Supreme Court

Supreme Court declines to review same-sex marriage cases

Featured image The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to review lower court rulings that allow same-sex marriage in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana and Wisconsin. It would have required the votes of only four Justices to decide to review the issue, but the votes were not to be had. Nor did any Justice write a dissent from the denial of review. What does today’s decision not to decide mean. Ed Whelan argues, »

Did Marriage Dodge a Bullet Today?

Featured image This morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued a series of orders, including a long list of cases in which certiorari was denied. This means that the Court will not hear those cases, and the rulings from the courts of appeal will stand. Among the cases the Court declined to hear were those from three circuits that have found a constitutional right to gay marriage. This means that gay marriage will »

Pelosi does Hobby Lobby

Featured image John discusses Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s slightly misguided explication of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision here. According to Durbin, the Supreme Court had gone into business banning certain contraceptives. John cited Ed Whelan’s devastating critique of Durbin’s explication. John questions Durbin’s intelligence, but I think this is a bit unfair. Durbin is simply doing his job, disseminating Democratic Party talking points that seek to rile up the low-information »

Dumb Dick Durbin Demagogues Hobby Lobby

Featured image We have speculated from time to time on whether Dick Durbin is the dumbest Democrat of them all. It is a hotly contested title, but he is definitely a contender. Most recently, Durbin has been discoursing on the Hobby Lobby decision. At NRO’s Bench Memos, Ed Whelan takes him apart: Democratic senator Richard Durbin contends that the Hobby Lobby ruling violates the “fundamental premise” of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), which »

Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (3)

Featured image Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Is Administrative Law Unlawful? Professor Hamburger argues that administrative law is unlawful, unconstitutional and illegitimate. Drawing on English legal history, he contends that the regime of agency government resurrects the prerogative power once claimed by English kings and places it in the executive branch of the United States government. »

Legislation trumps administrative regulation, left irate

Featured image Lost in the sound and fury coming from the left in reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in Hobby Lobby is this point, made in a letter to the San Francisco Chronicle by Emmett C. Stanton: People choose to forget that when Obamacare passed so narrowly, it was in large part because the administration misled pro-life Democrats about its abortion and abortifacient coverage. The legislation never would have passed if »

Left’s Reaction to Hobby Lobby: Let’s Go Crazy! [Updated]

Featured image Virtually no liberals have read the Hobby Lobby decision or have any idea what the Supreme Court actually ruled, but that hasn’t prevented them from making fools of themselves. Since the Court issued its ruling yesterday morning, it has been wall-to-wall hysteria on the Left. This video montage, compiled at Grabien, is an entertaining look at the Left’s response to Hobby Lobby. Get out the popcorn: MSNBC was hardly any »

Hobby Lobby and the shape of things to come

Featured image What are the implications of today’s Hobby Lobby decision for challenges by non-profit religious institutions, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, to Obamacare’s mandate that they facilitate the free distribution of contraceptives and abortifacients to any of their employees who desire them? Professor Mark Rienzi, who together with the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty has been litigating these sorts of religious liberty cases against the Justice Department, offers »

Public employee unions not out of the woods yet

Featured image Conservatives hoped that the Supreme Court would take the opportunity presented by Harris v. Quinn to strike down a 1977 decision holding that full-fledged public employees “who choose not to join a public-sector union may nevertheless be compelled to pay an agency fee to support union work that is related to the collective-bargaining process.” The Supreme Court did not do so. This does not mean, however, that the 1977 decision »

The Funniest Left-Wing Reactions to Hobby Lobby So Far

Featured image As Paul and I have already noted, the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is carefully circumscribed and may or may not ultimately amount to much. (“Meaningless,” is now appellate lawyer Mark Arnold described the decision.) But that hasn’t stopped lefties (hardly any of whom have actually read the opinion, of course) from going crazy. The funniest reactions so far have come from lefties responding to the SCOTUSblog’s Twitter feed. These »

Supreme misery for the left [or not]

Featured image The Supreme Court today issued its final two decisions of the term. One of them constitutes a clear defeat for the left. The other looks like a minor defeat. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Court held that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. The five center-right Justices formed the majority for that proposition. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court, again with the »

Conservative Supreme Court Majority Prevails In Two Key Cases [UPDATE: Is Hobby Lobby So Narrow As To Be "Meaningless"?]

Featured image Today the Supreme Court issued its last two opinions of the term. Justice Alito delivered both opinions, and both were decided on 5-4 votes. Both decisions were eagerly awaited. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Court ruled that as applied to closely held corporations, the the contraceptive mandate imposed on employers by Obamacare violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that the First Amendment »

SCOTUS Smacks Obama Again, But . . .

Featured image Today’s the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the Obama Administration’s abuse of the recess appointment power in NLRB v. Canning.  Unanimous!  And not for the first time.  Think back to Sackett v. EPA two years ago, where a similarly unanimous Court ruled that the EPA had grossly exceeded its legal authority, or the Utility Air Regulatory Group decision on Monday, which, although 5 – 4, held that the EPA can’t »

EPA Gets Smacked Around by SCOTUS

Featured image Today’s Supreme Court decision in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA is potentially a huge setback for the climatistas and the Obama administration’s recent proposal to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act, though it is a complicated opinion and will take a while to unravel.  It is a typical 5 -4 ruling along the usual lines, but in some ways appears to be a 9 – 0 vote »

Brown v. Board and court worship

Featured image Those who believe the Supreme Court should take an “activist” approach often cite Brown v. Board of Education as an example of the Court’s ability to do good where other institutions and the body politic come up short. It’s a decent example, but not sufficient to make the general case. Keep in mind first that before giving us Brown, the Court gave us Plessy v. Ferguson. It upheld, by a »

A footnote on Brown

Featured image The principle of equal treatment without regard to race is one that is close to my heart. Accordingly, one of my favorite books on a legal subject is Andrew Kull’s history The Color-Blind Constitution, a book I learned of at the time of its publication through Judge Alex Kosinski’s 1993 New Republic review/essay. Professor Kull devotes two chapters to the separate but equal doctrine approved by the Supreme Court in »

Brown v. Board at 60

Featured image Stephan and Abigail Thernstrom rightly celebrate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education today in the Wall Street Journal, and while I join them in thinking it the correct outcome of the case, it is a source of lasting mischief that the Supreme Court, led by the dubious new Chief Justice Earl Warren, decided the case on entirely non-constitutional grounds–a sorry fact the Thernstroms note briefly. Say what? »