Tag: Supreme Court

Donald Trump Is Not Above the Law

Second, and just as importantly, the FBI should be able to execute lawful search warrants against former presidents. Trump spent his presidency arguing before judges that whoever happens to be president should be broadly immune from civil litigation, criminal investigations, and congressional oversight while in office. The courts, up to and including the Supreme Court, […]

Read More

Red States’ Anti-Obamacare Laws Can Be Weaponized Against Their Abortion Bans

In late-July, a coalition of Wyoming residents, medical providers, and abortion-supporting nonprofits filed a lawsuit alleging that House Bill 92—the state law which makes performing an abortion in Wyoming a felony crime punishable by up to 14 years in prison except in rare cases of rape, incest or health risks—was unlawful and unenforceable. Among the […]

Read More

The Next Big Threat to American Democracy Is Headed to the Supreme Court

Since that ruling seven years ago, the court’s composition has significantly changed. Three of the four dissenting justices—Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Alito—are still on the court. The seat held by the fourth dissenter, Antonin Scalia, is now held by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who has himself written opinions that suggest he would favor the theory. […]

Read More

The Justice Department Has Opened a New Front in the Abortion Wars

The department argued in its complaint that the restrictions violated the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, a federal law better known as EMTALA. That law defines the minimum level of emergency care that hospitals must provide if they receive Medicare funds, which nearly all do. Its language requires doctors to provide “stabilizing treatment” if […]

Read More

Kansas Voters Just Rewrote the Script for the Midterm Elections

The Dobbs decision and the Kansas referendum result will continue to fuel an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party. Some Democratic strategists have argued that the Dobbs ruling would activate voters in an otherwise impossible way for a party with a president whose approval numbers are under water in a cycle where the historical precedent […]

Read More

I Had a Pre-Roe Back-Alley Abortion. Let Me Tell You Where Republicans Are Trying to Take This Country.

Today, I live in West Virginia, where the legislature is considering “updating and clarifying” a statute passed in 1882 that criminalizes abortion. This statute is based on a similar 1849 law in Virginia, from which West Virginia seceded in 1863. The bill under consideration is to make abortions illegal, no matter how early in the […]

Read More

Samuel Alito Believes That Christians Are Oppressed in America

That supposed persecution, Alito, Barr, and others have argued, is unmooring the United States from its cultural roots. “I’m reminded of an experience I had a number of years ago in a museum in Berlin,” Alito recounted. “One of the exhibits was a rustic wooden cross. A young and affluent woman, a well-dressed woman, and […]

Read More

A Forgotten 1990s Law Could Make It Illegal to Discuss Abortion Online

One of the Christian right’s allies in Congress, the Illinois Republican Representative Henry Hyde, who is perhaps best known for his 1978 amendment barring the use of federal funds for abortion, would also put his mark on the CDA. The provision Hyde inserted would effectively criminalize abortion-related speech online. This “noxious abortion portion” of the […]

Read More

Clarence Thomas Is Suddenly ‘Unavailable’ To Teach A Class After Thousands Of Students Petition To See Him Fired

Last month, the Supreme Court decided to try and ruin everyone’s summer. The right-leaning bench went on a tear, releasing one radical ruling after another. Their most infamous move? Terminating Roe v. Wade. The ruling has already had disastrous effects upon the nation. And it’s even perhaps played a role in one of the judges […]

Read More

The Church of Scientology’s Audacious Interpretation of the First Amendment

The church countered that judicial enforcement of a contract isn’t typically considered to be a state action, citing a range of precedents from other types of legal disputes. In a footnote, the appeals court pointed to one of its own precedents in which the court refused to enforce a written agreement between a Christian mother […]

Read More

Henry Winkler Has HAD IT With The Democratic Party’s Polite ‘Decorum’

For the last year-and-a-half, the Democratic Party has been in control of the executive and the legislative branches of government. Not that anyone could tell. Since Joe Biden took office, Roe v. Wade has been overturned, guns have become easier to carry in public, the line separating church and state has become even blurrier, and […]

Read More

It’s Going to Take Several Miracles to Stop the Republican Party From Turning America Into Hungary

Republicans tried to overturn the 2020 election results, but the guardrails held, if just barely. As a result of Donald Trump’s relentless attacks on the outcome, roughly 70 percent of Republicans did not believe that Joe Biden won legitimately, and still do not. The January 6, 2021, insurrection was a direct attempt to invalidate a […]

Read More

A GOP Lawmaker Went To His Son’s Gay Wedding Days After Voting Against The Bill Meant To Protect His New Marriage

Last week, the House passed what the Respect for Marriage Act, which is meant to protect same-sex marriage from conservative aggression, including the far right-leaning Supreme Court. Should it pass the Senate, it will be a historic bill, ensuring that same-sex marriages, passed into federal law in 2015, can not be terminated. But there’s been […]

Read More

Conservatives Are Pretending They’re Not Coming for Marriage Equality Next. We’ve Heard That Before.

Part of his argument rested on a distinction between Roe and Casey, the 1992 case that rewrote Roe’s central holding and introduced the “undue burden” standard when assessing anti-abortion restrictions. McCarthy contended that Casey’s introduction of that standard “granted expansive and expanding room to regulate abortion,” and that most abortion cases now revolved around what […]

Read More

How Trump Almost Won His War on the Census

Second, the documents show that Chief Justice John Roberts saved the Supreme Court from, in legal parlance, getting played like a bunch of suckers. In its 2019 ruling on the citizenship question, in Department of Commerce v. New York, the court ruled that there was no constitutional barrier to asking about citizenship during the decennial […]

Read More

Democrats Just Forced Every House Republican to Take a Stance on Marriage Equality

His reassurances were considerably undercut by his colleague Justice Clarence Thomas, who agreed with Alito’s description of the ruling in Dobbs and then went on to say that, yes, the court should “reconsider” Obergefell, Lawrence, Griswold, and certain other Supreme Court precedents on Americans’ unenumerated rights. A host of Republican senators and state officials have […]

Read More

Democrats Have to Make the 2022 Election About the Republican War on Freedom

Let’s face it. As far as elections are concerned, fear motivates better than hope. And unlike right-wing fearmongering about white first graders being made to apologize for their race, this fearmongering will be entirely warranted. If you give Congress to the Republicans, Democrats must say, they’re going to pass a federal fetal personhood law. They […]

Read More

Corporate America Doesn’t Really Care About Your Abortion Rights

But even now, not every firm is speaking with encouraging words about reproductive rights: Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Snapchat have been guarded in their responses about whether they’ll hand over private data to police investigating recriminalized abortions. Some firms have already initiated crackdowns on their employees talking about their rights in both public and private […]

Read More

Why Aren’t Conservatives Celebrating the Post-Roe Future They Created?

But what’s really strange is that anti-abortion folks wanted to deny the story took place at all. Forcing a 10-year-old girl to travel to another state to end her pregnancy is the inevitable outcome of their stated policy preferences. For those who have fought for years to overturn Roe v. Wade and ensure that states […]

Read More

The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Love a Good Story, Facts Be Damned

If anything, Sotomayor may have understated things. When the case went through the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Milan Smith chastised some of his more conservative colleagues for giving an incomplete account of how Kennedy’s dispute had unfolded. “Kennedy engaged in private prayer for several years,” he wrote. “But when BSD learned that he […]

Read More

How the Calvinball Supreme Court Upended the Bar Exam

What’s more, it raises fundamental questions about the meaning of “the rule of law” in America today. This concept has been a foundational premise (perhaps, in our own mythmaking at least, the foundational premise) of American government since our founding—that we are, as John Adams put it, “a government of laws, not of men.” The […]

Read More

How Leonard Leo Became the Power Broker of the American Right

When George W. Bush was elected president, Leo began working as an outside adviser. According to a 2003 email by a White House aide that was sent to, among others, Brett Kavanaugh, Leo was characterized as a point person for “all outside coalition activity regarding judicial nominations.” He became known as a moneyman who could […]

Read More

There Is No Constitutional Right to Eat Dinner

In its statement, Morton’s appeals to even higher principles to justify the right to dinner by describing the protesters’ actions as “void of decency.” But if rights to privacy and bodily autonomy are too nebulous to be surmised from the Constitution’s text and structure, so too must be a right to be treated decently. What’s […]

Read More

The Metaverse, Porn, and the Future

One of the most famous phrases in a Supreme Court opinion is: “I know it when I see it.” Those words were in Justice Potter Stewart’s concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio, a 1964 case involving the showing of a supposedly risqué movie by Louis Malle at an Ohio theatre.  The Justice’s rationale for ruling […]

Read More

The Metaverse, Porn, and the Future

One of the most famous phrases in a Supreme Court opinion is: “I know it when I see it.” Those words were in Justice Potter Stewart’s concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio, a 1964 case involving the showing of a supposedly risqué movie by Louis Malle at an Ohio theatre.  The Justice’s rationale for ruling […]

Read More

To Defend the Future of Reproductive Rights, Democrats Must Look to the Past

The Hyde Amendment, the law prohibiting federal funds from being used to finance abortion, is still on the books with little historical opposition from Democrats (Obama once refused to commit to a federal option that would cover abortions, noting the “tradition, historically, of not financing” abortions with federal money). President Bill Clinton proliferated the idea, […]

Read More

The Rise of the Hereditary Judiciary

Conservatives also pulled off a monumental victory for their cause in 2018 when Anthony Kennedy, the court’s swing justice and its fifth vote to uphold Roe v. Wade, retired that summer. His replacement, Brett Kavanaugh, was one of Kennedy’s former clerks. The Trump administration took great pains behind the scenes to assure Kennedy that his […]

Read More

“We Need to Show Up”: Heather Booth on Organizing in Post-Dobbs America

Heather: In about half the states of this country, there’ll be greater restrictions or bans, and not even that, there’ll be a criminalization where you can even get like an authoritarian country. Ten thousand dollars in Texas, if you inform on someone else—your sister, your cousin, your neighbor—who is seeking an abortion and seeking a […]

Read More

Sure, Impeach Clarence Thomas—but That’s Just for Starters

That’s the only sword Democrats and liberals have. They have to threaten to use it. Reminding the voting public again and again that the conservatives all lied their way onto the court will help lower their stature, and lowering their stature is the only way to pressure them to care about raising it by not […]

Read More

The Supreme Court’s Holy War Against Public Schools

One interpretation of Kennedy and Carson is that the court privileged free exercise, the freedom of individual believers, over disestablishment. Or, as legal scholar Micah Schwartzman put it, re-upping his pithy tweet from 2020, “So … the Establishment Clause violates the Free Exercise Clause. That’s the tweet?” Sotomayor sees it similarly. In her Kennedy dissent, […]

Read More

Impunity Had a Great Year at the Supreme Court

This time, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissent, faulting the majority for inventing new standards and coming close to making things up to achieve a favorable outcome for the agent. “Existing precedent permits Boule to seek compensation for his injuries in federal court,” she wrote. “The Court goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid this result: […]

Read More