-lashing he gave several Supreme Court justices seated before him at his 2010 State of the Union message . . . Insofar as we now see in the current election that the biggest spenders roaring through the Citizens United floodgates are the public unions, the Obama-Pelosi tantrums seem overwrought, even phony. Freed to spend their own funds, AFSCME, the SEIU, and the National Education Association have spent $171.5 million, compared to political outlays of $140 million by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and Crossroads GOP.”


  • Posted: 10/28/2010
  • |
  • Category: Religious Liberty
  • |
  • Source: online.wsj.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

Cert. petition filed on scope of the ministerial exception

Bloody video games may get same age curbs as porn in Supreme Court case

Liberty Counsel asks Supreme Court to hear case on Ten Commandments display

High court won’t block Maine election laws

ACSTO: Is it a sour lemon, or just sour grapes?

Supreme Court review sought in pastor’s defamation claim against church

Rep. DeFazio investigating impeachment of Chief Justice Roberts

Linda Greenhouse: Calling John Roberts

Supreme Court asked to review religious employment case

Explanation of arguments heard by the Justices last Tuesday in vaccination case

    Lisa McElroy writing at SCOTUSblog: “Let’s start with Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, a case about whether vaccine manufacturers can be held liable for design defects in their vaccines. In 1986, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA), providing that vaccine manufacturers cannot be sued for injuries from vaccines if the injuries resulted from side effects that were ‘unavoidable’ . . . The petitioners in this case are the parents of Hannah Bruesewitz, who when she was six months old suffered severe seizures after receiving one of her childhood vaccines . . . This case is a great example of one major class of Supreme Court cases – cases involving statutory interpretation. Here, the parties disagree about what the statutory language of the Act means.”


  • Posted: 10/22/2010
  • |
  • Category: Sanctity of Life
  • |
  • Source: www.scotusblog.com

  • Tags: , , , , ,

DC marriage referendum reaches high court

Slate book review: “Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion”

    Lincoln Caplan writing at Slate: “It has been Brennan’s legal enemies who have generally been readiest to credit him with a political philosophy—albeit rooted in a personal, rather than principled, vision. Central to the conservative attacks on the Warren Court a generation ago was a portrait of Brennan as an avatar of judicial activism. A measure of that campaign’s lasting impact is that many liberals, too, assume that, in shaping key rulings of the Supreme Court, Brennan imposed his own views and preferences . . . The biography usefully complicates that reductive notion, most notably in the realm of gender relations.”

    At National Review Online, Ramesh Ponnuru comments: “[T]his defense misunderstands the conservative critique of judicial activism. That critique is perfectly capable of recognizing that an activist’s decisions might be ‘principled’ in the sense of fitting into a coherent political philosophy; what it denies is that the Constitution authorizes the justice to implement this political philosophy.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar

  • Tags: , ,

Law Review: Justice Kennedy’s Vision of Childhood and the Role of Judges

    Tamar R. Birckhead, Graham v. Florida: Justice Kennedy’s Vision of Childhood and the Role of Judges (October 19, 2010). Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy, Vol. 6, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1694788

    “This short article examines Graham v. Florida, the United States Supreme Court decision holding that the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause does not permit a juvenile offender to be sentenced to life in prison without parole for a nonhomicide crime. This article argues that Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion is grounded not only in Roper v. Simmons, which invalidated the death penalty for juvenile offenders on Eighth Amendment grounds, and Kennedy v. Louisiana, which held that the Eighth Amendment prohibited the death penalty for the offense of rape of a child, but in Establishment Clause cases set in the context of public schools and Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause cases upholding parental notification requirements for teenagers seeking abortions. Whereas many journalists and scholars consider Justice Kennedy a ‘legal pragmatist’ who lacks an overarching philosophy to guide his decision-making, in each of these opinions his view of childhood and the proper role of judges is consistent: children and adolescents are unformed works in progress, in the midst of both character and brain development, who are particularly susceptible to direct as well as indirect forms of coercion; as a result, when determining what liberty interests are protected by the United States Constitution, the role of judges and the courts is to ensure that youth mitigates rather than aggravates. Further, although juvenile justice advocates have heralded Graham as a clear victory, the opinion may raise as many questions as it seeks to answer.”


  • Posted: 10/21/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar
  • |
  • Source: ssrn.com

  • Tags: , , , ,

Roberts: Attending State of Union up to each judge

Time for health care case?

Justice Kennedy Orders Response on Request to Halt Maine Public Funding Scheme

In the courts: Voucher battle redux

    David Masci, Senior Researcher, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: “On Nov. 3, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of related cases involving a constitutional challenge to an Arizona tax policy aimed at providing scholarships for children to attend private — often religious — schools. The cases, Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn and Arizona Department of Revenue v. Winn, involve a state tax credit for Arizona residents who contribute money to what are called scholarship tuition organizations (STOs), nonprofit groups that use taxpayer contributions to provide scholarships for children to attend private schools. Opponents of the tax credit contend that it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because, in their view, it allows the state to channel public money to religious schools. Those defending the tax credit maintain that it meets the constitutional standards set by the Supreme Court in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, the 2002 ruling which upheld a school voucher program in Cleveland, Ohio. Before deciding the Establishment Clause issue, however, the court will consider whether those challenging the tax credit have legal standing, which is the right to bring such a lawsuit.”


  • Posted: 10/19/2010
  • |
  • Category: Religious Liberty
  • |
  • Source: pewresearch.org

  • Tags: , , , , ,

NYT: The Court’s pre-emption test at issue in vaccination case

Jackson petitions Supreme Court in D.C. marriage case

Supreme Court to hear Ashcroft appeal of US Muslim’s detention

Justice Alito will not attend State of the Union address

SCOTUSblog Petition to Watch: SpeechNow.org v. FEC

Alan Sears: Secularists Unite to Destroy Parental Authority and Religious Liberty

NewsHour interviews with Justices Breyer and O’Connor

Supreme Court Approval Ratings, 2000-2010

The Myth of The Switch In Time

    Timothy Sandefur writes at the Volokh Conspiracy:  ”It’s certainly true that the 1930s (what Auden called “a low, dishonest decade”) saw a profound shift in American constitutional law, but that change is best seen as the climax of a decades-long struggle by Progressives to change constitutional doctrines via interpretation. The Progressives, in fact, were quite explicit about this effort. In a 1924 profile of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Dorsey Richardson wrote that . . . ”


  • Posted: 10/13/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar
  • |
  • Source: volokh.com

  • Tags: , ,

NY Times: Justice Thomas and His Wife

    NY Times: “Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, is the founder and chief executive of Liberty Central, a nonprofit organization set up to ‘restore the greatness of America,’ in part by opposing the leftist “tyranny” of President Obama and Democrats in Congress. Its first contributions of $500,000 and $50,000 came from undisclosed donors. The size of those gifts, their anonymity and their importance to the organization raise a serious issue of ethics for Justice Thomas.”


  • Posted: 10/13/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar
  • |
  • Source: www.nytimes.com

  • Tags: , ,

Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Vaccine Case Against Wyeth

US Supreme Court: Cert. Grant in 10th Amendment Case

    Eugene Volokh reports at the Volokh Conspiracy: “Granted this morning, Bond v. United States. Question presented: ‘Whether a criminal defendant convicted under a federal statute has standing to challenge her conviction on grounds that, as applied to her, the statute is beyond the federal government’s enumerated powers and inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment.’”


  • Posted: 10/12/2010
  • |
  • Category: Bench & Bar
  • |
  • Source: volokh.com

  • Tags: ,

US Supreme Court won’t reconsider Utah tax targeting nude bars

The Competition for Supreme Court Cases

    Orin Kerr writes at the Volokh Conspiracy: “Adam Liptak has an important front-page story in The New York Times about how Supreme Court specialists look for cases to take to the Supreme Court. The story presents a pretty accurate picture of how tough the competition is for cases likely to get to the Supreme Court. These days, if you’re a lawyer who has a case that might get to the Supreme Court, you can expect a lot of calls from some pretty high-powered lawyers offering free help and competing for the opportunity to provide it. I think there are a few different issues raised by the story, however, and it’s important to keep them separate . . . ”


  • Posted: 10/11/2010
  • |
  • Category: Uncategorized
  • |
  • Source: volokh.com

  • Tags: ,

Pence: Odds are on Supreme Court striking down healthcare reform

New Citizens United sequel?

Chuck Colson on Snyder v. Phelps: Free to desecrate?

Supreme Court Asked to Protect Campaign Speech in Final Days Before Election

Justice Breyer on originalism, the media and the court

Justice Breyer: “Now, I’m probably more in dissent”

Law Review: Snyder v. Phelps, Private Persons and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

    W. Wat Hopkins, Snyder v. Phelps, Private Persons and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress: A Chance for the Supreme Court to Set Things Right (October 6, 2010). First Amendment Law Review, Vol. 9, p. 101, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1688438

    “For nearly twenty years, the Westboro Baptist Church has been protesting at funerals with impunity. But that may change. In March, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari in a case in which the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on First Amendment grounds, struck down a $5 million award against the church. The plaintiff was a private person who brought an action for intentional infliction of emotional distress and other torts. Albert Snyder was not involved in a matter of public debate but was merely attempting to bury his son when he was targeted by the church. The boundaries of intentional infliction cases should be narrowly drawn, but the Snyder case falls into even the most narrow of those boundaries. It involves a private figure involved in private matters, so the heightened burden of proof the Supreme Court established for public figures in intentional infliction actions does not apply. Snyder did not bring the action because he disagreed with the message disseminated by the church, so there was no debate on matters of public concern. The Supreme Court seems primed to overrule the Fourth Circuit and sustain the verdict, as it should.”


  • Posted: 10/08/2010
  • |
  • Category: Religious Liberty
  • |
  • Source: ssrn.com

  • Tags: , , ,

Breyer says Supreme Court doesn’t have pro-business slant

Gallup: Supreme Court starts term with 51% approval