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US Supreme Court (SCOTUS)

Self Description

April 2007: "The Supreme Court consists of the Chief Justice of the United States and such number sociate Justices as may be fixed by Congress. The number of Associate Justices is currently fixed at eight (28 U. S. C. §1). Power to nominate the Justices is vested in the President of the United States, and appointments are made with the advice and consent of the Senate. Article III, §1, of the Constitution further provides that “[t]he Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office....”

Constitutional Origin.Article III, §1, of the Constitution provides that “[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” The Supreme Court of the United States was created in accordance with this provision and by authority of the Judiciary Act of September 24, 1789 (1 Stat. 73). It was organized on February 2, 1790.

Jurisdiction. According to the Constitution (Art. III, §2):

"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;—to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;—to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;—to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;—to Controversies between two or more States;—between a State and Citizens of another State;—between Citizens of different States;—between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

“In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”

Appellate jurisdiction has been conferred upon the Supreme Court by various statutes, under the authority given Congress by the Constitution. The basic statute effective at this time in conferring and controlling jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may be found in 28 U. S. C. §1251 et seq., and various special statutes.

Rulemaking Power. Congress has from time to time conferred upon the Supreme Court power to prescribe rules of procedure to be followed by the lower courts of the United States. See 28 U. S. C. §2071 et seq."

Third-Party Descriptions

September 2016: 'Trump’s burgeoning pay-to-not-be-played scandal features the substantial donation he made to Florida’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, just days before she decided not to join a multistate lawsuit over alleged fraud at Trump University. It certainly looks as if Trump was paying Bondi to “do whatever the hell” he wanted her to do. But despite the many levels of gross surrounding the donation, the lackluster investigation of fraud, and the lavish fundraiser Trump then provided Bondi at bargain-basement prices, any attempt to prove in a court that he, or she, did anything illegal will be an uphill climb. This is in no small part thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. Its unanimous decision last spring in McDonnell v. United States made it vastly easier to purchase politicians and far harder to prosecute corruption. Today, post-McDonnell, prosecutors are too freaked out to bring anti-corruption cases, and nobody is happier about that than Trump and Bondi.'

June 2016: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, effectively ending what Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. The program would have shielded as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States."

June 2016: "The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that Test 21’s grossly disproportionate impact on minority applicants violated the Equal Protection Clause. But when the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices disagreed."

September 2014: "The first real wave of black migration came after 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled in Jones v. Mayer that the Civil Rights Act prohibited racial discrimination in real estate transactions. Another wave came in the 1980s, after the implementation of a busing plan to integrate schools in St. Louis County, as black families again followed their kids into the suburbs. All the while, white communities tried to keep their distance. As the courts struck down the more blatant discriminatory policies like restrictive covenants and explicit segregation, whites engaged in what you might call a pattern of zone and retreat. It’s during these two waves of black immigration that you really begin to see the proliferation of municipalities in St. Louis County."

November 2014: "A 1972 Supreme Court decision established that a misdemeanor defendant facing a potential jail sentence has the right to a lawyer. If the defendant can’t afford one, the government must provide one. Subsequent Supreme Court decisions have further defined and expanded that right to counsel."

June 2014: " The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source....The Supreme Court has not directly addressed whether journalists have protections from subpoenas since its 1972 ruling in Branzburg v. Hayes. In that 5-to-4 decision, the court ruled that the First Amendment provided no such protection against grand jury subpoenas."

May 2014: 'Waldman argues persuasively that it was no coincidence that the Supreme Court only got around to affirming the individual’s right to gun ownership in 2008—by then the court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller was more or less in line with public opinion, which itself had changed markedly over time, thanks largely to a two-pronged propaganda blitz by the National Rifle Association and the equally vociferous arguments of conservative legal scholars. In 1959, a Gallup poll reported that 60 percent of Americans favored banning handguns; by 2012, that figure had dropped to 24 percent. Waldman is not cynically suggesting that the Supreme Court is a slave to public opinion. Rather, he is pointing out what should be obvious but is too often ignored: The court does not operate in a vacuum. Our view of the Second Amendment, he writes, “is set at every stage [of the nation’s history], not by a pristine constitutional text, but by the push-and-pull, the rough-and-tumble of political advocacy and public agitation.”'

June 2013: "On Monday, in a case called Salinas v. Texas that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, the Supreme Court held that you remain silent at your peril. The court said that this is true even before you’re arrested, when the police are just informally asking questions. The court’s move to cut off the right to remain silent is wrong and also dangerous—because it encourages the kind of high-pressure questioning that can elicit false confessions."

December 2013: "Judge Leon also pointed to a landmark privacy case decided by the Supreme Court in 2012 that held it was unconstitutional for the police to use a GPS tracking device to monitor a suspect’s public movements without a warrant."

December 2013: "The 91-page decision comes months after the Supreme Court struck down a separate federal law that defined marriage as between only one man and one woman, a major legal, political, and social victory for homosexual couples seeking recognition of their same-sex unions."

July 2013: "In the end, while the Supreme Court has laid down some avoidable requirements for obtaining a no-knock warrant (or deciding to conduct a no-knock raid at the scene), there are few court decisions, laws, or regulations when it comes to when it is and isn’t appropriate to use a SWAT team and all the bells and whistles of a dynamic entry. The decision is almost always left to the discretion of the police agency—or in the case of the multi-jurisdictional task forces, to the SWAT team itself. The mere fact that there’s actually a split in the federal court system over the appropriateness of using SWAT teams to perform regulatory alcohol inspections at bars shows just how little attention the courts pay to the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement."

July 2013: "State officials across the South are aggressively moving ahead with new laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls after the Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Voting Rights Act."

June 2013: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval."

June 2013: "WASHINGTON — In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there."

May 2013: "Fifty years after the ruling, many legal advocates contend that the justice system is still failing the poor. Last week, the Supreme Court disappointed reformers when it refused to rule on a case involving a Louisiana man serving a life sentence after waiting five years in jail while the state came up with money to pay his court-appointed lawyer. (The federal system for defending the poor is relatively well resourced, though it's also struggling with budget cuts. Several of the attorneys defending Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev face up to three weeks of sequester-mandated furloughs later this year.)"

April 2013: "LAST month, the Supreme Court decided to allow the importation and resale of foreign editions of American works, which are often cheaper than domestic editions. Until now, courts have forbidden such activity as a violation of copyright. Not only does this ruling open the gates to a surge in cheap imports, but since they will be sold in a secondary market, authors won’t get royalties."

April 2013: "Roughly a third of U.S. states today jail people for not paying off their debts, from court-related fines and fees to credit card and car loans, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Such practices contravene a 1983 United States Supreme Court ruling that they violate the Constitutions's Equal Protection Clause."

December 2012: "In the civil rights era, the Supreme Court waited decades to weigh in on interracial marriage. On Friday, by contrast, the court did not hesitate to jump into the middle of one of the most important social controversies of the day, agreeing to hear two cases on same-sex marriage."

August 2012: 'Putting aside the (rather salient) question of whether Wilson actually committed the murder, there are compelling reasons for the US Supreme Court to intervene. As Kovarksy points out, the Court has been “showing a renewed interest in questions of personal culpability,” a trend most recently on display in its ruling in Miller v. Alabama, which limited life without parole for juvenile offenders. What’s more, he says, the Court is currently considering another case out of Texas, which grapples with the state’s similar attempts to circumvent its ruling in Atkins. In that case, attorneys for death row prisoner Elroy Chester argue that while Atkins “permitted states to adopt their own procedures for determining whether someone suffers mental retardation, this deference to the states did not authorize Texas to adopt a standard that permits the execution of mentally retarded offenders.” Yet that’s precisely what has happened. While most death penalty states have passed legislation to define what qualifies as intellectual disability, based on similar clinical standards as the Atkins court, Texas has not.'

March 2012: "The 1942 decision against him, Wickard v. Filburn, is the basis for the Supreme Court’s modern understanding of the scope of federal power. It is the contested ground on which the health care case has been fought in the lower courts and in the parties’ briefs. And it is likely to be crucial to the votes of Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Antonin Scalia, who are widely seen as open to persuasion by either side."

March 2012: "The issue has taken on new legal urgency in light of a Supreme Court ruling in January finding that a Global Positioning System tracking device placed on a drug suspect’s car violated his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches. While the ruling did not directly involve cellphones — many of which also include GPS locators — it raised questions about the standards for cellphone tracking, lawyers say."

March 2012: 'The Supreme Court recognized that its decision must make “little sense” to plaintiffs who sue generic drug companies. However, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court, “Congress and the F.D.A. retain the authority to change the law and regulations if they so desire.”'

January 2012: 'In 2008, my demand for a fair legal process went all the way to America’s highest court. In a decision that bears my name, the Supreme Court declared that “the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.” It ruled that prisoners like me, no matter how serious the accusations, have a right to a day in court. The Supreme Court recognized a basic truth: the government makes mistakes. And the court said that because “the consequence of error may be detention of persons for the duration of hostilities that may last a generation or more, this is a risk too significant to ignore.”'

December 2011: "But Mr. Gingrich contends that the true genesis of the Supreme Court’s assertion of judicial supremacy was in its 1958 decision in Cooper v. Aaron."

December 2011: "UNLESS something changes in Washington, American workers will, on New Year’s Day, effectively lose their right to be represented by a union. Two of the five seats on the National Labor Relations Board, which protects collective bargaining, are vacant, and on Dec. 31, the term of Craig Becker, a labor lawyer whom President Obama named to the board last year through a recess appointment, will expire. Without a quorum, the Supreme Court ruled last year, the board cannot decide cases."

July 2001: "One plan that did not work out, he said, was the slum clearance in Washington in the 1950's, which was approved in a Supreme Court decision giving government an all but free hand in exercising eminent domain."

August 2011: "But now, with a United States Supreme Court mandate in May to reduce the populations of California’s overcrowded prisons, Gov. Jerry Brown has thus far upheld 207 of the parole board’s 253 decisions to release convicted killers. Already this year, more release dates granted to killers have been allowed to stand than in any year since governors got the power to reverse them."

September 2011: 'A 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Gross v. FBL Financial Services, raised the bar for age discrimination cases, saying that plaintiffs, and not the companies being sued, bear the burden of proving a dismissal or reassignment of duties was due to age and not some other factor. But even so, Ottinger says, jurors often react more to the "story" of the suit. "You get [a case] in front of a jury, and the jurors think, 'We know what's going on here,'" he explains.'

August 2011: "Stuart J. Rabner, the court’s chief justice, wrote in a unanimous 134-page decision that the test for reliability of eyewitness testimony, as set out by the United States Supreme Court 34 years ago, should be revised."

June 2011: 'This month, the Supreme Court ruled that police, when questioning a child suspected of committing a crime, must take the suspect’s age into account and may have to provide Miranda warnings in circumstances that would not require the warnings to be given to an adult suspect. The vote was 5 to 4, and the author of the majority opinion was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The premise that children are different from adults and may feel coercive pressure when an adult would not, she said, was simply one of “commonsense reality.”'

June 2011: "After D2 lost its appeal, the three plaintiffs filed suit. This month, in United States District Court in Seattle, Judge John C. Coughenour ruled that the gay alliance could legally limit the number of heterosexual participants, just as the Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America could exclude gays."

June 2011: "WASHINGTON — In its first campaign-finance decision since its 5-to-4 ruling in the Citizens United case last year, the Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that provided escalating matching funds to candidates who accept public financing."

June 2011: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday struck down on First Amendment grounds a California law that banned the sale of violent video games to children. The 7-to-2 decision was the latest in a series of rulings protecting free speech, joining ones on funeral protests, videos showing cruelty to animals and political speech by corporations."

June 2011: "Chevy Chase, Md. — THIS spring was a rough season for the Fourth Amendment. The Obama administration petitioned the Supreme Court to allow GPS tracking of vehicles without judicial permission. The Supreme Court ruled that the police could break into a house without a search warrant if, after knocking and announcing themselves, they heard what sounded like evidence being destroyed. Then it refused to see a Fourth Amendment violation where a citizen was jailed for 16 days on the false pretext that he was being held as a material witness to a crime."

June 2011: 'When the US Supreme Court denied judicial review to the matter, the case ended. But far more than the validity of a censorship law had been upheld. The Yahoo/France saga "encapsulates the Internet's transformation from a technology that resists territorial law to one that facilitates its enforcement," Goldsmith and Wu conclude.'

June 2011: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday gave a complicated answer to the simple question of whether poor people facing jail time for failing to pay child support are entitled to court-appointed lawyers."

June 2011: "Lower courts have ruled in favor of certifying Dukes, but the plaintiffs' wealthy and powerful foe has repeatedly appealed, and most observers have assumed that the pro-business justices on today's Supreme Court would take Wal-Mart's side."

June 2011: "Although the Supreme Court is not bound by the code, justices have said they adhere to it. Legal ethicists differed on whether Justice Thomas’s dealings with Mr. Crow pose a problem under the code. But they agreed that one facet of the relationship was both unusual and important in weighing any ethical implications: Justice Thomas’s role in Mr. Crow’s donation for the museum."

May 2011: "WASHINGTON — Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates."

April 2011: 'But in 2005, the Supreme Court ruled in Granholm v. Heald that the 21st Amendment “did not give states the authority to pass nonuniform laws in order to discriminate against out-of-state goods.” Thus, lawmakers could prohibit out-of-state wineries from shipping into a state only if they were willing to block their own wineries from shipping out.'

March 2011: "Washington (CNN) -- A Kansas church known for its angry, anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops won an appeal Wednesday at the Supreme Court in a case testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy."

January 2011: 'The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, was a repudiation of the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling, in Dred Scott v. Sandford, that people of African descent could never be American citizens. The amendment said citizenship applied to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.”'

January 2011: 'Indeed, the Supreme Court made this point quite clearly in its 2001 decision in Bartnicki v. Vopper, which held that when an individual receives information “from a source who obtained it unlawfully,” that individual may not be punished for publicly disseminating the information “absent a need ... of the highest order.”'

December 2010: "Oral argument at the Supreme Court today is about a controversial Arizona immigration law. No, not that one. That law, SB 1070, is the one that forces state police to check the immigration status of people they stop if they believe they are in the country illegally. Much of it has already been enjoined by a federal court and is awaiting review at the appeals courts. The Supreme Court busies itself today with that law's Mini-Me, the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, which goes much further than federal immigration law in sanctioning state employers who hire illegal workers. Both today's case and the one the court will inevitably hear about SB 1070 test the same general proposition: Does federal immigration law pre-empt—or preclude—the states from passing their own, tougher immigration laws?"

June 2010: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday significantly narrowed the scope of a law often used by federal prosecutors in corruption cases and called into question the fraud convictions of Jeffrey K. Skilling, a former chief executive of Enron, and Conrad M. Black, a newspaper executive convicted of defrauding his media company."

June 2010: "WASHINGTON — A public law school did not violate the First Amendment by withdrawing recognition from a Christian student group that excluded gay students, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 5-to-4 decision."

June 2010: 'WASHINGTON — In a case pitting free speech against national security, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.'

June 2010: "Those who sign referendum petitions should generally not expect to keep their names secret, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting the argument of an anti-gay-rights group that disclosure would violate their First Amendment protection of political expression."

June 2010: "The bill is intended to counter a Supreme Court ruling in January that the federal government may not ban political spending by corporations and other advocacy groups, like labor unions. The ruling overturned two precedents, including a 1990 ruling that upheld restrictions on political spending by corporations."

June 2010: "A hesitant Supreme Court waded cautiously into a question that arises daily in workplaces and offices across the country: whether employers have the right to look over the shoulders of workers who use company computers and cellphones for personal communication."

May 2010: "Employers who use tests that have the effect of ruling out disproportionate numbers of women and minorities may be sued each time they use the results to hire, the Supreme Court ruled Monday."

May 2010: "Juveniles may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole for any crime short of homicide, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, expanding its command that young offenders must be treated differently from adults even for heinous crimes."

May 2010: "WASHINGTON — In a broad endorsement of federal power, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Congress has the authority under the Constitution to allow the continued civil commitment of sex offenders after they have completed their criminal sentences."

May 2010: 'The work by the Center for Constitutional Rights is the latest in a series of examinations of the police tactic defined by a Supreme Court decision from decades ago, Terry v. Ohio, which permitted officers to detain someone briefly based on “reasonable suspicion,” a threshold lower than the probable cause necessary for a formal arrest.'

May 2010: "On that view, it was unsurprising that the Supreme Court last month struck down a law that made it a crime to sell videos of dogfights. Or that in January it held unconstitutional a law that made it a crime to broadcast a documentary attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton, at least if shown during the election season and paid for by a corporation."

April 2010: "WASHINGTON — The question in a case argued Monday in the Supreme Court sounded both irresistible and important: Did a California police department violate the Constitution by reading sexually explicit text messages sent by an officer on a department-issued pager?"

March 2010: 'The same members of the Supreme Court who ruled two years ago that the Second Amendment provides an individual right to own a firearm seemed ready Tuesday to ensure that state and local gun-control laws do not interfere with it. But a majority also indicated that the states may have "broader interests" in restricting gun ownership than the federal government.'

February 2010: "A suspect's request that a lawyer be present before submitting to police questioning does not last forever, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In fact, 14 days is long enough for police to wait before taking the alleged perpetrator into custody again and attempting another interrogation."

November 2009: "The US Supreme Court on Wednesday is set to consider an unusual question: Do Americans who have been framed by unscrupulous prosecutors for crimes they did not commit have a right to sue the prosecutors when the fraud is finally exposed?"

October 2009: "The Supreme Court's decision Wednesday to hear a 2nd Amendment challenge to Chicago's handgun ban could open the door to similar lawsuits in cities and states across the nation.",0,5955852.story

July 2009: "The most consequential decision of the Supreme Court’s last term got only a little attention when it landed in May. And what attention it got was for the wrong reason."

July 2009: 'WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court heard five environmental law cases in the term that ended Monday, and environmental groups lost every time. It was, said Richard J. Lazarus, a director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center, “the worst term ever” for environmental interests.'

June 2009: "The Supreme Court paved the way on Monday for states to enforce fair-lending laws and other consumer protection measures against the nation’s biggest banks, striking down a rule that limited such powers to federal banking regulators."

June 2009: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that white firefighters in New Haven were subjected to race discrimination when the city threw out a promotional examination on which they had done well and black firefighters poorly."

April 2009: "WASHINGTON — Broadcasters that allow foul language on live programs may be punished even if the vulgarities were unscripted and isolated, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday in a 5-to-4 decision."

May 2009: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court made it harder on Monday for the government to recover the often enormous costs of environmental cleanups from companies with only minor or limited responsibility for toxic spills."

June 2009: "NEW YORK, June 9 -- The U.S. Supreme Court last night declined to hear an appeal from opponents of the sale of Chrysler's assets to Italian automaker Fiat, clearing the way for the government-backed transaction to take place immediately."

March 2009: "BECKLEY, W.Va. -- Hugh Caperton was born into the coal business, but for more than a decade he has spent more time in a courthouse than in a mine. The complex, intrigue-filled legal tale he will present to the Supreme Court this week was literally enough to spawn a suspense novel, but it boils down to this:"

June 2009: "The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday, June 1, that it would take up a major issue in intellectual-property law: whether patents should be granted for what are known as business methods. Many financial, accounting, and e-commerce firms have rushed to obtain patent protection for such things as ways to structure financial products, manage organizations, or transact business on the Internet."

December 2008: "The Supreme Court's landmark decision in United States v. Booker allowed judges to use good old-fashioned common sense to reduce radically long sentences produced by the guidelines."

December 2008: "Furthermore, the conduct at issue does not seem to fall within the harm which the anti-solicitation rule seeks to prevent. The U.S. Supreme Court has found that anti-solicitation rules exist to prevent overreaching and undue influence on lay people, protect individuals' privacy, and prevent lawyers' own financial self-interest from clouding their judgment.[FOOTNOTE 10] In Rivera, it does not appear that the former employees were harmed by the offer of free representation. Once defendant identified the former employees as potential witnesses, there was a very high likelihood that they would be deposed. By accepting representation, the former employees could avoid additional phone calls or in-person visits by other lawyers and counsel could serve as an intermediary who could schedule a deposition at a time and place that minimized the inconvenience to the witnesses."

December 2008: "Manufacturers have been racing to enforce minimum-pricing policies since last year, when the Supreme Court ruled them to be legal, and not a violation of antitrust law. EBay and a group of other retailers and antitrust advocates are meeting Thursday in Washington to craft a strategy to overturn that ruling."

November 2008: "The first judicial backing for the idea that former presidents wield executive privilege powers came in 1977, as part of a Supreme Court ruling in a case over who controlled Nixon’s White House files. The decision suggested that Nixon might be able to block the release of papers in the future. But it offered few details, and Nixon never sought to do so."

November 2008: "In a 1963 decision, Gideon v. Wainwright, and subsequent cases, the United States Supreme Court ruled that poor criminal defendants are entitled to government-paid representation."

November 2008: 'The Supreme Court appeared far from a consensus Tuesday on whether the Federal Communication Commission's crackdown on broadcasters who allow "fleeting expletives" to reach the airwaves should continue.'

September 2008: "It was a mainstay of Jim Crow segregation: for 100 years after the Civil War, Southern white Democrats kept eligible blacks from voting with poll taxes, literacy tests and property requirements. Starting in the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court declared these assaults on the heart of American democracy unconstitutional."

September 2008: "The two men helped write the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 after the Supreme Court found that states had virtually no right to control wagering on reservations. The legislation provided a framework for the oversight and growth of Indian casinos: In 1988, Indian gambling represented less than 1 percent of the nation’s gambling revenues; today it captures more than one third."

September 2008: "While Judge Vitaliano rejected the prosecution's attempt to classify Caronia's marketing efforts as anything other than speech, the judge concluded that the misbranding statute was constitutional. To do so, he applied the four-part test articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Central Hudson Gas v. Public Service Commission of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980)."

September 2008: "In November, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether Ms. Levine may keep more than $6 million that a Vermont jury ordered Wyeth, a pharmaceutical company, to pay her for failing to warn her adequately about the risks of one of its drugs. The case, the latest in a brisk parade of similar ones, will help define the contours of a signature project of the Roberts court."

August 2008: 'The legal precedent that lower courts typically cite when ruling on political signs is the 1994 US Supreme Court case City of Ladue v. Gilleo. In a unanimous decision, the court struck down a law prohibiting signs at private residences and described residential yard signs as "a venerable means of communication that is both unique and important."'

July 2008: "The Justice Department has been defending COPA since its passage in 1998, when the ACLU and others filed suit against the censorship law and won an immediate injunction. Since then, the court battle has made its way twice to the Supreme Court, though the government has never won any clear battles in the dispute."

July 2008: 'In June of last year, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, declared the racial-integration efforts of two school districts unconstitutional. Seattle and Louisville, Ky., could no longer assign students to schools based on their race, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his lead opinion in Meredith v. Jefferson County School Board (and its companion case, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1). Justice Stephen Breyer sounded a sad and grim note of dissent. Pointing out that the court was rejecting student-assignment plans that the districts had designed to stave off de facto resegregation, Breyer wrote that “to invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown.” By invoking Brown v. Board of Education, the court’s landmark 1954 civil rights ruling, Breyer accused the majority of abandoning a touchstone in the country’s efforts to overcome racial division. “This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret,” he concluded.'

July 2008: 'But there are signs that some justices on the United States Supreme Court may be ready to reconsider the American version of the exclusionary rule. Writing for the majority two years ago, Justice Antonin Scalia said that at least some unconstitutional conduct ought not require “resort to the massive remedy of suppressing evidence of guilt.”'

July 2008: "US Supreme Court rulings of the past permit a court to choose between two alternative approaches in making such decisions: (1) defer to the hierarchy, if the congregation belongs to a hierarchical church; or (2) apply neutral legal principles in examining church documents."

July 2008: "Within weeks, District residents could legally keep handguns in their homes under emergency legislation that goes to the D.C. Council today, as officials try to comply with the Supreme Court ruling rejecting the city's handgun ban."

July 2008: 'Writing for the appeals court, based in Richmond, Va., Judge Paul V. Niemeyer said that the trial court had been correct to rule that Dr. Hatfill was a public figure and thus had to meet an especially high standard to prevail in his suit against The Times. Under a landmark 1964 Supreme Court ruling, a public figure must demonstrate that a publication acted with “actual malice” to succeed in a defamation suit. That meant that Dr. Hatfill had to show that The Times knew or suspected that any suggestion he was involved in the anthrax attacks was false and published the articles anyway.'

July 2008: "Mr. Johnson’s comments appeared as a preface to a report by the E.P.A. staff sketching out how the emission of heat-trapping gases, particularly by vehicles, might be handled under the Clean Air Act. The report was intended to address a Supreme Court directive that the agency decide whether such gases threaten people’s health or welfare. But it also reflects the deep disapproval of controls on such gases by the White House and agencies like the Transportation, Agriculture and Commerce Departments."

July 2008: "The Bush administration has decided not to take any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions before the president leaves office, despite pressure from the Supreme Court and broad accord among senior federal officials that new regulation is appropriate now."

July 2008: "The second way Mr. McCain could have, and ultimately did, become a citizen was by statute, Professor Chin wrote. In Rogers v. Bellei in 1971, the Supreme Court said Congress had broad authority to decide whether and when children born to American citizens abroad are citizens."

July 2008: "In a city where homicide rates have risen by 13 percent over the same period last year and 26 students were killed by gunfire in the past school year, Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) thinks the Supreme Court majority that overturned the District's gun ban last month is detached from urban reality."

July 2008: "WASHINGTON — In a highly unusual admission of error, the Justice Department acknowledged on Wednesday that government lawyers should have known that Congress had recently made the rape of a child a capital offense in the military and should have informed the Supreme Court of that fact while the justices were considering whether death was a constitutional punishment for the crime."

July 2008: "The policies that would be subject to change vary state by state, but higher education is where the debate over affirmative action, or preferences, has played out most strongly in recent years. In 2003, the United States Supreme Court struck down a University of Michigan undergraduate admissions policy that assigned points to race, but it upheld the law school's more narrowly tailored policy. The law school considered race as one element in efforts to promote the educational value of diversity."

July 2008: 'The dispute in Atlanta comes at a time when the regulation of firearms across the country is changing. In a decision last month, the United States Supreme Court supported the individual right to own a gun for personal use. In a 5-to-4 decision striking down the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, the court rejected the view that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep arms only as part of a “well regulated militia.”'

July 2008: "WASHINGTON — When the Supreme Court ruled last week that the death penalty for raping a child was unconstitutional, the majority noted that a child rapist could face the ultimate penalty in only six states — not in any of the 30 other states that have the death penalty, and not under the jurisdiction of the federal government either."

June 2008: "In 2006, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, upheld a law that withholds some federal money from law schools and universities that do not give military recruiters the same access to campus as other employers."

June 2008: "Washington - The US Supreme Court announced on Monday it would examine whether a federal judge acted properly in ordering the US Navy to alter its sonar training procedures to protect whales and dolphins off the California coast."

June 2008: "The Supreme Court yesterday threw out the conviction of a man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend because the defendant could not challenge an incriminating account she gave the police weeks before her death."

June 2008: "The Supreme Court today narrowly overturned a controversial provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, ruling that it is unconstitutional to allow candidates to accept larger-than-normal contributions if their opponents use their own fortunes to finance election bids."

June 2008: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declared for the first time on Thursday that the Constitution protects an individual’s right to have a gun, not just the right of the states to maintain militias."

June 2008: "The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said."

June 2008: "The announcement early Wednesday comes more than three years after the Supreme Court ruled that Visa and MasterCard had violated antitrust rules by barring their member banks from offering credit cards that could be used on rival payment networks."

June 2008: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, on Wednesday that sentencing someone to death for raping a child is unconstitutional, assuming that the victim is not killed."

June 2008: "The adequacy of the hearings was an issue in the Supreme Court’s decision on June 12 about Guantánamo that decided the related question of whether detainees have a constitutional right to challenge their detention in federal court."

June 2008: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court sided with the White House on Monday in two cases involving national security and worries about the environment, strengthening the Bush administration’s drive, at least for now, for sweeping executive powers in the post-9/11 world."

June 2008: 'In a Tuesday morning conference call with reporters, McCain advisers criticized Obama as "naive" and "delusional" in his approach to the handling of terrorism suspects after he expressed support for last week's Supreme Court decision granting detainees the right to seek habeas corpus hearings. Obama fired back, saying the Republicans who had led failed efforts to capture Osama bin Laden lacked the standing to criticize him on the issue.'

June 2008: "WASHINGTON — In a ruling of potential interest for older workers across the country, the Supreme Court made it easier on Thursday for workers to contend that they are being discriminated against by their employers because of their age."

June 2008: "Washington - The US Supreme Court is being asked to determine whether procedures used in Illinois to investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect violate the fundamental rights of parents."

June 2008: "The policy change comes in response to a legal challenge that rose to the US Supreme Court in 2004. No more than three states including Oklahoma still have segregated prisons."

June 2008: 'But even Mr. Lewis, a liberal, wrote in his book that he was inclined to relax some of the most stringent First Amendment protections “in an age when words have inspired acts of mass murder and terrorism.” In particular, he called for a re-examination of the Supreme Court’s insistence that there is only one justification for making incitement a criminal offense: the likelihood of imminent violence.'

June 2008: "The US Supreme Court has agreed once again to take up the case of a smoker's widow in Oregon who was awarded $79.5 million in punitive damages against the tobacco firm Philip Morris."

June 2008: "WASHINGTON — Government employees who are singled out for arbitrary, irrational or even vindictive treatment by their supervisors will find no relief in the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, unless the mistreatment is due to discrimination on the basis of race, sex or another protected category."

May 2008: "The Supreme Court ruled today that two federal anti-discrimination statutes allow lawsuits on claims of retaliation, siding with workers who pursued grievances in separate cases that stemmed from allegations of racial and age bias."

May 2008: "William Earl Lynd was executed by injection the first week in May. He was the first inmate to die in the state since September, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether the three-drug combination represented cruel and unusual punishment."

May 2008: "Two Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 came down on the side of landowners, ruling that ponds at the bottom of a gravel pit and a marsh miles from any lake or river were not navigable and thus not subject to the act."

May 2008: "A longstanding practice by many states to tax the interest on out-of-state municipal bonds, but not the interest on their own, is not a case of unfair protectionism, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday."

May 2008: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a 2003 federal law aimed at child pornography, concluding in a 7-to-2 opinion that a federal appeals court was wrong to find the law unconstitutionally vague."

May 2008: 'Both the United States Supreme Court and the North Carolina Supreme Court have said the lawyer-client privilege survives death, though they recognized that narrow exceptions might be possible. “Clients may be concerned about reputation, civil liability or possible harm to friends of family” if their secrets were disclosed after they died, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote for the majority in a 1998 Supreme Court decision.'

April 2008: "Some special education disputes have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In May, it ruled that parents of the disabled do not need to hire an attorney to sue school districts when they disagree about a strategy to meet their children's educational needs."

April 2008: "The courts have recognized that in some instances, so-called hearsay evidence may be admitted when a witness is unavailable to testify. But in a major 2004 ruling, the US Supreme Court reinvigorated confrontation-clause protections, instructing the lower courts to reject hearsay exceptions in all but a few instances."

April 2008: 'U.S. courts have long recognized that criminal responsibility requires a certain modicum of mental acumen. Beyond the well-known plea of insanity, some states recognize a "diminished capacity" defense. And a 2005 Supreme Court decision barred capital punishment for offenders younger than 18, citing scientific findings of an "underdeveloped sense of responsibility" in minors.'

April 2008: "Nationally, the first recognition of students' free-speech rights came with a 1969 US Supreme Court decision. In the case of Tinker v. Des Moines School District, a number of students who wished to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War were denied access to the school and disciplined. The court ruled on that First Amendment rights applied to pubic schools."

April 2008: "The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutionality of execution by lethal injection in Kentucky, rejecting claims that the procedure amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and clearing the way for a resumption of executions in states that were awaiting the court's decision."

September 2007: 'The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which Congress passed in its final weeks under Republican control in order to negate the Supreme Court’s most recent ruling on behalf of a Guantánamo detainee, stripped all courts of jurisdiction “to hear or consider” challenges to any alien detainee’s continued detention. In a surprising about-face the day after it concluded its term in June, the Supreme Court accepted renewed appeals on behalf of two groups of detainees and agreed to decide whether the measure is constitutional.'

April 2008: "The groups said Congress cannot hand over unbridled power to the executive branch even as it cuts the courts out of the picture. They relied mostly on a 1998 Supreme Court decision striking down the Line Item Veto Act, which had allowed the president to cancel parts of laws."

April 2008: "Several court opinions on surreptitious sampling cite the United States Supreme Court decision in California v. Greenwood, which held that the Fourth Amendment did not apply when the police searched trash bags left on the curb by a suspected narcotics dealer."

October 2007: "Federal law allows public housing agencies to terminate the tenancy of any resident who engages in criminal or drug-related activity on or off the premises, and the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that housing officials were allowed to evict entire households because of one tenant’s crimes."

October 2007: "A district court agreed in 2005, and the law school again ceased to assist military recruiters. But in a broader case, the United States Supreme Court last year unanimously sided against a consortium of about three dozen law schools and universities seeking to bar recruiters from their campuses. Because of that decision, the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan against the professors last month was widely anticipated here."

April 2008: "The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will decide whether a city's decision to place a monument to the Ten Commandments in a public park means it also must make room for the display of other directives purportedly sent from above."

March 2008: "Several federal circuits have adopted what has come to be called a consent-once-removed exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement....The Supreme Court last considered this issue in a 2001 decision, Saucier v. Katz, which required courts to consider the issue in a precise order, first deciding what the constitutional rule should be and whether the Constitution was violated, and only then deciding whether the issue had been sufficiently unclear at the time so as to make the defendant entitled to immunity."

March 2008: "WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court, ruling that a Louisiana prosecutor had used improper tactics to pick an all-white jury for a black defendant’s murder trial, on Wednesday overturned the conviction of a man who has been on death row for 12 years."

March 2008: "The appeals court made two mistakes. First, it inflated the Second Amendment into a sweeping right to own guns, virtually without restriction or regulation. Defenders of gun rights argue that if the Supreme Court sticks with the interpretation of the Second Amendment that it sketched out in 1939, it will be eviscerating the right to own a gun, but that is not so. Americans have significant rights to own and carry guns, but the scope of those rights is set by federal, state and local laws."

March 2008: "Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the 32-year-old handgun ban in a case that could lead to a landmark ruling on the Second Amendment. Within blocks of the stately, marble-columned court building, and in many parts of the city, the market for illegal guns will continue to thrive -- and the fight against it, the war in the trenches, will go on."

February 2008: "The Supreme Court yesterday protected the makers of medical devices that have passed the most rigorous federal review standards from lawsuits by consumers who allege that the devices caused them harm."

March 2008: 'The United States Supreme Court has held that blacks, like other groups, cannot be systematically excluded from a jury solely because of their race, and that peremptory challenges, which require no stated explanation, can be exercised by the prosecution only “to secure a fair and impartial jury.”'

March 2008: "The Supreme Court ruled last week that a group of employees suing for age discrimination should get their day in court even though they filed their complaint on the wrong form. The decision is noteworthy because it suggests that this court could be pulling back from what has often seemed like a knee-jerk inclination to rule for corporations over workers and consumers."

November 2007: "The Supreme Court now appears to have once again imposed a moratorium on executions as it considers how to assess the constitutionality of lethal injections. The decision in that case, which is expected next year, will be much narrower than the one in 1976, and the new studies will probably not play any direct role in it."

March 2008: "As a legal concept, moral turpitude refers to conduct that would be immoral even if it were not illegal, unlike, say, speeding. The delegates to the 1901 constitutional convention who used the term also took away voting rights for other infractions that they believed blacks were more likely to commit, like wife beating, adultery and vagrancy. In 1985 the United States Supreme Court struck down most of the law on the grounds that it was racially discriminatory, but the moral-turpitude clause remained."

February 2008: "Over the years, the Supreme Court has ruled on so many permutations of automobile searches that it might have seemed safe to assume that all possible questions had been answered. But the one presented by this case, Arizona v. Gant, No. 07-542, evidently has not been."

February 2008: "A sharply divided United States Supreme Court ruled in June that public school systems could not seek to achieve or maintain integration through measures that explicitly take into account a student’s race."

February 2008: 'When Congress amended Section 1982 in 1991, it did so in response to a 1989 Supreme Court decision that had cut off the statute at the knees, or rather at the moment when employees might actually take advantage of it. In that case, Patterson v. McLean Credit Union, the court said that Section 1982 only applied when a contract was actually being formed, during the hiring process. After that, nada. Congress got mad and restored the statute to what lawmakers believed to be its original scope, at every phase of employment....That's the context that matters—not the Supreme Court's greater reluctance to read statutes broadly in 1991 vs. 1969.'

February 2008: "Tensions can emerge when one parent takes a turn toward fundamentalism. In 2006, the United States Supreme Court let stand a decision by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that permitted Stanley Shepp to tell his 14-year-old daughter about polygamy."

February 2008: 'In 2006, Hayden said, he officially prohibited CIA operatives from using waterboarding after a Supreme Court decision forcing the administration to respect a Geneva Conventions article barring "outrages upon personal dignity" and "humiliating and degrading treatment" of U.S. detainees. He said he doubts the practice would be considered legal now.'

February 2008: 'Below the surface, however, the two cases are inextricably entwined. They overlap on the question of judicial review of the enemy-combatant designation. Under the Supreme Court’s precedents, habeas corpus — the historic method of challenging detention by the executive branch — is not always strictly required as long as the legislature has provided an “adequate substitute.” So the question is whether the review that detainees may seek in the D. C. Circuit is extensive enough to qualify as such a substitute. In the Boumediene case, the detainees’ lawyers have argued vigorously that it is not, while the administration has asserted just as forcefully that it is.'

July 2007: '...Supreme Court, which, in 2003, affirmed Hibbs’s right to recover damages. It was a stunning ruling, both because the court had upheld states’ immunity from federal lawsuits in a string of prior cases and because, in his majority opinion, Chief Justice William Rehnquist underscored the importance of transforming workplace stereotypes. “The fault line between work and family,” he declared, is “precisely where sex-based overgeneralization has been and remains strongest.”'

January 2008: "Criminal defense lawyers say they will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a novel legal approach the government has begun using to win stiff mandatory prison terms for those who've downloaded child pornography from file-sharing sites."

January 2008: "Gulf War veterans who were tortured by their Iraqi captors 17 years ago called Friday on President Bush to allow them to proceed with a lawsuit seeking compensation from the Iraqi government....The Supreme Court, without comment, refused in 2005 to intervene, upholding a federal appeals court ruling that said Congress did not permit such lawsuits against foreign governments."

January 2008: "While resegregation has been taking place for some time, Orfield says the latest numbers are worrisome both for the degree to which they show the trend is occurring and in light of the US Supreme Court's most recent decision on the issue last June, which struck down several voluntary integration programs and made it more difficult for districts that want to work at desegregating schools to do so."

January 2008: "Tax specialists and lawyers say that the Snipes case hinges on whether he can persuade jurors that he sincerely believed that he did not have to pay taxes, while prosecutors will argue that he was just trying to avoid them. The Supreme Court has ruled that people can make such an argument, but two leading defense lawyers said that Mr. Snipes might have a hard time using it as a defense."

January 2008: "Many of the participants in the March for Life were young people, many from religious clubs and church-run schools from as far away as Ohio, Texas and Tennessee. The march has been held each year since 1974 to protest the Supreme Court's Jan. 22, 1973, decision that most laws against abortion violate a constitutional right to privacy."

January 2008: 'To draw a bright line in the law, said Martin Guggenheim, a professor at New York University School of Law, would be to cross the threshold of what the United States Supreme Court once called “the private realm of family life which the state may not enter,” and to intrude on parents’ constitutional right to raise children as they see fit.'

January 2008: "It was in Mr. Atkins’s case that the United States Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that the Constitution bars the execution of the mentally retarded. But Virginia continued to pursue the death penalty against him, saying he was not mentally retarded. If Thursday’s decision stands, that issue may never be resolved."

January 2008: "WASHINGTON — Sweeping aside complaints that New York State chooses its trial judges through an antiquated, patronage-tainted system that favors party cronies and gives voters no real say, the United States Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the state’s unique system."

January 2008: "The Supreme Court yesterday declined to consider whether dying patients have a right to be treated with experimental drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

December 2007: "The US Supreme Court has ruled that race cannot be a factor in excluding someone from jury service. Both sides in a trial work hard to select a panel they believe will be open to their perspective. Amid this competition for sympathetic jurors, it is difficult – and in some cases, impossible – for trial judges to identify whether it is race or a legitimate factor behind a decision to exclude a prospective juror."

November 2007: "But the US Supreme Court in 1934 rejected that view. The high court ruled that the border ran down the shoreline on the Jersey side of the river – thus placing the entire river within Delaware's sovereign territory."

November 2007: The Supreme Court has never answered the Second Amendment question directly, and it has been nearly 70 years since the court even approached it obliquely. A decision in 1939, United States v. Miller, held that a sawed-off shotgun was not one of the “arms” to which the Second Amendment referred in its single, densely written, and oddly punctuated sentence: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

November 2007: Although a 1970 Supreme Court decision, McMann v. Richardson, referred to a “gross error” standard, the court has not elaborated on that requirement in the intervening decades. Mr. Hoffman’s current lawyers are arguing that the court effectively rejected that standard in 1984, when it decided the case that has provided the modern framework for evaluating claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.

November 2007: The Supreme Court this spring upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, for the first time agreeing that a specific abortion procedure could be banned, and emphasizing government's 'legitimate and substantial interest' in preserving fetal life.

October 2007: In 2002, the Supreme Court struck down an attempt by Congress to extend a ban on child pornography to include computer-generated child pornography. The ruling opened the door to distribution of virtual child porn. It also created a potential defense for individuals arrested for possessing actual child pornography. They could claim that the children depicted weren't real children.

October 2007: Congress tried to outlaw political contributions from those under age 18 as part of the McCain-Feingold Act in 2002, but the Supreme Court struck down that provision as an infringement on the constitutional rights of minors. With that ruling in mind, the Federal Election Commission wrote new regulations two years ago that tried to balance what it considered a legitimate desire among some children to make political contributions against the possibility that parents would seek to pad their donations by funneling money through children.

October 2007: Religious groups were outraged, saying the ruling stripped away crucial protections. In response, in 1993 Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. (Who could vote against a law with a name like that?) The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1996. After a few false starts, Congress in 2000 passed a retooled version, commonly known as Rluipa (pronounced ar-LOO-pah), which said governments could not impose any land use regulations that placed a substantial burden on religious activity unless there was a “compelling governmental interest.”

October 2007: Mr. Bremby cited a Supreme Court ruling this year, Massachusetts v. the Environmental Protection Agency, in which the court found that carbon dioxide was a pollutant and could be regulated.

October 2007: The Supreme Court has granted two stays of execution and refused to vacate a third in the three weeks since it agreed to hear a challenge to Kentucky’s use of lethal injection.

October 2007: The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the challenge clears the way for a class-action lawsuit seeking a court injunction barring T-Mobile from collecting a termination-of-service fee of about $200. The company usually charges the fee when a contract is terminated early, no matter how close or far away from the contract's expiration date.

October 2007: The new case, Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195, tests the adequacy of the alternate legal system that the administration created to handle the detainees after the Supreme Court ruled unexpectedly in 2004 that federal court jurisdiction did extend to Guantánamo, the Navy base that sits on land the United States has leased from Cuba since 1903.

October 2007: The lawsuit, known as Goldstein v. Pataki, was filed in October 2006. It is one of the most significant eminent domain cases to be brought since the United States Supreme Court, in the Kelo v. City of New London decision in June 2005, held that public officials may transfer condemned property to another private interest if doing so would create a superior benefit to the public.

October 2007: "The Supreme Court today turned down the chance to elaborate for the first time in more than 50 years on the “state secrets privilege” by refusing to hear an appeal filed on behalf of Khaled el-Masri, who claims he was abducted and tortured by United States agents while imprisoned in Afghanistan."

October 2007: The court cited a 1994 Supreme Court case that held that those who merely aided and abetted a fraud could not be sued by shareholders. Instead, the shareholders could only request enforcement action by federal prosecutors or by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

October 2007: As the Court wrote in 1987 in McCleskey v. Kemp, in which a challenge to a death sentence drew on a statistical study that found racial disparities in sentencing, “McCleskey’s claim, taken to its logical conclusion, throws into serious question the principles that underlie our entire criminal justice system.”

October 2007: The Supreme Court confronted a similar issue in a 1993 case in Florida involving an attempt by a defendant to trade an automatic MAC-10 machine gun for cocaine. The court ruled 6 to 3 that the transaction amounted to 'use' under the law.

October 2007: Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.

October 2007: The reprieve by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals was granted a week after the United States Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a form of lethal injection constituted cruel and unusual punishment barred under the Eighth Amendment. On Thursday, the Supreme Court stepped in to halt a planned execution in Texas at the last minute, and though many legal experts interpreted that as a signal for all states to wait for a final ruling on lethal injection before any further executions, Texas officials said they planned to move ahead with more.

October 2007: Their complaint was rejected by all three levels of New York state courts: the state Supreme Court, at the trial level; the Appellate Division; and in a unanimous opinion last October, the New York Court of Appeals. That court ruled on the basis of a 1990 Supreme Court decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which barred most religion-based exemptions from laws that are neutral, generally applicable and that do not single out religion for special burdens.

October 2007: On Tuesday, the Supreme Court takes up two cases that could bring clarity to the now murky federal sentencing system. Both cases involve attempts by federal judges to hand down sentences that were more lenient than sentences that would have been required under a mandatory guidelines system. Both sentences were vacated by appeals courts because the sentencing judges were said to have unreasonably exerted too much discretion in the sentencing process.

September 2007: For activists looking for a way to convince the public that the Supreme Court is moving too far to the right, a 70-year-old grandmother who worked alongside the men at an Alabama tire plant -- but who was paid less than all of them -- seems to fit the bill.

September 2007: The Supreme Court has not specifically addressed the gun rights guarantees of the Second Amendment since 1939, when it upheld a federal gun control law and seemed to side with the 'collective' right argument.

August 2007: Put simply, the United States Supreme Court has interpreted the Constitution as allowing states broad leeway in regulating minors’ access to sexually explicit material. That is why it is illegal around the country to sell pornography to children. Courts have not, however, said that states have a similar right to regulate media based on violence. Most of the city and state video game laws that have been struck down in recent years have tried to ban the sale or rental of certain violent games to minors. In many of those cases, states and cities have tried to translate the legal rules for pornography into a new system for regulating violent media.

July 2007: On Friday, the Supreme Court unexpectedly reversed course and announced that it would review the constitutionality of the system now in place to deal with the most dangerous detainees — military tribunals to try them for war crimes.

June 2007: The nation's schools, which have become increasingly segregated in recent decades, are likely to become even more racially divided as a result of this week's Supreme Court decision curtailing the use of race in school integration plans, attorneys and educational experts said yesterday.

June 2007: WASHINGTON, June 28 — Striking down an antitrust rule nearly a century old, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that it was not automatically unlawful for manufacturers and distributors to agree on minimum retail prices.

June 2007: WASHINGTON, June 25 — Setting the stage for a confrontation between the states and manufacturers, the Supreme Court said on Monday that it would hear an appeal raising the issue of whether the makers of medical equipment approved by the federal government may be sued under state law by patients injured by those devices.

June 2007: In an important First Amendment decision limiting student free speech, the US Supreme Court ruled on Monday that school administrators and teachers retain discretion to censor student speech that they believe may encourage illegal drug use.

June 2007: The Supreme Court yesterday substantially weakened restrictions on the kinds of television ads that corporations and unions can finance in the days before an election, providing special interest groups with the opportunity for a far more expansive role in the 2008 elections.

June 2007: A unanimous Supreme Court ruled yesterday that passengers in vehicles pulled over by the police have the same rights as drivers to challenge the legality of the traffic stop when it results in an arrest.

June 2007: The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that workers in the fast-growing home-care industry are not entitled to overtime pay.

June 2007: A decision by the Supreme Court on Monday that made it easier for prosecutors to exclude people who express reservations about the death penalty from capital juries will make the panels whiter and more conviction-prone, experts in law and psychology said this week.

June 2007: In 2004, the United States Supreme Court imposed some restrictions on the suits in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain. It limited claims to classic violations of international norms like piracy, torture and slavery. And it cautioned lower courts to avoid interfering with American diplomacy.

April 2007: In a 5-to-4 decision announ-ced Wednesday, the high court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The move comes nearly seven years after the Supreme Court declared a similar Nebraska law unconstitutional because it lacked an exception to protect a woman's health.

April 2007: In a major victory for environmentalists, the US Supreme Court on Monday rejected the Bush administration's view that the EPA has discretion to decide when and how to best respond to international environmental threats. The vote was 5 to 4.

April 2007: In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled that surveillance of communication constituted a 'search' as defined by the Fourth Amendment, thus requiring court review.

March 2007: For nearly 100 years, the Supreme Court has held that manufacturers cannot dictate a minimum retail price for their goods. But the current justices seemed divided yesterday about whether the time has come for a change.

March 2007: Congress tried to regulate Internet pornography in 1996 with the Communications Decency Act, but that law that was struck down by the Supreme Court the next year.

February 2007: Wednesday, the US Supreme Court takes up a case that examines to what extent those opponents have legal standing to file federal lawsuits alleging that the White House's faith-based initiative amounts to unconstitutional entanglement of church and state.

December 2006: More than 50 years after the Supreme Court decided in Brown v. Board of Education that separate schools are inherently unequal, the court will consider tomorrow whether race can still be a factor when school systems design programs to promote racial integration. A broadly written decision on Louisville's plan, and on a related one from Seattle, could have a profound impact on school systems across the country.

October 2006: Abortion and race dominate the Supreme Court's agenda for the term that begins tomorrow, with the Bush administration and its conservative allies urging the justices to put limits on abortion rights and affirmative action.

January 2005: The Supreme Court yesterday announced the first consequences of its landmark decision to give federal judges greater freedom in sentencing, ordering federal appeals courts to reconsider more than 400 criminal sentences in light of the Jan. 12 ruling.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Judicial Branch Organization Nov 24, 2003
Member (past or present) Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., Esq. Person May 14, 2006
Member (past or present) Justice Hugo L. Black Person Oct 21, 2003
Member (past or present) Justice Harry A. Blackmun Person
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis Person
Member (past or present) Judge William J. Brennan Jr., Esq. Person Nov 12, 2004
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice Warren E. Burger Person Sep 2, 2004
Member (past or present) Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo Esq. Person Feb 5, 2007
Member (past or present) Justice Felix Frankfurter Person Jun 24, 2011
Member (past or present) Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Person
Member (past or present) Justice Arthur Goldberg Esq. Person
Research/Analysis Subject Linda Greenhouse Person Jul 4, 2010
Member (past or present) Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes Person Aug 1, 2011
Member (past or present) Justice Robert Houghwout "H." Jackson Person Jan 10, 2006
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) John Jay Person Apr 1, 2008
Member (past or present) Justice Elena Kagan Esq. Person Dec 17, 2010
Member (past or present) Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Person Jun 23, 2006
Research/Analysis Subject Dahlia Lithwick Person Jul 4, 2010
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice John Marshall Person Aug 17, 2005
Member (past or present) Judge Thurgood Marshall Esq. Person Oct 12, 2005
Member (past or present) Justice Sherman Minton Person Dec 12, 2008
Employee/Contractor/Fellow/Freelancer (past or present) Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Person
Member (past or present) Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. Person Oct 12, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Esq. Person Sep 29, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice John G. Roberts Esq. Person Sep 29, 2005
Research/Analysis Subject Prof. Jeffrey Rosen Esq. Person Jul 4, 2010
Member (past or present) Justice Antonin Gregory Scalia Person
Member (past or present) Judge Sonia Sotomayor Esq. Person May 18, 2010
Member (past or present) Justice David Hackett Souter Person
Member (past or present) Justice John Paul Stevens Person
Member (past or present) Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Person Dec 21, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) President William Howard Taft Person Jul 16, 2006
Member (past or present) Justice Clarence Thomas Person
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice Fred Moore Vinson Person Oct 12, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Chief Justice Earl Warren Esq. Person Mar 6, 2005
Member (past or present) Charles Evans Whittaker Person Oct 12, 2005

Articles and Resources

613 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
Sep 08, 2016 Why Donald Trump and Pam Bondi Probably Won’t Face a Corruption Investigation: The Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision seems to have put a chill on prosecutors.

QUOTE: Why is a charity giving money to aid a pol with whom the foundation’s head has pending legal business?....Reading through the court’s language in McDonnell, the easier hurdle is “official acts.” The justices were not certain that McDonnell’s various phone calls and luncheons represented official acts...

Jun 23, 2016 Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan

QUOTE: The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, effectively ending what Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. The program would have shielded as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States. The 4-4 tie, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

New York Times
Jun 07, 2016 The Supreme Court Is Afraid of Racial Justice

QUOTE: 40 years ago Tuesday, the Supreme Court decided a pivotal case on race and equality whose legacy has profoundly shaped American race relations...The case, Washington v. Davis, involved the constitutionality of Test 21....a long American tradition — from grandfather clauses to literacy tests — of seemingly race-neutral measures functioning in a discriminatory manner. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that Test 21’s grossly disproportionate impact on minority applicants violated the Equal Protection Clause. But when the case reached the Supreme Court, the justices disagreed.

New York Times
Nov 30, 2014 Justice Is Swift as Petty Crimes Clog Courts: Cases Adjudicated in Minutes or Less, Often Without Lawyers

QUOTE: Years of aggressive policing tactics and tough-on-crime legislation have flooded the American court system with misdemeanor cases—relatively small-time crimes such as public drunkenness, loitering or petty theft. The state courts that handle such charges often resemble assembly lines where time is in short supply, according to judges and lawyers who work in the courts. Many poor defendants, despite their right to court-appointed legal counsel, don’t get lawyers, and those who do often receive scant help in the rush to resolve cases.

Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ)
Sep 03, 2014 How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty

QUOTE: Jackson County has just 19 municipalities, and just 15 municipal courts — less than a quarter of municipalities and courts in St. Louis County. Some of the towns in St. Louis County can derive 40 percent or more of their annual revenue from the petty fines and fees collected by their municipal courts....white people didn’t just flee St. Louis, they used whatever tools were at their disposal to prevent black people from joining them, including race-restrictive deeds and covenants until they were struck down in 1947, segregation until it was struck down in 1954, real estate pacts, and finally zoning laws.

Washington Post
Jun 02, 2014 Supreme Court Rejects Appeal From Times Reporter Over Refusal to Identify Source

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source....The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book, “State of War.” Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. official.

New York Times
May 31, 2014 The True Meaning of the Second Amendment

QUOTE: For 218 years, judges overwhelmingly concluded that the amendment authorized states to form militias, what we now call the National Guard. Then, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court upended two centuries of precedent. In the [Heller case], an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia declared that the Constitution confers a right to own a gun for self-defense in the home.”

The Daily Beast
Dec 16, 2013 Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records

QUOTE: A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “almost Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.

New York Times
Dec 14, 2013 Judge strikes down part of Utah polygamy law in 'Sister Wives' case

QUOTE: A federal judge in Utah has struck down part of that state's law banning polygamy...

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jul 07, 2013 “Why did you shoot me? I was reading a book”: The new warrior cop is out of control

QUOTE: It wasn’t even the first time a Virginia SWAT team had killed someone during a gambling raid.....Police have justified this sort of heavy-handedness by claiming that people who run illegal gambling operations tend to be armed, a blanket characterization that absurdly lumps neighborhood Hold ’Em tournaments with Uncle Junior Soprano’s weekly poker game. And in any case, if police know that people inside an establishment are likely to be armed, it makes even less sense to come in with guns blazing. Police have also defended the paramilitary tactics by noting that poker games are usually flush with cash and thus tend to get robbed. That too is an absurd argument, unless the police are afraid they’re going to raid a game at precisely the same moment it’s getting robbed. Under either scenario, the police are acknowledging that the people playing poker when these raids go down have good reason to think that the men storming the place with guns may be criminals, not cops.

Jul 06, 2013 In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

QUOTE: In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks...

New York Times
Jul 05, 2013 After Ruling, States Rush to Enact Voting Laws

QUOTE: State officials across the South are aggressively moving ahead with new laws requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls after the Supreme Court decision striking down a portion of the Voting Rights Act. The Republicans who control state legislatures throughout the region say such laws are needed to prevent voter fraud. But such fraud is extremely rare, and Democrats are concerned that the proposed changes will make it harder for many poor voters and members of minorities — who tend to vote Democratic — to cast their ballots in states that once discriminated against black voters with poll taxes and literacy tests.

New York Times
Jun 26, 2013 Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings

QUOTE: In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there. The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2013 Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. The court divided along ideological lines, and the two sides drew sharply different lessons from the history of the civil rights movement and the nation’s progress in rooting out racial discrimination in voting. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination.

New York Times
Jun 19, 2013 You Don’t Have the Right to Remain Silent: The Supreme Court’s terrible—and dangerous—ruling this week on the Fifth Amendment.

QUOTE: the Supreme Court held that you remain silent at your peril. The court said that this is true even before you’re arrested, when the police are just informally asking questions. The court’s move to cut off the right to remain silent is wrong and also dangerous—because it encourages the kind of high-pressure questioning that can elicit false confessions.

May 06, 2013 Charts: Why You're in Deep Trouble If You Can't Afford a Lawyer:Fifty years after the groundbreaking "Gideon" ruling, public defenders are overworked, underpaid—and America's poor are paying the price

QUOTE: the Supreme Court disappointed reformers when it refused to rule on a case involving a Louisiana man serving a life sentence after waiting five years in jail while the state came up with money to pay his court-appointed lawyer....Since the 1963 Supreme Court decision, America's prison population has grown more than tenfold—from 217,000 inmates to 2.3 million—largely due to decades of the war on drugs and tough-on-crime policies. It's been nearly impossible for the public defense system to keep pace.

Mother Jones
Apr 07, 2013 The Slow Death of the American Author

QUOTE: The value of copyrights is being quickly depreciated, a crisis that hits hardest not best-selling authors like me, who have benefited from most of the recent changes in bookselling, but new and so-called midlist writers....Many people would say such changes are simply in the nature of markets, and see no problem if authors are left to write purely for the love of the game. But what sort of society would that be?

New York Times
Apr 04, 2013 As economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive (MoneyWatch)

QUOTE: Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees. If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.

CBS News
Dec 09, 2012 Same-Sex Issue Pushes Justices Into Overdrive

QUOTE: The speed with which the court is moving has some gay rights advocates bracing for a split decision. The court could strike down the federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that the meaning of marriage is a matter for the states to decide. At the same time, it could reject the idea that the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex marriage, saying that the meaning of marriage is a matter for the states to decide....However the court rules in the California case, its very decision to consider it is a change from the caution of an earlier era.

New York Times
Aug 07, 2012 Texas Executes Man With IQ of 61

QUOTE: If 54-year-old Marvin Wilson is put to death on Tuesday, it will not be because Texas denies that he is intellectually disabled, or as the legal literature puts it, “mentally retarded.” This much, the state recognizes. It just does not believe that Wilson is disabled enough not to be executed in Texas—a flagrant violation of the 2002 Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia, which held that “the mentally retarded should be categorically excluded from execution,” period.


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