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Tag Archives: SCOTUS
Here’s a good mnemonic device, brought to you by RadioLab, for remembering all of our current US Supreme Court Justices — Kagan, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, and maybe Garland! But before you listen to the snappy song, listen to this episode from RadioLab (one of my favorite podcasts!) and their new venture called “More Perfect” about the US Supreme Court. You’ll learn a ton about the history of the SCOTUS and get a mnemonic song stuck in your head to boot!
We tend to think of the Supreme Court justices as all-powerful guardians of the constitution, issuing momentous rulings from on high. They seem at once powerful, and unknowable; all lacy collars and black robes.
But they haven’t always been so, you know, supreme. On this episode of More Perfect, we go all the way back to the case that, in a lot of ways, is the beginning of the court we know today.
Thanks Washington Monthly for the preview of the Supreme Court’s 2012-13 docket, which starts October 1, 2012. “With half the term’s cases scheduled, here are some of the big cases that are already on the docket, and a few the Court court take up later.” Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII) also has a good preview of the upcoming term. and the incomparable @scotusblog pointed us to a good WaPo review of the court’s upcoming docket, “Supreme Court faces another high-profile term.” The cases can be searched in the Supreme Court’s docket database as well as on their monthly calendar.
October 10, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
Revisiting affirmative action in higher education, a decade after Sandra Day O’Connor’s fifth vote upheld it in Grutter v. Bollinger. The conventional wisdom says that the Court, with Alito sitting in O’Connor’s seat, rules the practice unconstitutional.
October 3, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
Fascinating case in which Royal Dutch and its Shell subidiaries (the American companies) are accused of helping the Nigerian government torture a dozen and kill Nigerians protesting against the companies’ oil exploration. What’s being decided is whether a US court can effectively rule on human rights violations a domestic company has committed abroad.
October 9, Tibbals v. Carter; Ryan v. Gonzalez
Both of these cases deal with a state’s responsibility to halt the appellate review of capital punishment cases while a defendant is mentally ill. For now, this is the only case on the court’s docket that deals with the death penalty.
October 29, Clapper v. Amnesty International
The Court reviews the United State’s ability to wiretap Americans when they’re abroad. In 2008, Congress expanded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which previously regulated only domestic surveillance. Since then, we’ve been able to spy on our own wherever they go.
October 31, Florida v. Jardines; Florida v. Harris
The Court decides whether it violates the Fourth Amendment provision against illegal searches for a trained narcotics dog to sniff around a house or car for drugs without a warrant. Dogs in question are Franky and Aldo, respectively.
Potential SCOTUS cases (Should the Court take them up)
Several Defense of Marriage Act cases are working there way through the courts, most notably the May Massachusetts federal court decision that struck down the law. A lower court in California has also struck down Prop 8, the state’s ban on gay marriage, so that case could get heard too.
Voting Rights Act
Several states (Texas, South Carolina, Florida) have recently had voting laws struck down by the Department of Justice, thanks to the provision of the Voting Rights Act that mandates many of the ex-Confederate states have their voting laws “pre-cleared” by the federal government. If the Court decides to take up any of the resulting state challenges to the VRA, it could rule pre-clearance unconstitutional. Sidenote: I’d argue that pre-clearance isn’t broad enough. Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and other northern states that don’t require pre-clearance have passed Voter ID laws no problem. Welcome to the era of Jim Crow North.
In an article entitled “In Supreme Court Work, Early Views of Kagan” Charlie Savage at the NY Times has just released a ton(!) of memos written by SCOTUS nominee Elena Kagan during her time as a young law clerk working for Justice Thurgood Marshall at the Supreme Court.
The latest release with more than 46,500 pages re: SCOTUS Nominee, Elena Kagan, are now available on The Clinton Library Web Site.
or Download Seven Large PDF Files (about 205 Megs each) and Access All Pages in All Files
See Also: Previously Released Documents re: Elena Kagan
[Thanks for the heads-up Gary Price at ResourceShelf!]