Supreme Court

A victory for election integrity

Featured image The Supreme Court issued a decision today in Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute, a case involving Ohio’s voter list maintenance policies. By a 5-4 vote, the Court upheld Ohio’s policy of removing ineligible and outdated voters from it rolls. The majority concluded that the practice under challenge – which cancels the registration of voters who do not go to the polls and who don’t respond to a notice – »

A narrow ruling in the Colorado cake baker case [UPDATED]

Featured image As Steve noted here, the Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, the Colorado cake baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs. Phillips’ victory wasn’t narrow. He won 7-2. However, the opinion that accompanied the victory was quite narrow. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog explains: Although Phillips prevailed today, the opinion by Justice »

Breaking: Supreme Court Sides with Cake Baker (Updated)

Featured image The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the much anticipated Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and the religious liberty of the cake baker, Jack Phillips, won out by a 7 – 2 vote. It appears at a first quick skim that it is a narrow ruling, but until I can wade into it more thoroughly it will be difficult to tell whether a new and clear doctrine »

Supreme Court sports gambling decision is victory for federalism. What about sanctuary cities?

Featured image Today the Supreme Court ruled that a federal law barring states from legalizing sports betting violates the “anti-commandeering doctrine.” That doctrine is part of the Supreme Court’s federalism jurisprudence. It holds that the federal government cannot “commandeer” the states to enforce federal laws or policies. The decision was 7-2 on the core constitutional question of whether the federal law in question — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) »

Supreme Court skeptical of attack on Trump travel ban

Featured image The Supreme Court heard oral argument today on President Trump’s proposed ban on travel to the United States from a handful of countries nearly all of which happen to be predominantly Muslim. Things went considerably better for the attorney defending the travel ban (Solicitor General Noel Francisco) than for the attorney challenging it (Neal Katyal). The New York Times’ account is here. This is the report of ScotusBlog’s Amy Howe. »

Supreme Court conservatives divide in deportation case

Featured image There was an interesting clash yesterday between Justice Neil Gorsuch and the other conservative Supreme Court Justices. In the case of Sessions v. Dimaya, the Court held that the government could not deport a legal resident who was twice convicted of first-degree burglary. The majority consisted of the four liberal Justices plus Justice Gorsuch, who wrote a separate concurrence. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas wrote separate dissents. The Immigration »

Linda Brown & her case

Featured image Linda Brown was the young girl who gave her name to the four cases consolidated for consideration in Brown V. Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court case that effectively invalidated the regime of public school segregation. She died on Sunday at the age of 75 or 76. Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times obituary (illustrated with good photographs) is here. Genzlinger deals inadequately with the Brown case. “In its ruling,” »

DOJ seeks to bypass Ninth Circuit in DACA case

Featured image The Department of Justice said today that it will ask the Supreme Court to review immediately the ruling of a California federal judge (William Alsup) ordering the government to restart the DACA program. Normally, the appeal from that ruling would be heard by the ultra-liberal U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. However, the DOJ seeks to proceed directly to the Supreme Court. As long-time Supreme Court reporter Lyle »

Memo to Supreme Court: Grant Cert in the Weyerhaeuser Case!

Featured image The government we live under does not resemble the one that is described in the Constitution. The principal reason for this is the power of federal regulatory agencies, which has grown explosively and is virtually unrestrained by Congress, the courts or even the president, who nominally controls the executive branch. The extra-constitutional administrative state now represents a grave threat to our liberties. The Supreme Court has an opportunity to begin »

A framework for analyzing the Colorado wedding cake case

Featured image Listening to the oral argument before the Supreme Court in the wedding cake case, it struck me how artificial the discussion was. Much of it centered on whether and under what circumstances cakes are speech. Bizarre. I don’t blame the advocates or the current Justices for the content of the argument. They must be mindful of Supreme Court precedents whether or not, as a practical matter, they fit this case »

You knew this was coming, right?

Featured image Jay Kaganoff, writing in the Washington Post says: “Fellow conservatives, it’s time to call on Clarence Thomas to resign.” No it isn’t. The controversy over Anita Hill’s allegations against Justice Thomas has nothing material in common with the cases of Al Franken, John Conyers, or Roy Moore. First, Thomas categorically denied Hill’s allegations. Franken admits to some of the allegations against him. Moore admitted, at least initially, that he dated »

An encouraging oral argument in the Colorado cake case

Featured image The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in the Colorado cake maker case. The issue is whether Colorado can coerce a baker, Jack Phillips, into making a custom cake for a gay wedding when he objects to gay marriage on religious grounds. It quickly became apparent that, to no one’s surprise, Justice Kennedy’s vote will likely decide the case. The questions Kennedy asked created some discomfort for both sides, but »

Supreme Court Stays Enforcement of Orders Enjoining Travel Ban

Featured image Today the U.S. Supreme Court gave the Trump administration a major victory, staying the orders of two lower courts that enjoined enforcement of the president’s revised travel ban. This means that the orders can be enforced, and travel from the affected countries can be banned or limited, while the courts continue to process appeals in the two cases. You can read the Court’s two orders here and here. They were »

Scalia speaks

Featured image Time has compiled a list of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2017. I haven’t read any of them, but any list that has Hillary Clinton and Ta-Nehisi Coates at numbers 1 and 2, as Time’s does, is some kind of a joke. My own top 10 list would certainly include Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and a Life Well Lived somewhere near the top, if not at number »

Trump’s Latest Supreme Court List Is Interesting

Featured image This morning I was quoted in the New York Post on President Trump’s addition of five more names to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Given the blizzard of news in recent days, Trump’s latest Supreme Court list has been somewhat lost in the shuffle. But it is actually quite interesting. Some observations: 1) Some have suggested that the point of releasing this list is to support Roy Moore »

Supreme Court dismisses challenge to travel ban

Featured image Yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to a now-expired version of President Trump’s 90-day ban on travel from six countries. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit had upheld that challenge. The Supreme Court concluded that the challenge is moot because the ban has expired. A new travel ban has superseded it. The Court stated: We granted certiorari in this case to resolve a challenge to “the »

How the Associated Press Spins the Supreme Court

Featured image The Associated Press is a loyal servant of the Democratic Party and its liberal components. If you doubt that assertion, consider today’s AP article on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term by reporter Mark Sherman. Like pretty much all AP reporters, Sherman is a liberal, as you can see from his Twitter feed. So how does a liberal reporter spin his coverage of the Supreme Court? It’s easy: he just »