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Supreme Court

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News
  1. Ethical Code Needed for Supreme Court Justices? (New Tork Times)
      "Supreme Court ethics have been under increasing scrutiny, largely because of the activities of Justice Thomas and Ms. Thomas, whose group, Liberty Central, opposed President Obama’s health care overhaul — an issue likely to wind up before the court."

      "In January, the liberal advocacy organization Common Cause asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia should have recused themselves from last year’s Citizens United campaign finance case because they had attended a political retreat organized by the billionaire Koch brothers, who support groups that stood to benefit from the court’s decision."

      "A month later, more than 100 law professors asked Congress to extend to Supreme Court justices the ethics code that applies to other federal judges, and a bill addressing the issue was introduced." 06-11

  2. Ginsburg Writes Scathing Dissent in Birth Control Case (Huffington Post)
      "The Supreme Court delivered a blow to universal birth control coverage on Monday, ruling that closely-held corporations can refuse to cover contraception in their health plans for religious reasons. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sharply disagreed with the five conservatives on the court, delivering a scathing, 35-page dissent and defense of mandatory contraception coverage." 06-14

  3. Supreme Court Approves Student's Anti-Bush T-Shirt (CBS News)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected an appeal by the Williamstown school district of a ruling that it violated Guiles' rights by censoring his T-shirt." 06-07

  4. Supreme Court News (MSNBC News)
      Provides news on the changing U.S. Supreme Court.

  5. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby (CBS News)
      " The Supreme Court today upheld a challenge to a key provision of Obamacare -- the one that requires coverage for birth control. Many religiously affiliated employers were already exempt from the requirement. On Monday, the court said some for-profit companies don't have to pay for contraceptives either, if they object on religious grounds."

      "The Supreme Court case was a political firestorm, pitting women's rights against religious freedom." 06-14

Papers
  1. -Alito, Samuel (Wikipedia.org)
      "Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. (born on April 1, 1950) is an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. He was sworn in on January 31, 2006, as the Supreme Court's 110th Justice." 01-06

  2. -Approval Rating of the Supreme Court Drops (New York Times)
      "Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing and three-quarters say the justices’ decisions are sometimes influenced by their personal or political views, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times and CBS News."

      "Those findings are a fresh indication that the court’s standing with the public has slipped significantly in the past quarter-century, according to surveys conducted by several polling organizations. Approval was as high as 66 percent in the late 1980s, and by 2000 approached 50 percent." 06-12

  3. -Both Sides Claim Victory on Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Laws (Arizona Republic)
      "On Monday, after the court issued its 5-3 decision upholding the law's most controversial provision but striking down three portions that the justices said encroached on federal immigration-enforcement powers, both sides claimed victory."

      "Political analysts and some law-enforcement authorities predict that little -- at least in the short term -- is likely to change as a result of the highly anticipated ruling: Politicians will try to use the ruling to their benefit, but in most cases, those who are passionate about immigration are already solidly in one camp or the other. Authorities won't begin enforcing the provision until a lower court lifts a 2-year-old injunction, and even then, federal immigration officials say they will continue to be selective about whom they deport. But legal experts say the court's ruling rendered a fatal blow to similar immigration laws nationwide and opens the door to additional legal challenges."

      For more on immigration issues, click here 06-12

  4. -Court Sides With Federal Government on Arizona Immigration Laws (CNN News)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled largely in favor of the federal government Monday in a case involving Arizona's immigration law, but it upheld the most controversial provision involving police checks on people's immigration status while enforcing other laws."

      " 'The national government has significant power to regulate immigration,' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion, adding that 'Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermined federal law.' " 06-12

  5. -Current Supreme Court Members (U.S. News)
      "The Supreme Court of the United States convened for the first time on February 2, 1790, under Chief Justice John Jay." 04-10

  6. -Editorial Against the Supreme Court on Habeas (U.S. News)
      "The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Boumediene v. Bush last week justifiably sent shock waves through the legal community. The majority opinion, authored by the ever wandering Justice Anthony Kennedy, disregarded both centuries of precedent and the military deference doctrine and also intruded on what is clearly the province of the political branches."

      "Rather than argue back and forth on the case, however, policymakers must quickly review the implications of the decision and find mutual ground on how best to proceed. The political branches must seek a third way—neither the existing federal courts nor the military commissions but a specialized hybrid court with civilian oversight (often called a national security court)—as the best means to balance the interests of both national security and human rights." 06-08

  7. -Editorial for the Supreme Court on Habeas (U.S. News)
      "The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Boumediene v. Bush last week justifiably sent shock waves through the legal community. The majority opinion, authored by the ever wandering Justice Anthony Kennedy, disregarded both centuries of precedent and the military deference doctrine and also intruded on what is clearly the province of the political branches."

      "Rather than argue back and forth on the case, however, policymakers must quickly review the implications of the decision and find mutual ground on how best to proceed. The political branches must seek a third way—neither the existing federal courts nor the military commissions but a specialized hybrid court with civilian oversight (often called a national security court)—as the best means to balance the interests of both national security and human rights." 06-08

  8. -Editorial: "Judicial Activism" a Phony Claim (Time.com)
      " 'Judicial activism' is the No. 1 conservative talking point on the law these days. Liberal judges, the argument goes, make law, while conservative judges simply apply the law as it is written."

      "It's a phony claim. Conservative jurists are every bit as activist as liberal ones. But the critique is also wrong as an approach to the law. In fact, judges always have to interpret vague clauses and apply them to current facts — it's what judging is all about." 06-10

  9. -Editorial: Explaining the Supreme Court's Birth Control Ruling (Christian Science Monitor)
      "The Hobby Lobby case decided by the Supreme Court last month sent ripples through the national conversation on women's rights and religion in public life. Here, we explain the basics of what the Supreme Court did." 07-14

  10. -Editorial: Justice Ginsberg Speaks About Women's Rights (MSNBC News)
      "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fierce 35-page dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby wasn’t her last word on the case. In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, the justice agreed that the decision, which allowed private companies to refuse birth control coverage to their employees based on the employer’s beliefs, revealed a 'blind spot' on women’s rights." 07-14

  11. -Editorial: Justice Ginsberg Speaks About Women's Rights (MSNBC News)
      "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s fierce 35-page dissent in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby wasn’t her last word on the case. In an interview with Katie Couric on Yahoo News, the justice agreed that the decision, which allowed private companies to refuse birth control coverage to their employees based on the employer’s beliefs, revealed a 'blind spot' on women’s rights." 07-14

  12. -Editorial: Justice Scalia Takes on Women's Rights (Time.com)
      "It is a strange view of the Constitution [by Scalia] to say that when it says every 'person" must have 'equal protection,' it does not protect women, but that freedom of 'speech' — something only humans were capable of in 1787 and today — guarantees corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections." 10-10

  13. -Editorial: Supreme Court Backs More Corporate Political Spending (Politico.com)
      "The Supreme Court on Thursday opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics in a decision that could have a major influence on the 2010 midterm elections and President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign."

      "The long-awaited 5-4 decision overruled all or parts of two prior rulings by the court that allowed governments to restrict corporations and unions from spending their general funds on ads expressly urging a candidate’s election or defeat." 01-10

  14. -Editorial: Supreme Court Backs More Corporate Political Spending (Politico.com)
      "The Supreme Court on Thursday opened wide new avenues for big-moneyed interests to pour money into politics in a decision that could have a major influence on the 2010 midterm elections and President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign."

      "The long-awaited 5-4 decision overruled all or parts of two prior rulings by the court that allowed governments to restrict corporations and unions from spending their general funds on ads expressly urging a candidate’s election or defeat." 01-10

  15. -Editorial: Supreme Court Justice Describes the Purpose of a Grand Jury (ThinkProgress.org)
      "On Monday, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. But that decision was the result of a process that turned the purpose of a grand jury on its head."

      "Justice Antonin Scalia, in the 1992 Supreme Court case of United States v. Williams, explained what the role of a grand jury has been for hundreds of years."

      "It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor." 11-14

  16. -Editorial: Supreme Court's Low Point (CNN News)
      " The tragedy of the court's performance in the election of 2000 was not that it led to Bush's victory but the inept and unsavory manner with which the justices exercised their power."

      "There was only one bright spot in this dismal panorama. John Paul Stevens' dignified, clearheaded and insistent eloquence honored the court. Alone among the justices, Stevens was consistent and logical and constitutionally sound in his thinking. From his home in Fort Lauderdale, he composed a peroration that serves as the best epitaph for this sorry chapter in the court's history:"

      " 'The [opinion] by the majority of this Court can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land. It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is pellucidly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.' " 06-07

  17. -Editorial: The Supreme Court Gives Corporations New "Rights" to Influence Elections (Time.com)
      "When the Supreme Court ended its term last week, its ruling extending gun rights was the big news. But the real headline of the term was the court's decision earlier this year giving corporations and unions sweeping new rights to spend money to elect candidates to office. It is not an overstatement to say that the 5 to 4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which was handed down in January, could permanently change American democracy."

      "Now, ExxonMobil or Walmart can simply go into the district of a member of Congress who is giving them a hard time and spend as much money as it wants to defeat him. The amount of money that is available is staggering. According to Democracy 21, a group that advocates for campaign-finance regulations, corporations had revenues of $13 trillion and profits of $605 billion during the last election cycle. (Unions have far less.)"

      "Of course, corporations may not even have to spend the money. If a member of Congress knows that General Motors or ConAgra could spend millions of dollars to defeat him in the next election, he may be a lot more sympathetic to the company's request for a bailout or for favorable language in a pending bill." 07-10

  18. -Ginsburg Writes Scathing Dissent in Birth Control Case (Huffington Post)
      "The Supreme Court delivered a blow to universal birth control coverage on Monday, ruling that closely-held corporations can refuse to cover contraception in their health plans for religious reasons. But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sharply disagreed with the five conservatives on the court, delivering a scathing, 35-page dissent and defense of mandatory contraception coverage." 06-14

  19. -Ginsburg's Legacy (History.com)
      "Ruth Bader Ginsberg became the second female justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Born in 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, Bader taught at Rutgers University Law School and then at Columbia University, where she became its first female, tenured professor. She served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union during the 1970s, and was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1980. Named to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, she continued to argue for gender equality in such cases as United States v. Virginia." 09-14

  20. -Ginsburg: Worst Supreme Court Decisions (Huffington Post)
      "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed her extreme regret over several of the current Court's rulings in a wide-ranging interview published in The New Republic Sunday evening, including their rejecting the commerce clause of President Barack Obama's health care law, and issuing a huge blow to the Voting Rights Act in their Shelby County v. Holder decision."

      "But the first Supreme Court ruling Ginsburg would send to the guillotine would be the Court's decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, giving corporations and unions the green light to give and spend unlimited sums of money on independent political activity." 09-14

  21. -How the U.S. Supreme Court Works (CNN News)
      "The Constitution's framers envisioned the judiciary as the 'weakest,' 'least dangerous' branch of government. And while the court has often been accused over the years of being too timid in asserting its power, there is little doubt when the justices choose to flex their judicial muscle, the results can be far-reaching. Just look at how cases such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954 -- integrating public schools), Roe v. Wade (1973 -- legalizing abortion) and even Bush v. Gore (2000) have affected the lives of Americans." 03-12

  22. -Justice Ginsberg's Photos (New York Times)
      Provides a photo history of Supreme Court Justice. Ruth Bader Ginsberg. 03-15

  23. -Neil Gorsuch Appointed to the Supreme Court (NBC News)
      "The Senate confirmed judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court Friday in a mostly party-line 54-45 vote that reflected weeks of bruising political fighting which deepened congressional divides and changed the nature of high court appointments in the future." 04-17

  24. -Supreme Court Affirms Shield from Employer Retaliation (Christian Science Monitor)
      "In an eight-page decision written by Justice David Souter, the high court cast a broad blanket of protection over American workers struggling in a hostile work environment. Those employees who help identify and root out allegedly discriminatory actions by senior managers and supervisors – even though they may not have filed a formal complaint – are nonetheless protected from retaliation, the court said."

      "The decision puts managers and supervisors on notice that they face legal consequences if they use their power in the organization to try to cover up their own discriminatory actions by retaliating against complaining employees. In addition, the decision puts employees on notice that, when they come forward to help expose discrimination in the workplace, they clearly enjoy the protections of the law." 01-09

  25. -Supreme Court Backs Limits on Cross-State Pollution (Washington Post)
      "The Supreme Court on Tuesday resurrected Environmental Protection Agency rules targeting air pollution that drifts across state borders, handing a victory to the Obama administration on one of its major environmental efforts."

      "The agency for years, under two administrations, has struggled to carry out a directive under the federal Clean Air Act to protect downwind states from pollution generated in other states, mostly from coal-fired power plants." 04-14

  26. -Supreme Court Blocked Rule to Reduce Carbon Dioxide (ABC News)
      "For the long-suffering communities that depend on coal, last week's Supreme Court ruling was seen as a rare victory. The justices ruled 5-4 Tuesday to freeze the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to reduce the nation's carbon-dioxide emissions 32 percent by 2030 while legal challenges against the regulations are pending." 02-16

  27. -Supreme Court Justice Scalia Found Dead at 79 (Time.com)
      "US Marshall’s Service confirms that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is dead at 79." 02-16

  28. -Supreme Court Justice Souter Retires (CBS News)
      "Supreme Court Justice David Souter is planning retire at the end of the current court term. Souter, 69, has informed the White House of his decision and plans to return to his native New Hampshire according to NPR, which first reported the story." 04-09

  29. -Supreme Court Orders Drastic Reduction in California Prison Population (CNN News)
      "The Supreme Court has affirmed a federal order telling California to reduce its overflowing prison population, a situation the majority said 'falls below the standard of decency.' " 05-11

  30. -Supreme Court Outlaws Limits on Spending in Montana (MSNBC News)
      "The Supreme Court overturned Monday a Montana state law which banned independent political spending by corporations."

      "By reversing a ruling by the Montana Supreme Court which had upheld the 1912 law, the high court re-affirmed its own 2010 Citizens United decision which held that a ban on corporate independent political spending was unconstitutional under the First Amendment." 06-12

  31. -Supreme Court Rejects Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics (CBS News)
      "The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics violates the First Amendment." 06-14

  32. -Supreme Court Rules Against the EPA (MSNBC News)
      "In a loss for the Obama administration, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled 5-4 against a cap on toxic power plant emissions."

      "Had the decision been in favor of EPA regulations, it would have forced the industry to install high-tech scrubbers to remove mercury, arsenic and other pollutants, which disproportionately fall to earth in poorer neighborhoods. They enter the body as food from tainted waterways or are simply ingested with each unavoidable breath. They are particularly dangerous for children and unborn babies, but everyone exposed suffers." 06-15

  33. -Supreme Court Rules Gitmo Prisoners Have Rights (Time.com)
      "The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts."

      "In its third rebuke of the Bush administration's treatment of prisoners, the court ruled 5-4 that the government is violating the rights of prisoners being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The court's liberal justices were in the majority."

      "Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, 'The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.' " 06-08

  34. -Supreme Court Rules Same-Sex Marriage Is a Constitutional Right (SupremeCourt.gov)
      Provides the text of the Supreme Court rulling that same-sex marriage is a right protected under the U.S. Constitution and must be honored by states:

      "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty. Same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. Baker v. Nelson is overruled. The State laws challenged by the petitioners in these cases are held invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples" 07-15

  35. -Supreme Court Rules for Independent Commissions on Redistricting (MSNBC News)
      "The Supreme Court ruled Monday that an independent commission created by Arizona voters to draw congressional and state legislative districts is constitutional. If the court had struck down AZ’s commission, it would have made it much harder for states to find ways to stop partisan lawmakers from drawing districts in a way that benefits their party." 06-15

  36. -Supreme Court Rules for Same-Sex Marriage (ABC News)
      "In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that gay and lesbian couples across the country have a constitutional right to marry." 06-15

  37. -Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Hobby Lobby (CBS News)
      " The Supreme Court today upheld a challenge to a key provision of Obamacare -- the one that requires coverage for birth control. Many religiously affiliated employers were already exempt from the requirement. On Monday, the court said some for-profit companies don't have to pay for contraceptives either, if they object on religious grounds."

      "The Supreme Court case was a political firestorm, pitting women's rights against religious freedom." 06-14

  38. -Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Independent Redistricting (SupremeCourt.gov)
      Provides the text of the Supreme Court rulling that independent commissions may be in charge of redistricting.

      "It would thus be perverse to interpret 'Legislature' in the Elections Clause to exclude lawmaking by the people, particularly when such lawmaking is intended to advance the prospect that Members of Congress will in fact be 'chosen . . . by the People of the several States,' Art. I, §2. Pp. 30–33.

      (4) Banning lawmaking by initiative to direct a State’s method of apportioning congressional districts would not just stymie attempts to curb gerrymandering. It would also cast doubt on numerous other time, place, and manner regulations governing federal elections that States have adopted by the initiative method. As well, it could endanger election provisions in state constitutions adopted by conventions and ratified by voters at the ballot box, without involvement or approval by 'the Legislature.' " 07-15

  39. -Supreme Court Rules on "Indecent Speech" (CNN News)
      "The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday federal regulators have the authority to clamp down on the broadcast TV networks that air isolated cases of profanity, known as 'fleeting expletives.' " 04-09

  40. -Supreme Court Rules on Union Dues (Christian Science Monitor)
      "A Supreme Court decision Monday dealt labor unions a fresh blow at a time when their clout is decreasing. It's a narrow ruling, but unions will have to scramble to cope." 06-14

  41. -Supreme Court to Decide on "Hillary, The Movie (CBS News)
      "The justices' review of the slashing documentary financed by longtime critics of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton could bring more than just a thumbs up or thumbs down. It may settle the question of whether the government can regulate a politically charged film as a campaign ad." 03-09

  42. -Supreme Court to Decide on Voter Rights Act (Time.com)
      "Congress' decision to extend a key provision of the Voting Rights Act for 25 years is at the core of a case being argued before the Supreme Court." 04-09

  43. -The Supreme Court to Take Up Same Sex Marriage Laws (CBS News)
      "The Supreme Court announced today that it will consider the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's ban on marriage, two cases that could have a significant impact on marriage laws across the country." 12-12

  44. -The Supreme Court's Logic for Upholding the Affordable Care Act (TheDailyBeast.com)
      "In accepting the tax argument, the court relied on the 'well-established' principle that 'if a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so.' "

      "The court then noted that the government’s argument—that the mandate represented a tax on people who choose not to buy health insurance—'makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.' "

      "In deciding to accept the government’s tax argument, the court wrote that 'the question is not whether that is the most natural interpretation of the mandate, but only whether it is a ‘fairly possible’ one." 07-12

  45. -What Is "Free Speech"? (Time.com)
      The issues here are whether Westboro church members have a "free speech" right to picket the funerals of soldiers and whether states have the right to severely restrict such picketing. "Snyder [the father of the soldier] ultimately sued Westboro, a move that set the stage for an epic First Amendment battle that reached the Supreme Court on Oct. 6. What exactly does the First Amendment protect--the Phelpses' right to freedom of speech or Snyder's rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of religion? And what happens when these values are in conflict?"

      "Westboro opponents are hoping the court will comment on, if not uphold outright, state laws that restrict funeral picketing. The court could encourage states to write stronger statutes. In Kansas, for example, Westboro can't picket within 150 ft. (46 m) of a church an hour before a funeral starts or return to the area until two hours after the ceremony ends. But as the Snyder case shows, Westboro can inflict plenty of damage beyond that buffer zone."

      "On the other side, the ACLU and other free-speech advocates are supporting Westboro's right to offend, as are many news organizations. Chief among their arguments: having changed the route of the procession, Snyder did not directly encounter the picketers or any of their signs at his son's funeral. He saw and read about them afterward while watching the news and searching online." 10-10

  46. 20-16 Supreme Court Lets State Assault Weapon Ban Stand (Christian Science Monitor)
      "The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to assault weapons bans in Connecticut and New York. In doing so, it continued to refine its recent approach to the Second Amendment." 06-16

  47. A History of Supreme Court Nominee Battles (MSNBC News)
      "Sometimes, as in the cases of Louis Brandeis in 1916 and Robert Bork in 1986, the nomination battle mirrored the ideological struggles of that time."

      "The Brandeis nomination served as a referendum on the country’s political direction: Should the court serve, as it had for decades, as a bulwark of protection for corporate interests?" 8-05

  48. Amistad Supreme Court Decision
      Provides the full text of the Supreme Court decision regarding the group of men who were captured and made slaves aboard The Amistad.

  49. Both Sides Claim Victory on Supreme Court Ruling on Arizona Immigration Laws (PBS.org)
      "The justices unanimously upheld the law's provision requiring police officers to check the immigration status of any individual they suspect is in the country illegally. Three other parts of the law were struck down, including one element that would have made it a crime for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job."

      This article provides links to a variety of newspapers to show different headlines covering the same outcome. For more on immigration issues, click here 06-12

  50. Boy Scouts Lose Appeal Over Their Ban (CNN News)
      "The Boy Scouts of America lost a U.S. Supreme Court appeal over its exclusion from sharing in the proceeds of a state-run charity campaign because it bans homosexuals."

      "Connecticut says it excluded 29 other organizations from the charitable campaign because they didn't meet the non-discrimination requirement." 3-04

  51. Corporate Charters - Granting Corporations Personhood (Grossman and Adams)
      Discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision of 1886, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, that first granted corporations the same rights as an individual citizen. The Supreme Court stated that:

      "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does."

      "Thus it was that a two-sentence assertion by a single judge elevated corporations to the status of persons under the law, prepared the way for the rise of global corporate rule, and thereby changed the course of history." 7-02

  52. Corporate Charters - Limitations of the Past (Grossman and Adams)
      "Many colonial citizens argued that under the Constitution, no business could be granted special privileges. Others worded that once incorporators amassed wealth, they would use their corporate shields to control jobs and production, buy off the press and dominate elections and the courts." However, in 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court granted corporations the same rights and protections as individual persons.

      "Within just a few decades, appointed judges had redefined the 'common good' to mean the corporate use of humans and the Earth for maximum production and profit -- no matter what was manufactured, who was hurt or what was destroyed. Corporations had obtained control over resources, production, commerce, jobs, politicians, judges and the law. Workers, citizens, cities, towns, states and nature were left with fewer and fewer rights that corporations were forced to respect."

      "By rewriting the [state] laws governing corporations, we citizens can reassert the convictions of the people who struggled to resist corporate rule in the past." 7-02

  53. Court: Corporate Donor Ban Unconstitutional (Time.com)
      "A judge has ruled that the campaign finance law banning corporations from making contributions to federal candidates is unconstitutional."

      U.S. District Judge James Cacheris "says that under last year's Citizens United Supreme Court case, corporations enjoy the same right as people to contribute to campaigns."

      "The ruling is the first of its kind. The Citizens United case had applied only to independent corporate expenditures, not to actual campaign contributions." 05-11

  54. Court: Passengers Have Rights in a Stop (Time Magazine)
      "Passengers, like drivers, have a constitutional right to challenge the legality of police decisions to stop cars in which they are traveling, the Supreme Court said Monday." 06-07

  55. Decisions - Supreme Court Decisions (Legal Information Institute)
      Provides a searchable database of Supreme Court decisions going back to 1990. 1-05

  56. Decisions - US Supreme Court Decisions (FindLaw)
      Provides a searchable database of Supreme Court decisions going back to 1937.

  57. Decisions - US Supreme Court Decisions By Party Name (Legal Information Institute)
      Provides an alphabetic listing of Supreme Court decisions by the last name of the persons involved. 5-00

  58. Decisions - US Supreme Court Decisions By Subject (Legal Information Institute)
      Provides an alphabetic listing of Supreme Court decisions by subject. For example, gun control issues would be under "S" for Second Amendment. 5-00

  59. Editorial: Eight Justices Are Enough (New York Times)
      Provides a short history of the Supreme Court, arguing that it was originally intended to have a much more limited role. 05-16

  60. Editorial: First Amendment - Upside Down (New York)
      "The Supreme Court decision striking down public matching funds in Arizona’s campaign finance system is a serious setback for American democracy. The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in Monday’s 5-to-4 decision shows again the conservative majority’s contempt for campaign finance laws that aim to provide some balance to the unlimited amounts of money flooding the political system."

      "Justice Elena Kagan, writing in dissent, dissects the court’s willful misunderstanding of the result. Rather than a restriction on speech, she says, the trigger mechanism is a subsidy with the opposite effect: 'It subsidizes and produces more political speech.' Those challenging the law, she wrote, demanded — and have now won — the right to 'quash others’ speech' so they could have 'the field to themselves.' She explained that the matching funds program — unlike a lump sum grant to candidates — sensibly adjusted the amount disbursed so that it was neither too little money to attract candidates nor too large a drain on public coffers."

      "Arizona’s system was a response to a history of terrible corruption in the state’s politics." 06-11

  61. Editorial: Missing: Media Focus on the Supreme Court (Fair.org - Solomon)
      "Though Bush and Kerry are inclined to understate the importance of potential new Supreme Court picks as they try to attract swing voters, Professor Dorf is unequivocal: 'A Bush victory will greatly increase the likelihood that Congress and the state legislatures will be able to ban most abortions at some point in the next four years. In contrast, a Kerry victory will almost surely preserve the status quo of legal abortion prior to the third trimester of pregnancy.' "

      "Already, Bush's impacts on the judiciary have been appreciable. Like the members of the Supreme Court, the federal judges on appeals and district court benches are appointed for life -- and in less than four years, Bush has chosen almost a quarter of all those judges nationwide." 9-04

  62. Education - States Can Deny Scholarships for Ministry (Bloomberg.com)
      "States that offer college scholarships can deny them to students majoring in theology without violating their constitutional rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled." 2-04

  63. Election 2000 - Both State and Federal Supreme Courts Were Wrong (Wall Street Journal - Rosen)
      Expresses the opinion, based on legal grounds, that both the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court violated their appropriate roles in their rulings on the Presidential election of 2000. "By promulgating its own rules after the fact, Judge Posner argues, the Florida court was not perfecting the democratic system, as many have claimed, but undermining one of its fundamental pillars: that succession take place according to procedures that are 'fixed in advance, objective, administrable, and clear.'" "No less disturbing as a matter of judicial philosophy--and seeming partisan favoritism--was the [U.S.] Supreme Court's obvious unwillingness to let the election dispute work itself out in Florida or, if need be, in Congress." 11-01

  64. Election 2000 - U.S. Supreme Court Chose Bush (St. Petersburg Times - Greenhouse)
      Discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision to stop the vote counting in Florida. 12-00

  65. Election 2000 - U.S. Supreme Court Ruling - Wrong (Salon - Kamiya)
      Provides an editorial that five of the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court acted with partisan self-interest. 12-00

  66. Elena Kagan Becomes the Fourth Female Justice in U.S. History (USA Today)
      "Obama noted that after Kagan is sworn in, the Supreme Court will for the first time in history have three women serving at the same time. Kagan joins Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, whom Obama appointed last year." 08-10

  67. Federalist Papers (Yale Law School - Avalon Project)
      Provides the Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. These documents are used by the U.S. Supreme Court and others to help interprete the U.S. Constitution and American law. 8-02

  68. Hearings of Judge Samuel Alito Before the U.S. Senate (C-Span.org)
      Provides the transcripts of the hearings. 01-06

  69. Hillary Clinton Calls Supreme Court Finding a "Slippery Slope" (Time.com)
      "Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the Obamacare contraceptive-coverage mandate. The ruling that closely held corporations can deny birth control coverage to their employees on religious grounds, she said, is 'a really bad slippery slope.' " 06-14

  70. How the U.S. Supreme Court Works (BBC News)
      "The Supreme Court is the highest court in the US. Its decisions cannot be appealed and can only be changed by another Supreme Court decision or a constitutional amendment." 6-05

  71. Justice Ginsburg Summarizes Ruling in Favor of Abortion Clinics (HuffingtonPost.com)
      "The 2013 Texas law that the court struck down would have required all abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or mini-hospitals, instead of regular clinics. Ginsburg kept her argument simple: Abortions are statistically safer than many simpler medical procedures, including tonsillectomies, colonoscopies, in-office dental surgery and childbirth — but Texas does not subject those procedures to the same onerous requirements."

      " 'Given those realities, it is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions,’ " Ginsburg wrote. “ 'When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners ... at great risk to their health and safety.' " 06-16

  72. Justices - Biographies of U.S. Supreme Court Justices (Legal Information Institute)
      Provides brief profiles, as well as recent decisions by each justice. 6-02

  73. Justices - Fight for the Supreme Court (MSNBC News)
      "With openings looming on Supreme Court, president may soon face a defining battle." 11-04

  74. Justices - U. S. Supreme Court Justices (BBC)
      Provides a British view of the U.S. Supreme Court members. 11-00

  75. Justices Well-Off (CNN News)
      "The records, which were released Friday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, confirm what has been known for some time: that most of the justices are relatively well-off financially." 06-08

  76. Native Americans - Colville Confederated Tribes - Recognition by the Supreme Court (FindLaw.com)
      Provides a summary of a Supreme Court finding that the Colville Confederated Tribes still had a reservation, despite the sale of lands within the reservation. 9-00

  77. O'Connor, Sandra Day - Biography (Awesome Library)
      Provides biographies of O'Connor. 7-05

  78. Operations of the U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Court of the United States)
      Provides information about the operation of the U.S. Supreme Court. 6-02

  79. Prisoners - Supreme Court: No "Blank Check" for Bush on U.S. Prisoners (Bloomberg.com)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court, denying the Bush administration a 'blank check' to fight terrorism, ruled that American citizens held as enemy combatants are entitled to assert their innocence before a neutral tribunal."

      " 'A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens,' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for four of the court's members." 6-04

  80. Prisoners - U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Guantanamo Detainees (BBC News)
      "The United States Supreme Court has ruled that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay can take their case that they are unlawfully imprisoned to the American courts." 8-04

  81. Prisoners - U.S. Supreme Court: Names of Detainees Can be Kept Secret (Bloomberg.com)
      "The Bush administration can continue withholding the names of more than 750 people arrested following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by civil liberties groups."

      "The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations said the `unprecedented secrecy' harmed efforts to learn whether the arrests were justified or the detainees were mistreated. A federal appeals court upheld the government's argument that releasing the names would interfere with the terrorism investigation." 1-04

  82. Quotas - Supreme Court Upholds Race-Based College Admissions (Bloomberg.com)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court approved race- conscious college admissions, reaffirming a 25-year-old precedent and ensuring that hundreds of top universities can continue using affirmative action to bolster black and Hispanic enrolment." 6-03

  83. Quotas - Supreme Court Upholds Race-Based College Admissions (Bloomberg.com)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court approved race- conscious college admissions, reaffirming a 25-year-old precedent and ensuring that hundreds of top universities can continue using affirmative action to bolster black and Hispanic enrolment." 6-03

  84. Quotas - U.S. Supreme Court to Decide on Affirmative Action for College Students (USA Today)
      "About 15% of the first year Michigan law students are minorities. The Supreme Court was told that without diversity considerations, the number of minorities in a freshman class could plunge to less than .04%."

  85. Redistricting - Texas Redistricting Plan Upheld by Supreme Court (CBS News)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court refused Friday to block Texas from holding congressional elections next fall under a hard-fought new map that could cost the Democrats as many as six House seats." 1-04

  86. Rehnquist, William (Wikipedia.org)
      "William Hubbs Rehnquist (October 1, 1924–September 3, 2005) was an American attorney, jurist, and political figure. He was a former law clerk and Assistant Attorney General."

      "In 1972, he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court as an Associate Justice by President Richard Nixon, and in 1986 was appointed Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan. He went on to preside over the court as Chief Justice for 19 years, making him the longest-serving Chief Justice since Melville Weston Fuller, who died in 1910." 9-05

  87. Rehnquist, William - Legacy (Fox News)
      "Although Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist (search) will probably go down in history as one of the justices who sided with President Bush in the contested 2000 election, his true legacy may well reveal him to be a uniter on a deeply divided court." 10-05

  88. Roberts, John - Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Awesome Library)
      Provides information on his life and positions on issues.

  89. School Prayer and the First Amendment (Findlaw.com)
      Provides the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the First Amendment of the Constitution. 2-01

  90. Senate Approves Sonia Sotomayor as First Hispanic Supreme Court Justice (ABC News)
      "The Senate voted to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court today, making her the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice and just the third woman to sit on the court." 08-09

  91. Sentencing - Supreme Court Ends "Mandatory" Sentencing (Washington Times)
      "The Supreme Court yesterday voided mandatory federal sentencing guidelines, making them voluntary and saying U.S. judges could consult them before imposing penalties." 1-05

  92. Sentencing - Supreme Court Justice Criticizes Congressional Limits on Sentencing (Bloomberg.com)
      "William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said Congress should have considered the views of federal judges before setting limits on their authority to impose sentences and grant leniency." 1-04

  93. Sotomayor Started by Working in Trial Bureau 50 (CNN News)
      "Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor graduated with honors from Ivy League schools. But she may have learned some of her most memorable lessons as a young prosecutor, following police into abandoned tenements and tracking down witnesses on the grimy streets of New York."

      "Sotomayor's five years there, say Manhattan prosecutors past and present, make her uniquely qualified for the nation's highest court." She became "the only justice who prosecuted criminal cases, presided over them and handled criminal appeals." 12-09

  94. Supreme Court Allows Same-Sex Marriage Laws to Stand (CBS News)
      "The Supreme Court on Monday turned away seven same-sex marriage cases in five states, refusing for now to take up the basic question of whether same-sex couples have a right to marriage."

      "While the decision is a setback for the gay rights movement's goal of achieving marriage equality nationwide, it does allow the lower court rulings in those five states to stand -- all in favor of marriage equality." 10-14

  95. Supreme Court Backs Arizona Business Immigration Law (MSNBC News)
      "Handing a legal victory to groups pushing back against illegal immigration, the Supreme Court today upheld an Arizona law that punishes businesses in the state for hiring workers who are in the country illegally." 05-11

  96. Supreme Court Blocks Suit Against Wal-Mart (New York Times)
      "The Supreme Court on Monday blocked a huge sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart on behalf of women who work there." 06-11

  97. Supreme Court Conservatives Make Imprint (MSNBC News)
      "Monday’s Supreme Court rulings in three high-profile cases showed that Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito, both appointees of President Bush, are putting their imprint on the high court’s decisions."

      "Roberts wrote the majority opinion in two of the big cases, both involving the First Amendment right to free speech, one on regulation of campaign ads and the other on a high school student’s unauthorized banner." 06-07

  98. Supreme Court Considers Contraception Coverage Mandate (ABC News)
      "The Supreme Court today showed its deep and familiar ideological rifts over the national health care law, voicing pointed questions and highlighting its sharp division on whether for-profit companies must provide contraception coverage even if it violates the religious views of the corporate owners." 03-14

  99. Supreme Court Considers Contraception Coverage Mandate (ABC News)
      "The Supreme Court today showed its deep and familiar ideological rifts over the national health care law, voicing pointed questions and highlighting its sharp division on whether for-profit companies must provide contraception coverage even if it violates the religious views of the corporate owners." 03-14

  100. Supreme Court Expands Gun Rights (Time.com)
      "McDonald v. Chicago, which was split 5-4 along party lines, expanded the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to individuals in states and cities. It's a victory for gun rights advocates, who fought against local and state controls on firearms. It's a major blow to the city of Chicago, which had banned handguns for the past 28 years in one of the country's strictest gun policies. Now the city's policy will be reviewed and likely overturned." 06-10

  101. Supreme Court Justice Souter's Legacy (ABC News)
      " 'He wrote the part of the opinion [on Roe v. Wade] stressing how important it was for the court to respect prior decisions and not let major constitutional principles swing back and forth with every new appointment. Aside from the obvious importance of the opinion, it captures a fundamental part of his approach to judging.' "

      "Experts say Souter will also be remembered for his opinions on freedom of religion cases. in 1992, in the first major school prayer case looked at by the Supreme Court, Souter voted against allowing prayer at a high school graduation ceremony."

      " 'He's a deeply religious person himself, but has regularly voted to keep government out of religious matters,' Feder remembered."

      "Many recall him as a justice for whom law triumphed over ideology, and say his open mindedness and lack of predictability will be missed." 04-09

  102. Supreme Court Orders Drastic Reduction in California Prison Population (CNN News)
      "The Supreme Court has affirmed a federal order telling California to reduce its overflowing prison population, a situation the majority said 'falls below the standard of decency.' " 05-11

  103. Supreme Court Rejects Buffer Zone for Abortion Clinics (CBS News)
      "The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Thursday that a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics violates the First Amendment." 06-14

  104. Supreme Court Rejects School Diversity Plans (Christian Science Monitor)
      "While the race of a student can be one of many characteristics taken into consideration to achieve diversity in the student body, it may not become the predominant criterion that determines which students are admitted to the most popular schools in a district."

      "Both of the challenged enrollment plans in Louisville and Seattle attempted to address de facto segregation tied in part to housing patterns. The voluntary desegregation programs were aimed at preventing the school districts from sliding into a starkly segregated environment with minority students isolated in inner-city schools and white students isolated in suburban schools." 06-07

  105. Supreme Court Rules Against Bush (Christian Science Monitor)
      "The US Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a setback to President Bush's expansive vision of presidential power, ruling that a unilateral attempt by Mr. Bush to order state courts to comply with an international treaty violated 'first principles' of constitutional government." 03-08

  106. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Abortion Clinics (CBS News)
      "The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Texas law that would have imposed tough standards on abortion clinics is unconstitutional and would have resulted in an undue burden on women seeking access to abortion." 06-16

  107. Supreme Court Rules that the EPA Can Regulate Greenhouse Gases (Time.com)
      "Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court, said the Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants." 06-11

  108. Supreme Court Ties on Immigration Reform (ABC News)
      "The court's 4-4 deadlock lets stand a lower court's injunction against an Obama administration program that would have offered more than 4 million undocumented immigrants a chance to remain in the country without fear of deportation. The case now returns to the lower court in Texas that froze the action. It appears unlikely that the program will go into effect." 06-16

  109. Supreme Justice Problem? (ABC News)
      "At the historic swearing-in of John Roberts as the 17th chief justice of the United States last September, every member of the Supreme Court, except Antonin Scalia, was in attendance. ABC News has learned that Scalia had instead was on the tennis court at one of the country's top resorts, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Bachelor Gulch, Colo., during a trip to a legal seminar sponsored by the Federalist Society." 01-06

  110. Taney, Roger B. (PBS.org)
      "The case before the court was that of Dred Scott v. Sanford. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri, had appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom."

      "Taney -- a staunch supporter of slavery and intent on protecting southerners from northern aggression -- wrote in the Court's majority opinion that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks 'had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.' " 01-10

  111. The Silent Supreme Court Judge (MSNBC News)
      "Two years and 142 cases have passed since Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas last spoke up at oral arguments. It is a period of unbroken silence that contrasts with the rest of the court's unceasing inquiries." 02-08

Projects
  1. Quiz on the Supreme Court and Its Justices (U.S. News)
      Provides a quiz. 04-09

   
   


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