Supreme Court

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 A new travel ban has superseded it.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 »

The Wages of Borking

Featured image This week marks the 30th anniversary of one of the turning points in modern American politics: the travesty of the Bork confirmation hearings. The “Borking” of Bork changed the rules of judicial appointments, and have poisoned judicial politics, ever since. It was a shameful moment because of the duplicity and hypocrisy of Democrats. Several days before President Reagan announced Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Howard Baker and Ed Meese »

Democratic Party Smears Neil Gorsuch As a Bigot

Featured image I am not easily shocked these days, but an email sent by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee an hour and a half ago shocked me. First the email, then my comments on it. Click to enlarge: The Supreme Court is not currently in session and issuing opinions, so I was puzzled as to what the Democratic Party was talking about. After a little poking around, I found that the Court »

Trump DOJ backs baker in gay wedding case

Featured image Yesterday, the Department of Justice filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief on behalf of Jack Phillips, the baker who was found to have violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to create a cake to celebrate a gay marriage. Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because to do so would violate his religious beliefs. In court, Phillips argued that requiring him to create a »

Orfield plays the race card

Featured image University of Minnesota Law School Professor Myron Orfield has materialized in the Star Tribune this morning to play the race card against Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Stras. The Senate’s consideration of Justice Stras’s nomination to the Eighth Circuit has been blocked by Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. With the dishonesty that permeates his column, Orfield declares that Klobuchar and Franken “are exhibiting appropriate diligence.” It is true that »

Justice Kennedy considering retirement next year

Featured image In this NPR story, the headline of which is about how conservative Justice Gorsuch’s votes have been, we learn that Justice Kennedy has not hired law clerks for the term that will begin in October 2018. Moreover, he has let applicants for these clerkship jobs know he is considering retirement. This doesn’t mean Kennedy will retire before the October 2018 term begins. However, the fact that he’s seriously considering doing »

Life lessons from the chief

Featured image Courtesy of an appreciative account by Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes, Hugh Hewitt tipped his listeners this morning to Chief Justice John Roberts’s ninth-grade commencement address early last month at the Cardigan Mountain School. Cardigan Mountain is an elite boarding school for boys in grades six through nine in Caanan, New Hampshire. Barnes observes: “Sitting up front under a large white tent as John Glover Roberts Jr. took »

The merits and me

Featured image Reading the Supreme Court’s per curiam (unsigned) opinion in the Trump v. IRAP (Fourth Circuit) and Trump v. Hawaii (Ninth Circuit) “travel ban” cases today, I was struck by this. The Court unanimously stayed most of the injunctive relief granted by the lower courts in the two cases. In doing so, however, the Court doesn’t even address the usually key factor of likelihood of success on the merits. Apart from »

Supreme Court allows watered-down version of travel ban to take effect

Featured image A lot went down this morning at the Supreme Court, as was to be expected considering that this was the last day of the Court’s term. First, the Court decided to allow a limited version of President Trump’s already limited ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect. In technical terms, it partially stayed lower court decisions striking down the ban. The Court also agreed to decide »

Is Neil Gorsuch the Next Justice Thomas?

Featured image The Associated Press gives us good news about Justice Neil Gorsuch’s tenure on the Supreme Court so far, but can’t resist smearing Justice Clarence Thomas along the way. First the good news: To see where Justice Neil Gorsuch might fit on the Supreme Court, watch the company he keeps. Gorsuch has already paired up four times with Justice Clarence Thomas — the court’s most conservative member — in separate opinions »

The Next Liberal Lamentation

Featured image What’s the most hated Supreme Court decision on the left of the last few years? Why, Citizens United, of course, which leftists blame for just about every bad imaginable. Aggrieved leftists often compare it to the Dred Scott decision—seriously, they do. So if Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his retirement from the Court tomorrow, can we expect to see liberal headlines saying, “Left Celebrates as Author of Modern ‘Dred Scott’ Decision »

Supreme Court: There’s no “hate speech” exception to 1st Amendment

Featured image The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the government cannot deny full trademark protection to allegedly racially offensive trademarks. The opinions are here. The case involved an Asian-American band called “The Slants.” It sought federal registration of that mark. The Patent and Trademark Office denied the application under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting trademarks that may “disparage. . .or bring. . .into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” »

Trump’s tweets and the travel ban case

Featured image I agree with Scott that President Trump’s tweet attacking his Justice Department was disheartening. It shows Trump at his worst — trashing his own team and refusing to accept responsibility for his actions. He was the one who signed the “watered down, politically correct” executive order. From a lawyers’ perspective, Trump is the client from hell — a point made, though not in these words, by Alan Dershowitz and David »

The North Carolina redistricting case — political warfare by judicial means

Featured image Modern voting rights cases involving redistricting can be thought of as a tale of two dilemmas — one legal, one political. The legal dilemma is this: if a state legislature takes race into account in drawing districts, its action is subject to challenge under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution; but if it doesn’t take race into account, its action is subject to challenge under the Voting Rights Act. »

Getting to “50” if Justice Kennedy retires

Featured image Yesterday, I noted the intense speculation over whether Justice Kennedy will retire at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term. Today, CNN reports that “friends and associates believe Kennedy is seriously considering retirement.” If Kennedy doesn’t step down this year, I think there’s a very good chance he will do so next year. With the judicial filibuster now eliminated, it will only take 50 votes to confirm a successor. »

Trump says he’ll stick to his list if Kennedy retires

Featured image As the Supreme Court moves into the home stretch of its term, speculation intensifies over Justice Kennedy’s intentions. Will the Court’s lone centrist retire at the end of the term? For Justice Kennedy, it must be a case of mixed emotions. Indications are that he would like to escape the burdens that his job places on a man of 80 years. Yet, the ability to shape national policy as the »