Supreme Court

SENATE JUDICIARY ADVANCES KAVANAUGH NOMINATION TO SENATE FLOOR DESPITE SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS FROM THREE WOMEN

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (center), Prof. Christine Blasey Ford (left), and  Julie Swetnick (right), who holds high-level security clearances and accused Kavanaugh of “gang rape” but was not allowed to testify

September 28, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The Senate Judiciary Committee, on a party line vote with all Republicans in favor, voted today to send controversial Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the full Senate for a vote next week.

The action came after an emotional day of testimony in which accuser Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, accused Kavanaugh of attempted rape and Kavanaugh denied the allegations in anger-laced and tearful testimony.  The committee leadership refused to allow testimony by two other accusers, including one accusing Kavanaugh of “gang rape,” or by any witnesses who might have corroborated or disputed the accounts.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake cast a key vote to advance the matter out of committee, but said he will not vote for Kavanaugh on the Senate Floor  unless that vote is delayed a week and an FBI investigation of the sexual assault allegations is conducted. However there is no assurance that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell will delay the vote scheduled for Tuesday, if he has enough votes for passage without the delay.

JUSTICE KENNEDY TO RETIRE IN JULY: TRUMP NOMINATION EXPECTED TO SECURE CONSERVATIVE CONTROL OF SUPREME COURT

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2018 (Washington D.C.)-  Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has announced he will retire on July 31st.   Kennedy has long been a swing vote on key issues including abortion, gay rights, and affirmative action, often siding with liberal justices in the key years.

Many key rulings have been decided by a single one-vote margin, so the 82-year-old justice’s retirement means President Donald Trump will have an opportunity to secure solid conservative control of the high court, potentially for decades to come.

A DIVIDED SUPREME COURT ISSUES RULINGS ON ABORTION, TRAVEL BAN, CELLPHONE TRACKING AND ONLINE SALES TAX

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 26, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court has issued 5-4 rulings in several landmark cases, with conservatives pushing through two major decisions, but two other decisions splitting the ideological divide.

SUPREME COURT DENIES APPEAL BY BLACKWATER GUARDS CONVICTED OF MASSACRE IN IRAQ

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo: Carl Meyer, who led successful recall effort against Potrero planners who voted for Blackwater

May 15, 2018 (San Diego) –  Back in 2007, Potrero residents in San Diego’s East County raised protests against the private military contractor Blackwater Worldwide opening up a training camp in their community. The protests in Potrero, which drew global media attention, came at a time when four Blackwater security guards were accused of a massacre that killed 14 civilians and wounded 17 people in Iraq.

SUPREME COURT GIVES SAN DIEGO DREAMERS REPRIEVE FROM POSSIBLE DEPORTATION

 

By Chris Jennewein

Photo: U.S. Supreme Court, by D.B. King via Wikimedia Commons

Reprinted from Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

February 26, 2018 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s estimated 45,000 Dreamers got a reprieve from possible deportation Monday when the Supreme Court refused to hear a Trump administration challenge.

The court declined to overrule a lower court’s action that temporarily blocked ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on March 5.

The program, which allows immigrants brought to America illegally as children to live and work in the country, was terminated by President Trump last year, leaving it up to Congress to pass permanent protections.

SUPREME COURT REINSTATES TRAVEL BAN ON SOME REFUGEES UNTIL HIGH COURT HEARS CASE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 12, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court today blocked an Appeals Court order that would have allowed refugees who already have contractual agreements from resettlement agencies to enter the U.S.  The ban could be temporary, put in place until the justices issue a final ruling after deliberations on the case begin in mid-October.

SUPREME COURT DEALS BLOW TO REFUGEES, BUT SUPPORTS RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENTS UNDER TRUMP TRAVEL BAN

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The Trump administration can break promises made by resettlement agencies and bar some 24,000 refugees already promised a safe haven in the U.S., the Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision overturns a portion of a Hawaii court ruling which would have allowed those refugees from six mostly Muslim nations entry, provided they had been vetted and already accepted for entry.  The stay was issued on an emergency basis based on Trump administration national security argument until an appeal is heard by the 9th Circuti Court of Appeals, which could reinstate or uphold the lower court’s ruling.

But the high court’s unsigned order  also upheld the ruling by Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii allowing grandparents, aunts, uncles and other close relatives of people already in the U.S. to join their family members here. 

GORSUCH BEGINS DUTIES AT SUPREME COURT AFTER REPUBLCIANS INVOKE “NUCLEAR OPTION” TO BLOCK FILIBUSTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Neil Gorsuch begins his duties this week on the Supreme Court after the Senate invoked the ‘nuclear option’ to change long-standing Senate rules and block a filibuster by Democrats. All but two Democrats had agreed to vote against confirming Gorsuch, including California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

SUPREME COURT UNANIMOUSLY OVERTURNS GORSUCH RULING; ALL 8 JUSTICES VOTE TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF DISABLED STUDENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court, by a unanimous 8-0 vote, has voted that public schools must provide disabled students with opportunities to achieve “appropriately ambitious” progress, not just a bare minimum education, under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

SUPREME COURT LIMITS PRESIDENT’S APPOINTMENT POWER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) - Since 1898, more than a century ago, over 100 federal employees have served as acting agency heads while the top spot remained vacant and an appointee was awaiting Senate confirmation. But no longer. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled this week that President Barack Obama exceeded his presidential authority when he named Lafe Solomon, general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, as temporary appointee to head the agency.

RACISM CAN NULLIFY JURY VERDICTS, SUPREME COURT RULES

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 6, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – By a 5 to 3 vote, the Supreme Court has ruled that a verdict can be voided and a new trial ordered if a juror showed racial bias.

The case involved a Colorado racetrack employee convicted of sexual battery after a juror stated during deliberations that the defendant must be guilty because “he’s Mexican, and Mexican men take whatever they want.”

9TH CIRCUIT TO HEAR ARGUMENTS ON TRUMP TRAVEL BAN: HIGH TECH COMPANIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS WEIGH IN

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) – The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Saturday refused to halt refugees and citizens from 7 Muslim nations from entering the U.S., CNN reports.  The action follows a decision Friday by federal judge James Robart in Washington State that blocked President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

THE VOICE OF THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

 

Richard Posner, by William Domnarski (Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2016, 289 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

January 10, 2017 (San Diego) - Judge Richard Posner is one of the great legal minds of our age, on par with such generation-defining judges as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Learned Hand, and Henry Friendly. A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the principal champion of the enormously influential law and economics movement, Posner is also an archetypal public intellectual: he writes provocative, best-selling books, receives frequent media attention, and often engages in high-profile policy debates. He is also a member of an increasingly rare breed – judges who write their own opinions rather than delegating the work to clerks. We therefore have unusually direct access to the workings of his mind and his judicial philosophy.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C. ) — By a slim 4-3 margin, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that affirmative action is legal and that it is constitutional for public colleges and universities to consider race as a factor for admission. But the court also cautioned that educators must also show that other means of addressing diversity have failed.

SUPREME COURT: POLICE MUST HAVE WARRANTS FOR BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTS ON SUSPECTED DUI DRIVERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — Suspected drunk drivers can refuse to take a blood test without a warrant, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. But the Court also held that drivers must submit to a less invasive breath test when ordered, or face arrest.

SUPREME COURT: DOMESTIC ABUSERS CAN BE BARRED FOR LIFE FROM OWNING GUNS

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 27, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – By a 6-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a federal law that allows a person to be banned for life from owning a gun if they commit domestic abuse “recklessly,” even if the actions were not premeditated.

SOUNDING OFF ABOUT THE MONEY IN POLITICS!

Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, by Richard L. Hasen (Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 2016, 241 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

May 28, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) - Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, this scholarly and insightful book by Richard L. Hasen, a leading expert on election law, gives a compelling answer to the dilemmas of money in politics, and comes at a time when presidential candidates such as Bernie Sanders has as his mantra campaign finance and reform. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, has written this book in the midst of one of the most unusual presidential campaigns in memory, where the character and personas of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders seem to shape our political history and agendas.

TRUMP WOULD NAME CONSERVATIVE SUPREME COURT NOMINEES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 19, 2016 (Washington D.C.) - The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has left the high court split 4-4 among conservative and liberal to moderate justices.  The Republican-controlled Senate has refused to hold hearings on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a judicial moderate—or any other Obama nominee during the president’s remaining time in office.

SUPREME COURT PROTECTS POLITICAL FREE SPEECH FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

 

East County News Service

Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons

April 26, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – If you’re a public employee, you can’t be fired or demoted for supporting a political candidate that your boss doesn’t like.  By a 6-2 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision strengthening free speech protections for 22 million public employees nationwide. 

VOTERS’ WATCHDOG: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS KEY PROVISION OF VOTING RIGHTS ACT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by David Sachs, SEIU on FlickR

April 5, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to civil rights activists and a loss to conservative challengers, upholding a key provision of the U.S. Voting Rights Act by a unanimous 8 to 0 vote.

JUSTICE SCALIA’S DEATH PROMPTS BATTLE OVER SUPREME COURT VACANCY

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 13, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – The sudden death of prominent conservative Justice Antonin Scalia today leaves a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court and the prospect of numerous high-profile cases deadlocking 4-4.  President Barack Obama has announced he intends to appoint a replacement, but  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested any nomination would be blocked by Senate Republicans and stated that in this election year,  Obama should leave nominating a Supreme Court justice for the next administration.

McConnell’s remark may be viewed as hypocritical, since he voted for Republican President Ronald Reagan’s appointment of Justice Anthony Kennedy in an election year.  Kennedy was confirmed by the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats.

In fact, since 1900 there has not been a single case of the Senate refusing to confirm a presidential appointment to the Supreme Court in an election year due to the pending election. The stakes are high for both sides in filling the void left by Scalia, but so are the consequences of leaving a seat vacant for nearly a year.

DUMANIS CELEBRATES SUPREME COURT RULING ON GAY MARRIAGE--AT WHITE HOUSE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2015 (San Diego) --  San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in Washington D.C. for a talk on police body cameras, was also present with her spouse in the Supreme Court when the  historic decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states was announced.

SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2015 (Washington D.C.) –The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling to uphold nationwide federal subsidies in all 50 states to help people buy healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. 

Opponents had argued that the subsidies should be available only to people in states that set up healthcare exchanges .  Currently 8.7 million Americans receive the subsidies, but the vast majority of those – 6.4 million—are in states that did not set up exchanges. Those 6.4 million people would have lost their subsidies if plaintiffs had prevailed in the case, King v. Burrell.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with liberal justices to support the law.  Writing the majority decision, Roberts concluded, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.”

SUPREME COURT HEARS ARGUMENTS IN CASE THAT COULD LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2015 (Washington D.C.)  - The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a landmark case this week, Obergefell v. Hodges, that is expected to decide whether same-sex couples should have a constitutional right to marriage in all 50 states.

HIGH COURT: TRAFFIC STOPS CAN'T BE DELAYED FOR DRUG DOG SEARCH

 

East County News Service

Photo by Michael Pereckas

April 22, 2015 (Washington D.C.) – A divided Supreme Court has ruled that police cannot detain a motorist pulled over for a traffic stop any longer than required to issue a ticket or warning for the driving infraction.  An officer cannot delay a motorist to allow for inspection of the vehicle, such as by a drug-sniffing dog when the cause for the stop was a traffic violation.

SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE WORKPLACE PREGNANCY CASE

 

 

“Biggest test of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in a generation” – attorney Tom Spiggle, author of You’re Pregnant, You’re Fired!

East County News Service

December 1, 2014 (Arlington, VA) On December 3 the Supreme Court will decide on the biggest test of the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act in a generation when it determines the outcome of the Young vs. United Parcel Services case. The case centers around a pregnant employee, Peggy Young, who was denied a request for light duty despite a letter from a medical provider requesting that she not be required to lift heavy packages.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS GAY MARRIAGES TO COMMENCE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2014 (Washington D.C.) – Wedding bells will soon be ringing for same-sex couples in many more states, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied hearings on all appeals pending.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney James Esseks called the decision “a watershed moment for the entire country.”

The high court refused to hear appeals of same-sex marriage rulings in five states where appellate courts ruled that bans on same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.  However,the decision is expected to expand same-sex marriage rights to a total of 11 states that are all under jurisdiction of the federal appeals courts that ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.  Add those to the number of states where same-sex marriage already is legal, including California, and the U.S. will likely soon have 30 states—a majority--where same-sex marriage is protected.

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