Supreme Court

How Does Ginsburg’s Death Affect the Race?

Featured image As Steve has noted, Ruth Ginsburg died today. Steve said that we would be back tomorrow with more thoughts, so I am jumping the gun. Here are some preliminary observations: 1) I think President Trump will nominate Amy Barrett to fill the vacancy, and will do so quickly. 2) I think Mitch McConnell will schedule hearings to take place soon. 3) The Supreme Court has always been a winning issue »

Breaking: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Passed Away

Featured image News breaking at this hour that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at age 87. If you thought this election was already thermonuclear, just wait for what happens over the next 72 hours—and seven weeks to the election for that matter. I’ll refrain for now on discussing all of that and allow for a decent interval of observation and remembrance, though I suspect that won’t be the case elsewhere. We’ll »

Trump Announces New Supreme Court List [Updated] [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Today President trump released another list of potential Supreme Court nominees. These are described as additions to the president’s prior lists, so those original people are still in the mix. This is today’s list: Bridget Bade is a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to her appointment in 2019, Judge Bade was a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Arizona and »

Why so much trouble nominating reliably conservative Justices? Part Two

Featured image In this post from last month, I tried to explain why Republican presidents have far less success nominating reliably conservative Supreme Court Justices than their Democratic counterparts have in nominating liberal ones. The main reason, I said, is that the conservative legal movement in America has multiple strands, not all of which point adherents to a result that can be called, or agreed upon as, conservative. For example, if one »

The joker is wild

Featured image Today, the Supreme Court navigated its way through disputes about the disclosure of President Trump’s financial records without doing much harm (in my view, at least). However, the Court issued a real stinker in a case that was under my radar — McGirt v. Oklahoma. By a 5-4 vote, the Court decided that much of Oklahoma is “Indian country” for the purpose of prosecuting crimes committed by Indians. Justice Gorsuch »

Supreme Court satisfies neither Trump nor his enemies in financial records cases

Featured image Departing from the practice (universal, I think) of modern presidential candidates, Donald Trump refused to make public his tax records. Not good. Trump’s political enemies contrived to use congressional and prosecutorial authority to force the disclosure of Trump’s financial records. Not good. Both sets of enemies went to town. They subpoenaed not just President Trump’s records but also those of Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump. Not good. »

Supreme Court upholds religious freedom in two major cases

Featured image The Supreme Court today handed down decisions in two important cases involving religious freedom. Considerations of religious freedom prevailed in both. In Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrisey-Berru, the issue was whether the First Amendment’s religion clauses prevent civil courts from adjudicating employment discrimination claims brought by an employee against her religious employer, when the employee carried out important religious functions. The Court ruled that the First Amendment does »

A victory for the free exercise of religion

Featured image Last week, when I briefly previewed the remainder of the Supreme Court term, I suggested that most of the big cases wouldn’t go well for conservatives, but that conservatives might squeak out wins in the religious liberty cases. Today, the Supreme Court decided one of those cases, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, and the conservative position prevailed. By a 5-4 vote, the Court held that the Montana supreme court »

Chief Justice Roberts finds another way for conservatives to lose [UPDATED]

Featured image As expected, the Supreme Court today ruled in favor of abortion providers in June Medical Services v. Russo. It struck down a Louisiana law that required abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. The vote was 5-4. Chief Justice Roberts joined the liberal majority. Justice Breyer wrote the majority opinion. Four years ago, Roberts reached the opposite result in a Texas case in »

Supreme Court upholds limits on asylum seekers’ rights

Featured image Today, the Supreme Court ruled that asylum seekers who are turned down by U.S. immigration officials immediately upon entry do not have a right to have their case heard in federal court. The Court reversed a ruling to the contrary by the left-wing Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling was an outlier among U.S. courts of appeals, and in my view, the case was a no-brainer. The notion that undocumented »

Will the conservatives’ losing streak at the Supreme Court continue?

Featured image Tomorrow, beginning at 10 a.m. in the East, the Supreme Court will start issuing its final opinions of the term. The big cases yet to be decided include: June Medical Services v. Russo (regarding abortion), Trump v. Mazars USA and Trump v. Vance (regarding access to President Trump’s tax returns case), Little Sisters of the Poor Sts. Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania (regarding the conscience exemption from Obamacare’s birth »

Pirates of the Judicial Branch

Featured image Michael Ramirez aptly sums up the Supreme Court’s ridiculous decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, in this cartoon, “Pirates of the Legislation.” Click to enlarge: Michael accompanies his cartoon with Paul’s post, “Supreme Court, Per Neil Gorsuch, Invents New LGBT Rights.” »

Noel Francisco to step down as Solicitor General

Featured image As Solicitor General of the United States, Noel Francisco is responsible for upholding the government’s positions before the U.S. Supreme Court. He does so ably, in my opinion. It’s not Francisco’s fault that Chief Justice Roberts decided to become the new Justice Kennedy or that Justice Gorsuch botched textualism. Francisco has announced that he will step down as SG when the Supreme Court’s term ends this month. To my knowledge, »

Why so much trouble nominating reliably conservative Justices?

Featured image Today, Yoram Hozany, an Israeli philosopher, tweeted: I wonder: Has there ever been an ideological movement this incompetent? They only had one job to do: Distinguish conservative lawyers from liberal lawyers. They formulate lists of approved individuals and everyone murmurs that they’ve been vetted. Then all sorts of distinguished persons publicly pronounce in chorus that the candidate is brilliant and the nomination fine. What criteria are involved in all this? »

Supreme Court, per Neil Gorsuch, invents new LGBT rights

Featured image In this time of pandemic, it’s easy to lose a robust sense of where we are in the year. Today, the Supreme Court reminded us that we’re at the time of year when it delivers decisions in major cases. Until recently, this was a dreaded time for conservatives. We dreaded it mainly because the Supreme Court was prone to inventing new constitutional rights based on its policy preferences, not on »

Supreme Court won’t lift California’s restrictions on church attendance

Featured image The Supreme Court yesterday rejected a request from a church in California to block enforcement of state restrictions on attending religious services. Currently, the state limits attendance at places of worship to 25 percent of building capacity or a maximum of 100 attendees. Chief Justice Roberts joined the four left-liberal Justices to form the majority in a 5-4 decision. Roberts wrote: Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular »

Trumplaw: Supreme Court update

Featured image In the Innovation Law Lab case, a divided Ninth Circuit panel upheld an injunction against enforcement of the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (“MPP”). Under the MPP, non-Mexican asylum seekers who present themselves at the southern border of the United States are required to wait in Mexico while their asylum applications are adjudicated. The MPP must be the most effective measure implemented by the Trump administration to stem the crushing »