Tag: Supreme Court (US)

Justices Divided in New Cases on Voting Maps Warped by Politics

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court returned to the subject of partisan gerrymandering on Tuesday, considering for a second time in two years whether drawing election maps to help the party in power ever violates the Constitution. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the court’s newest member and the one who may possess the decisive vote, expressed […]

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Racism in Jury Selection Is Real. Can the Supreme Court Put an End to It?

Two years ago, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that there existed a constitutional “imperative to purge racial prejudice from the administration of justice.” In the case of the Mississippi death-row prisoner Curtis Flowers, which the justices heard on Wednesday, the court is once again poised to send a message that racism has no place in the […]

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How the Supreme Court Could Bring More Guns to New York City

A case before the Supreme Court this term could significantly affect whether densely populated cities like New York have the right to set their own gun policies. At a glance, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. City of New York is a limited dispute. It pits residents who […]

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Hip-Hop Artists Give the Supreme Court a Primer on Rap Music

WASHINGTON — Five years ago, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. enlivened a Supreme Court argument by reciting raw and violent lyrics from the rapper Eminem. The chief justice said he was worried that ignoring the song’s musical and cultural context could “subject to prosecution the lyrics that a lot […]

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An Inmate Doesn’t Understand Why He Is to Be Executed. Should He Be Spared?

In a series of rulings over the past several decades interpreting the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court has prohibited the execution of some of the most helpless people in the nation, including children and people with intellectual disabilities. On Wednesday, the court spared from […]

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The Supreme Court and Religious Favoritism

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court once again took on a question that has long confounded it: What qualifies as an impermissible establishment of religion under the Constitution? The court has over the years sent mixed signals about when the government may be playing favorites with a particular faith. For instance, […]

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Supreme Court Seems Ready to Allow Cross Honoring War Dead

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court seemed ready on Wednesday to allow a 40-foot cross honoring soldiers who died in World War I to remain in place on public land in Maryland. But the unusually vigorous and at times heated argument over the issue revealed deep divisions among the justices on […]

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Supreme Court Puts Limits on Police Power to Seize Private Property

WASHINGTON — Siding with a small time drug offender in Indiana whose $42,000 Land Rover was seized by law enforcement officials, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the Constitution places limits on civil forfeiture laws that allow states and localities to take and keep private property used to commit […]

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As Ruth Bader Ginsburg Returns, Supreme Court Acts on Death Penalty and Pollution Cases

WASHINGTON — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court bench on Tuesday, about two months after cancer surgery. She had missed arguments in the meantime, in her first absences since she joined the court in 1993, but had continued to participate in the court’s decisions by reading briefs […]

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Justice Clarence Thomas Calls for Reconsideration of Landmark Libel Ruling

WASHINGTON — Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday called for the Supreme Court to reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark 1964 ruling interpreting the First Amendment to make it hard for public officials to prevail in libel suits. He said the decision was the product of unprincipled “legal alchemy” […]

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Why Trump’s Emergency Mess Means Danger for the Courts

It didn’t take long for a group of Texas landowners to challenge President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in court. More suits have followed — 16 states, including New York and California, have sued to stop Mr. Trump’s use of emergency powers to build a border wall — and the […]

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Supreme Court to Hear Case on Census Citizenship Question

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether the Trump administration may add a question about citizenship to the next census questionnaire. Critics say that adding the question would undermine the accuracy of the census, because both legal and unauthorized immigrants might refuse to fill out the […]

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Trump’s Face-Saving Way Out of Political Crisis Raises Fears Over Rule of Law

WASHINGTON — The White House’s announcement Thursday that President Trump would claim emergency powers to build his border wall without congressional approval was a way out of the political crisis he created over shutting down the government. But while the move means the country will avoid another protracted shutdown, legal […]

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The Real Problem With Trump’s National Emergency Plan

President Trump is verging on a declaration of national emergency — purely in order to fund his wall. And if he does, the courts may — or may not — reject his gambit. But the fact that he may actually possess the legal authority to require agencies to waste billions […]

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When Judges Defy the Supreme Court

No, I wasn’t surprised last week, as most people apparently were, when Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding fifth vote to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana for at least a little while longer. In fact, I had predicted it (and I have witnesses). Why? Not because I think […]

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Is Religious Freedom for Christians Only?

When the Supreme Court turned a blind eye to President Trump’s hostility toward Muslims last summer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor warned, in dissent, that the majority was undermining the Constitution’s “foundational principles of religious tolerance.” In so doing, she said, the court was sending a message to “members of minority religions […]

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Justices Allow Execution of Muslim Inmate Who Sought Imam

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday said it would allow the execution of a Muslim inmate in Alabama whose request that his imam be present had been denied. The vote was 5 to 4, with the four more liberal members of the court in dissent. The majority offered little […]

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Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana Abortion Restrictions

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal […]

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What Is Late-Term Abortion? Trump Got It Wrong

President Trump on Tuesday evening asked Congress to ban a type of abortion often referred to as “late-term abortion.” He said he wanted to protect “children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.” He scorned New York’s recently passed Reproductive Health Act, saying that lawmakers had “cheered with delight […]

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