The Political Decision in Hobby Lobby

By: Sunday July 6, 2014 11:00 am

Hobby Lobby is a terrible decision, and the underlying politics poke through the charade laid out in Samuel Alito’s opinion. People are right to be outraged, and it’s only going to get worse if the calmer-downers get people to shut up.


With Hobby Lobby Decision, SCOTUS Heads Back to the Gilded Age

By: Saturday July 5, 2014 9:30 am

The good times keep rolling for corporations at the Supreme Court. Four years ago, Citizens United​ gave corporations the right to spend as much money as they’d like on elections (money = speech, you know), and now Hobby Lobby​ gave corporations the right to claim their religious beliefs should exempt them from laws they deem objectionable on religious grounds.

But looking beneath the surface of the ​Hobby Lobby​ ruling reveals a grander gift to corporate owners . . .

Supreme Court Affirms Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Citizens Access to Public Information

By: Tuesday April 30, 2013 10:20 am

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that Virginia did not have to grant access to public records in the state to non-residents of Virginia under the state’s freedom of information law.

The decision, according to SCOTUSblog, did not break any new ground. It did not “rely upon any sweeping new legal declaration, but simply on the purpose that the Court found behind Virginia’s law.”

Supreme Court: Police Dog Powers Do Not Include Warrantless Searches of a Person’s Home

By: Tuesday March 26, 2013 10:20 am

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that when the government uses trained police dogs to investigate a home and its immediate surroundings it is a “search” under the Fourth Amendment.

The case involved the Miami-Dade Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration responding to an “unverified tip that marijuana was being grown in the home” of Joelis Jardines. In 2006, a joint surveillance team watched Jardines’ home and then, seeing there was no activity around the house, Miami-Dade Detective William Pedraja approached the home with Detective Douglas Bartelt, who had arrived at the scene with a drug-sniffing dog.

Despite a Failed Nomination, Robert Bork’s Legacy Lives On at the Supreme Court

By: Saturday October 27, 2012 1:00 pm

There are few personalities in the legal profession that are divisive as Robert Bork. And, while his name has not often come up this election cycle, his legacy with the Supreme Court and possibility that his vision will shape its future deserves to be discussed.

Supreme Court Rules Strip Searches Okay Even for Those Arrested for Minor Offenses

By: Monday April 2, 2012 11:30 am

The conservative majority on the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that police have the discretion to strip search people arrested even for minor offenses. I’m just not feeling the bow to judicial restraint here. The Court explicitly ruled that you can get strip-searched if jailed for failure to pay a speeding ticket. That was the underlying case here (and it was actually a false arrest, as the man did pay the ticket). What happens if you’re arrested for protesting in front of the Supreme Court, or the White House?

Goodwin Liu Nomination Looks Endangered, With Cloture Vote Today

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 9:59 am

The nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit gets a vote in the Senate today, and the prospects are pretty bleak. President Obama nominated Alaska Supreme Court justice Morgen Christen to the 9th Circuit (which has four vacancies) yesterday, drawing praise from Lisa Murkowski. Perhaps this was part of a deal to get Murkowski’s vote for Liu. Other than that, I haven’t seen much of a strategy to get this accomplished, other than trying to force Republicans to be as good as their past statements about filibustering judicial nominations.

Constitutional Rights a Casualty of Endless “War”

By: Wednesday May 18, 2011 5:38 pm

When facing endless “war,” be it a war on drugs or a war on terror, such niceties as constitutional rights always end up a causality of these nebulous conflicts. After all, when eternally battling with a generalized evil that will never cease to exist, the trampling of a few personal freedoms can be framed as an acceptable price. The latest example of this trend can be seen with this horrible new Supreme Court ruling, which basically shreds our Fourth Amendment rights.

Constitutional Rights a Casualty of Endless “War”

By: Tuesday May 17, 2011 9:49 am

The lone dissent was from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who realized this ruling just gave police carte blanche to routinely ignore the Fourth Amendment in drug cases. Police can use almost any noise they hear to claim they have “good reason” to believe evidence is being destroyed, and if the history of how police have bent and broken the rules to fight the war on drugs is any guide, they will.

Women: Get Realistic About Your Uteruses

By: Wednesday November 18, 2009 9:30 am

I guess you were the only one who didn’t know:

[M]any in the abortion rights community — which has been divided by tactical disagreements over the years — also recognize they were outmaneuvered by adversaries who understood the basic anti-abortion arithmetic of abortion votes in the House.

“I think Pelosi, NARAL and Planned Parenthood knew the reality — but a lot of other people had unrealistic expectations with Nancy Pelosi running the House and Barack Obama in the White House,” says a longtime abortion rights lobbyist.

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