A collection of significant and strange cases decided by the federal courts of appeals this week. Each summary delivered in a minute or less: ten cases, ten minutes. On the docket this week was state secrets at SCOTUS, capital punishment at SCOTUS, abortion at SCOTUS, the U.S. Navy, the IRS, and a local judge in Massachusetts.Read More »
A collection of significant and strange cases decided by the federal courts of appeals this week. Each summary delivered in a minute or less: seven cases, seven minutes. On the docket this week was lots of stuff at SCOTUS, government speech, the Second Amendment, and lawn signs.Read More »
A collection of significant and strange cases decided by the federal courts of appeals this week. Each summary delivered in a minute or less: ten cases, ten minutes. On the docket this week was abortion at SCOTUS, former President Trump, the January 6 riot, voting rights, and FISA surveillance.Read More »
Summaries of noteworthy decisions in the last 48 hours from the U.S. Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals. Areas of law include standing for individual members of Congress in an inter-branch dispute, administrative law and the Affordable Care Act, and COVID-19 attendance limits on religious institutions.Read More »
Yesterday morning, a three-judge panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia dismissed Donald Trump’s lawsuit challenging the state’s ballot-counting and -certification process. Trump’s next move would be to head to the Supreme Court, just as his legal team has proclaimed all along. But don’t be fooled; Trump’s chances of getting any Justice to take his case seriously are as bad as Rudy Giuliani’s oral argument performance (calamitous by “any standard of review!”). The case is dead on arrival.Read More »
The Supreme Court’s term has now come to a close. The Court decided its last seven cases this week, capturing headlines and filling margins across the country. It handed President Trump an 0-1-1 record on his tax returns, ruling against him on the New York subpoena and sending the Congressional subpoena back to the lower court. It ruled that, for the purposes of the Major Crimes Act, the vast majority of eastern Oklahoma is Creek “Indian country” (yes, you read that right). It ruled against “faithless electors.” It rejected a procedural challenge to the Trump administration’s new religious exemptions to Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. And it struck down an exception to the federal ban on robocalls. At the center of it all was Chief Justice John Roberts, now the Court’s anchor and swing Justice, who voted with the majority in 58 of the term’s 60 cases (a 97% clip). Here is your final weekly brief for O.T. 2019.
Faithless no more! said the Supreme Court in Chiafalo v. Washington on Monday. The Court unanimously held that the Constitution allows a state to force its members of the Electoral College to vote according to that state’s popular vote. The case arose during the 2016 presidential election when three of Washington’s electors voted “faithlessly.” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won Washington’s 12 electoral votes, and each of Washington’s 12 electors had pledged to cast their votes for Clinton. But when the time came, three of the twelve violated their pledges, casting their votes for Colin Powell. Washington promptly removed the three electors from their posts and find each $1,000. The electors challenged their fines, claiming that the Constitution allows them to vote however they please. The Court rejected that claim, giving us all a bit more faith in our constitutional republic.
In an historic decision yesterday, Chief Justice Roberts held for a 7:2 majority that a sitting president isn’t absolutely immune from a state grand jury subpoena seeking the president’s private documents, and that a state prosecutor need not show a “heightened need” for such documents. It is a resounding legal defeat for President Trump, who had challenged the authority of a state district attorney to subpoena Trump’s personal and corporate financial records. But the decision may be a political win; more likely than not, Trump will be able to stave off the release of his tax records until after the November election. Here is a recap of the Court’s decision in Trump v. Vance.
For the first time since 1996, the Supreme Court’s term has officially extended into the month of July. The Court decided five cases this week, touching on abortion, free speech, religious liberty, administrative agencies, and copyright law. It also added four cases to next term’s docket, one of which concerns the release of grand jury materials from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Here’s a recap of the Court’s busy week.
“Oyez, oyez, oyez!“That is the Marshal’s call, signaling to all that the Supreme Court is in session. Even though the Court is not meeting in person, the Oyezs this week rang loud and clear. The Court handed down two of the term’s biggest decisions. On Monday, Justice Neil Gorsuch held for a six-Justice majority that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And on Thursday, Chief Justice Roberts held for a five-Justice majority that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it sought to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or “DACA.” Beyond these firecrackers, the Court also set off some streamers in its Monday orders list, denying a host of high-profile petitions concerning gun rights, qualified immunity, and “sanctuary” laws. In an ordinary week, the Supreme Court’s presence is not felt around the country. But this was no ordinary week. The Court made its mark—starting with Justice Gorsuch.