Supreme Court Strikes Down Yet Another Campaign Contribution Regulation On 1%

By: Wednesday April 2, 2014 11:50 am

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission the Supreme Court gave us – in a 5-4 vote along ideological lines – Citizens United 2: Plutocratic Boogaloo. The ruling removes limits on how many candidates and PACs the rich can give money to.

A Few Religious Objections to Hobby Lobby, et al.

By: Wednesday March 26, 2014 3:57 pm

After reading through some of the recaps of the oral arguments at SCOTUS yesterday in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius, it appears that some of the justices, and perhaps a majority, are willing to allow private religious objections to trump the laws, regulations, and ordinances enacted by local, state, and federal governments. Just so that no one is surprised later, I thought I’d lay out some of my strongly held religious beliefs now.

Supremely Disturbing Constitutional Analysis Changes Bill of Rights

By: Tuesday February 25, 2014 4:47 pm

The US Supreme Court has handed American law enforcement agencies an unqualified victory that arguably restricts the Constitutional prohibition against unwarranted searches and seizures.

SCOTUS News and Some Cool Websites

By: Wednesday January 1, 2014 3:54 pm

SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a temporary order last night exempting two Catholic nonprofits from covering the cost of birth control for their employees. The exemption is based on religious objections to birth control and will remain in effect until Friday when the DOJ is required to respond to the lawsuit filed by the two nonprofits.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Evan J. Mandery, A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America

By: Sunday November 3, 2013 2:58 pm

This book provides unparalleled insights into the workings of the Supreme Court and the often wildly unpredictable and clandestine underpinnings of rules of law that eventually emerge in far tidier terms in the justices’ written opinions. It is rich with revelations, intrigue, and scholarly perspective about the law and politics of capital punishment. A Wild Justice pays many handsome dividends in the reading.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes, Mark Tushnet, In The Balance: Law and Politics In The Roberts Court

By: Saturday October 12, 2013 1:59 pm

In his recent book In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court, Mark Tushnet does not disagree that politics and the Supreme Court go hand in hand. There is no denying that the Justices have political views and that those political views often influence how they decide cases. Professor Tushnet carefully dissects and criticizes the now infamous “umpire” analogy that Chief Justice John Roberts used in his confirmation hearing, replacing it with what he takes as the much more realistic and intellectually honest portraits of judging offered by Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

But where In the Balance makes its greatest contribution is in tempering the urge to dismiss the Court’s behavior as purely political.

Now isn’t that con-vee-nient?

By: Friday October 4, 2013 5:00 pm

Oops.

So much for the monthly Jobs Report. One of the effects of the government shutdown (no Fox News, it is NOT a “slimdown“) is no monthly Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Six Supreme Court Cases to Watch This Term

By: Wednesday September 18, 2013 5:45 am

The United States Supreme Court term begins in October, and while the entire docket has not yet been set, already it’s shaping up to be a historic term, with decisions on abortion protests, legislative prayer, and affirmative action, just to name a few. Here are the key cases to keep an eye on as the term starts up.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Thomas J. Healy, The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 1:59 pm

No right seems more fundamental to American public life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the twentieth century, that freedom was still an unfulfilled promise, with Americans regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. Indeed, free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.

Why did Holmes change his mind? That question has puzzled historians for almost a century. Now, with the aid of newly discovered letters and confidential memos, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs in vivid detail Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

Pope Sixtus V Has a Suggestion for the FISA Court

By: Saturday August 3, 2013 9:00 am

One of the ripples from Edward Snowden’s revelations of the orders issued by the FISA court has been shock and surprise (from those who have not been paying much attention) at the workings of the FISA court. They have been roundly attacked for operating behind closed doors, hearing only one side of things, and issuing judgments only in secret. Thus, when Snowden made public one of their rulings — the order to Verizon to turn over metadata — it not only brought that specific surveillance tactic into the open, but demonstrated more broadly how the secret rulings of this confidential court reach into everyday life of ordinary people.

Pope Sixtus V has a suggestion that might improve matters . . .

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Upcoming FDL Book Salons

Saturday, April 26, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
All the Presidents’ Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power
Chat with Nomi Prins about her new book. Hosted by Bill Black.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
2:00 pm Pacific
Summer of Beer and Whiskey: How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America’s Game
Chat with Edward Achorn about his new book. Hosted by Richard Taylor (dakine01).

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