(1) Whether, when a state court's decision on a prisoner's constitutional claim contains both reasoning substantively rejecting the claim and reasoning procedurally rejecting the claim, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act section 2254(d)’s standards apply to the claim; and (2) whether, if a lower court in the state proceedings rejects a state prisoner's claim “on the merits,” § 2254(d)’s standards nevertheless fall away whenever a higher court in the state proceedings rejects the claim on procedural grounds without addressing the claim substantively.
(1) Whether a state violates the First Amendment by penalizing a defendant for the content of its speech without requiring proof that the speech contains a knowing or reckless falsehood; (2) whether the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act preempts a state enforcement action that serves no compensatory purpose and instead simply seeks to penalize a pharmaceutical company for actions that are comprehensively regulated and overseen by the Food and Drug Administration; and (3) whether the imposition of a $124 million civil penalty, without any showing of actual deception, reliance, or injury, violates the Excessive Fines Clause.
Whether a defendant asserting a structural error in connection with the denial of his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial – where the defendant and his counsel were concededly unaware that the courtroom had been closed during the entirety of jury selection – must show that he was prejudiced by the courtroom closure on a collateral challenge to his conviction, or, whether prejudice is presumed because the harm from the structural error is “necessarily unquantifiable and indeterminate.”
On Tuesday the Justices met for their November 24 Conference. The December sitting will begin on Monday, November 30. The hearing list for the December sitting is here.
Zubik v. Burwell Does the availability of a regulatory method for nonprofit religious employers to comply with the HHS contraceptive mandate eliminate the substantial burden on religious exercise in violation of RFRA that the Court recognized in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.?
Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole Whether, when applying the “undue burden” standard of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Fifth Circuit erred in concluding that this standard permits Texas to enforce, in nearly all circumstances, laws that would cause a significant reduction in the availability of abortion services while failing to advance the State’s interest in promoting health - or any other valid interest.
Evenwel v. Abbott Does the "one-person, one-vote" principle require states to use voter population, as opposed to total population, when drawing state legislative districts?
Hines v. Alldredge Whether restrictions on occupational speech are subject to First Amendment scrutiny, or only rational-basis review.
Paske v. Fitzgerald (1) Whether the rule in USPS Bd. of Governors v. Aikens applies to the evaluation of a discrimination claim at summary judgment; and (2) whether a plaintiff claiming discrimination is required to prove, as an element of a prima facie case, that he or she was treated less favorably than a “nearly identical” “similarly situated” individual who is not a member of the protected class, a Fifth Circuit requirement which courts have characterized as “stringent,” “strict,” and “demanding.”
Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust Whether Chapter 9 of the federal Bankruptcy Code, which does not apply to Puerto Rico, nonetheless preempts a Puerto Rico statute creating a mechanism for the Commonwealth's public utilities to restructure their debts.
Chief Justice John Roberts says, “‘History didn’t end in 1965.’ But, what he misses is that voter suppression didn’t end in 1965, either . . . . This particular part of the Voting Rights Act that he didn’t like, Section 5, it blocked 3000 discriminatory voting changes from 1965 to 2013.” In this excerpt from the four-part GOVERNINGWorks interview, Ari Berman […]
Awarded the Peabody Award for excellence in electronic media.
Sigma Delta Chi
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi deadline reporting award for online coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
National Press Club Award
Awarded the National Press Club's Breaking News Award for coverage of the Affordable Care Act decision.
Silver Gavel Award
Awarded the Silver Gavel Award by the American Bar Association for fostering the American public’s understanding of the law and the legal system.
American Gavel Award
Awarded the American Gavel Award for Distinguished Reporting About the Judiciary to recognize the highest standards of reporting about courts and the justice system.
Awarded the Webby Award for excellence on the internet.