Capture

Cameras in the Supreme Court and the importance of seeing government at work; whether audio provides sufficient access; and how the Internet affects thinking about the Court in public.

“I think always the humor was a means to an end. And the end is, to help folks who don’t live in this world understand why it matters.”

Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court and writes about law more broadly for Slate.com.  In this six-part interview, Ms. Lithwick discusses law school, practicing law, and how she began covering the Supreme Court; the tension among the media covering the Court, the Justices’ public presence and access to information; cameras in the Court; how to read the Court and the conflict between legal doctrine and the Court’s institutional position; and the Court’s struggle with questions (legal, institutional, and personal) of identity, especially in light of women on the Court and facing questions of gender.

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Two of Colorado’s neighboring states, arguing that the legalization of marijuana for Coloradans is causing crime problems across state borders, asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to allow them to file a lawsuit directly before the Justices.  If the suit goes forward, Nebraska and Oklahoma’s filing said, the Court should rule that the commercial part of the Colorado scheme is unconstitutional and could no longer be enforced.

Under the Constitution, states with legal complaints against other states have a right to sue them in the Supreme Court without first going through a lower court, but they need the Justices’ permission to do so.  Nebraska and Oklahoma chose that route, their filing said, because no other court can protect neighboring states from the impact of Colorado’s marijuana marketing law and rules.

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Friday round-up

By on Dec 19, 2014 at 6:32 am

At ACSblog, Neil Kinkopf discusses the challenge to the availability of tax subsidies for individuals who buy their health insurance on an exchange operated by the federal government.  He concludes that, “[b]ecause the usual statutory meaning also comports with the overall structure of the statute and its purpose and intent, King v. Burwell will be a very easy case indeed – if the Supreme Court reads the law to mean what it says.”  In another post at ACSblog, Jeremy Leaming collects some of the articles and blog posts responding to the challengers.  Continue reading »

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Petition of the day

By on Dec 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-439

Issue: (1) Whether the exhaustion requirements of Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank apply to any constitutional claim – including the procedural due-process claims in this case – when that claim shares facts in common with a possible Takings Clause claim; and (2) whether federal courts must impose special exhaustion requirements on Takings Clause claims even where, as here, the taking is “final.”

Two groups of Florida same-sex couples, anticipating a chance to get married in less than three weeks, urged the Supreme Court today not to delay that opportunity.  The Court, they argued, should continue its recent refusal to interfere with lower court rulings that have nullified state bans on same-sex marriage.  Two briefs opposing a request by state officials for more delay are here and here.

As of now, a lower court order is in effect postponing a federal trial judge’s ruling in favor of such marriages until January 5.  The state has an appeal pending at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, but that court has refused to extend the order even though it has not yet ruled on the validity of Florida’s ban.

This particular dispute thus tests whether the Supreme Court will put off same-sex marriages in a state that is not yet under a federal appeals court decision striking down a state ban and setting a binding precedent for trial courts in the region, to give the appeals court for that area a chance to rule.

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Capture

What a Justice says and does not say in public; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s recent presence in the media; the line in a Justice’s mind between talking law and talking politics; the risk of talking to the media; and what to infer from a Justice’s choice to speak publicly.

“I think always the humor was a means to an end. And the end is, to help folks who don’t live in this world understand why it matters.”

Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court and writes about law more broadly for Slate.com.  In this six-part interview, Ms. Lithwick discusses law school, practicing law, and how she began covering the Supreme Court; the tension among the media covering the Court, the Justices’ public presence and access to information; cameras in the Court; how to read the Court and the conflict between legal doctrine and the Court’s institutional position; and the Court’s struggle with questions (legal, institutional, and personal) of identity, especially in light of women on the Court and facing questions of gender.

Posted in Everything Else
 
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The Relist Watch before Christmas

By on Dec 18, 2014 at 10:08 am

John Elwood reviews Monday’s relisted cases, with help from Clement Clarke Moore.

 

‘Twas the last Conference before break, when all through the land;

All the lawyers were waiting, petitions in hand;

Their eyes were trained on SCOTUSblog with care;

In hopes that cert. grants soon would be there.

 

Seven Justices were prepared to read opinions aloud;

(The rest were at Ole Miss, drawing a crowd.)

Ginsburg in her jabot; and I in my suit;

Were thinking of cases that would soon get the boot.

 

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Thursday round-up

By on Dec 18, 2014 at 6:25 am

Although the Court is officially in recess until January, business continues there.  Yesterday the Court turned down Arizona’s application to allow it to deny driver’s licenses to “Dreamers” — young adults who came to this country illegally as children — if they have permits allowing them to have jobs here. Lyle Denniston reported on the case and the Court’s order for this blog; other coverage comes from Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services (via the Arizona Capitol Times) here and here. Continue reading »

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Petition of the day

By on Dec 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm

The petition of the day is:

14-292

Issue: (1) Whether the former Texas special issues for death penalty sentencing do provide – as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held – or do not provide – as the Fifth Circuit has held – an appropriate vehicle for the jury to consider and give full effect to mitigating evidence of good character, such that failure to provide a separate question violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court’s jurisprudence in Penry v. Lynaugh and Penry v. Johnson; (2) whether a conviction aided by the prosecution’s failure to produce evidence that contradicted its theory and showed that the evidence it did rely upon and the resulting jury arguments were false violates the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments under this Court’s Brady v. Maryland jurisprudence; and (3) whether executing a defendant who has already served more than 30 years on death row while exercising his legal rights in a non-abusive manner serves any penological purpose and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

 
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Idaho’s governor today asked the Supreme Court to wait to act on new same-sex marriage cases until after officials from his state can file an appeal, early next month.  If the Court accepts the suggestion, that could slow down the process of setting up review of the constitutional dispute during the current Term.

The Idaho ban has been struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, but that court is now considering a motion by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter to reconsider before the en banc court.  In the new filing at the Supreme Court, the governor said that, if the Ninth Circuit does not grant rehearing within the next few days, state officials will move ahead with a plan to seek Supreme Court review on January 5.

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