Archive for the 'U.S. Supreme Court' Category
There is still room for greater diversity on the U.S. Supreme Court, after considering gender, race and ethnicity, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in Oklahoma City last week.
“We don’t have one criminal defense lawyer on our court,” she said, according to a Wall Street Journal Law Blog post. In addition, there are no justices on the bench from solo practices or having big law experience, she said.
“The president should be paying attention to that broader diversity question,” Justice Sotomayor remarked. Read moreNo comments
Will the U.S. Supreme Court find in a challenge to a Florida judicial ethics rule a vehicle to “further open the pipeline of money” into state judicial elections? A legal analyst who’s no fan of the Roberts Court expresses that concern.
The Florida Bar has asked the Supreme Court to review a rule barring candidates for a judgeship from personally soliciting campaign contributions (see Gavel Grab). At RH Reality Check, an online publication devoted to sexual and reproductive health and justice issues, analyst Jessica Mason Pieklo voices concern. Read moreNo comments
A new public opinion poll found that almost three out of four Americans (74 percent) favor letting TV cameras into the U.S. Supreme Court for live broadcasts, and 71 percent support live online audiocasts of high court proceedings.
Nonetheless, the justices have resisted the idea of cameras in the courtroom for a long time, reported a Washington Post blog. It also discussed an appellate judge’s efforts to teach the public about courtroom proceedings when oral arguments before a panel of the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were televised recently.No comments
The full impact of the Supreme Court’s campaign finance ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, issued in early April, is starting to be measured.
The ruling struck down aggregate limits on how much individuals may contribute to political candidates and party committees in an election cycle.
According to a Washington Post article, “Together, 310 donors gave a combined $11.6 million more by this summer than would have been allowed before the ruling. Their contributions favored Republican candidates and committees over Democratic ones by 2 to 1.” The article was headlined, “Wealthy political donors seize on new latitude to give to unlimited candidates.” Read moreNo comments
Veteran Supreme Court-watcher Lyle Denniston offers that assessment in the Constitution Daily blog. Denniston notes that there is no inevitability to the high court’s settling the constitutional issue that has become the topic of so many lower court rulings lately, but at the same time he examines the factors that could lead up to the high court’s deciding to review one or more of the appeals.No comments
To what extent does partisan politics pervade the U.S. Supreme Court? This familiar topic got plenty of debate at the close of the court’s most recent term, and it’s still coming, this time with a law scholar’s contention that “America now has red and blue justices on its highest court.”
Professor Garrett Epps of the University of Baltimore School of Law has an Atlantic essay entitled, “The Extreme Partisanship of John Roberts’s Supreme Court.” He dissects rulings of the 2013 term and concludes, ”On the Roberts Court, for the first time, the party identity of the justices seems to be the single most important determinant of their votes.”No comments
Although a police officer’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. has not arrived at the court system, a legal scholar suggests that recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings could make it hard to hold the policeman or his employer accountable if a civil rights violation is alleged.
“How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops” is the headline for a New York Times op-ed by Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California, at Irvine. Chemerinsky writes:
“In recent years, the court has made it very difficult, and often impossible, to hold police officers and the governments that employ them accountable for civil rights violations. This undermines the ability to deter illegal police behavior and leaves victims without compensation. When the police kill or injure innocent people, the victims rarely have recourse.”
In an interview with the National Law Journal, she criticized the court’s “biggest mistake” in the area of its campaign finance jurisprudence, and added, “It should be increasingly clear how [money] is corrupting our system, and it is spreading in states that elect their judges.”
In replies to other questions, she discussed some of the court’s rulings, “a real racial problem” in the United States and other matters. The article began, “The turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., and the controversial stop-and-frisk policy in New York City illustrate a ‘real racial problem’ in America, one that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have done little to help, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg” told the publication.No comments
In the wake of dueling federal court opinions on this issue (see Gavel Grab), Linda Greenhouse offers an intriguing analysis in the New York Times about the protracted efforts of federal Affordable Care Act foes to derail the law in the courts. She calls it “turning to the courts to achieve what politics won’t deliver” and suggests the latest efforts rely on an extremely fine point of law. Read moreNo comments
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defends the court’s unanimous decision striking down the buffer zones outside Massachusetts’ abortion clinics, Akron Legal News reported.
“It was not a compromise decision but a good decision to say yes, you can regulate, but it is speech so you have to be careful not to go too far,” Ginsburg said in an interview on Thursday.
On the other hand, the article points out that women’s groups dislike the ruling. “This decision emboldens more extreme violence, harassment, and intimidation of women and health care providers in the name of free speech,” Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal said.
“If you looked at what they had in evidence, it was pitiful compared to some in-your-face demonstrations,” Ginsburg argued in response.
In addition, according the piece, the justice is optimistic about future court decisions on same-sex marriages and her ability to continue her service on the bench. “Right now, I don’t see any sign that I’m less able to do the job,” she said.No comments