January 25, 2011 |
Six Supreme Court justices are expected to attend President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday, amid growing concern over the politicization of the nation's high court. A court spokesman would not identify which of the panel's nine justices would attend, but it appeared likely that Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas would be the three to skip the president's speech. Alito, who shook his head in disagreement as Obama spoke last year, had accepted an offer to teach law classes in Hawaii this week.
March 21, 2012 |
Defendants in criminal cases have a constitutional right to a competent lawyer's advice when deciding whether to accept a plea bargain, the Supreme Court ruled, providing a significant expansion of rights that could have a broad impact on the justice system. "Ours for the most part is a system of pleas, not a system of trials," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said for the majority in a pair of 5-4 decisions. Noting that about 97% of federal convictions and 94% of state convictions result from guilty pleas, Kennedy wrote that "in today's criminal justice system, the negotiation of a plea bargain, rather than the unfolding of a trial, is almost always the critical point for the defendant.
June 28, 2012 |
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama 's healthcare law Thursday, ruling the government may impose tax penalties on persons who do not have health insurance. The court's long-awaited ruling rejected a broad legal attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act brought by Republican state officials and the National Federation of Independent Business. The legal challenge focused on the law's so-called mandate that all must have insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty.
June 16, 2011 |
The Supreme Court bolstered the rights of juveniles for the second year in a row, deciding by a 5-4 vote that police officers who remove a student from class for questioning about a crime usually must warn him or her of the right to remain silent. The decision Thursday did not set a strict rule for all cases involving police questioning of minors, but the justices said young people deserved extra protection because they would feel they had no choice but to answer. "It is beyond dispute that children will often feel bound to submit to police questioning when an adult in the same circumstance would feel free to leave," wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
September 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court is not on the ballot in November, but its future direction on issues such as abortion, gay rights, gun rights, voting laws and the role of money in politics depends on who is elected president for the next four years. The justices, who open their annual term Monday, are closely split along ideological lines. The current court has four liberals appointed by Democrats, four conservatives appointed by Republicans, and a centrist Republican in 76-year-old Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
June 30, 2010
"As a judge, you are on nobody's team. As a judge, you are an independent actor." Elena Kagan "You listen to her answers, you can see why Harvard picked her to be dean of the law school and you can see why she was picked to be the first woman as solicitor general. It was like being back and hearing some of the very best professors I had in law school listening to her answers. They were superb." Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) " She has been, in my view, a witness who has manifested a deep knowledge of the law, and she's certainly very adept at describing what she thinks about the law. By the same token, I think she's been very adept at avoiding very specific questions that could result in criticism of her point of view."
March 4, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday expanded protections for whistle blowers covered by an anti-fraud law passed following the collapse of energy giant Enron, ruling outside accountants, auditors and lawyers cannot be fired or punished for exposing fraud. The 6-3 decision will have an effect in the mutual fund and financial services industries, the court said, because they rely heavily on outside contractors and advisers. The case before the court arose when two employees of a firm that did research for the Fidelity family of mutual funds revealed the funds were overstating expenses.
June 24, 2011 |
The Supreme Court on Thursday put an extra burden on crime labs, declaring that a man accused of drunken driving has the right to demand that a lab technician testify in person about a blood test that showed he was impaired. The 5-4 decision was the latest to extend the reach of a defendant's constitutional right "to be confronted with the witnesses against him. " And once again, the outcome was driven by an unusual coalition of conservative and liberal justices. Two years ago, the court said a crime lab technician was a witness for the prosecution and, therefore, must be available to testify.
June 28, 2012 |
With the U.S. Supreme Court upholding President Obama's Affordable Care Act, state officials and healthcare leaders met the decision with mixed reaction, largely along party lines. Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat, called the ruling on Twitter "great news for America's families. " And Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, in a statement, also heralded the news: "The Supreme Court today upheld the healthcare reform law passed by Congress in 2010, meaning Californians can be confident that access to affordable health insurance is finally a reality.
July 4, 2012
Re "Roberts shows he puts law above politics," June 30 What a sad state of affairs that we praise the chief justice of the Supreme Court because he "puts law ahead of politics. " Have we stooped that low? Of course, the country can be thankful thatJohn G. Roberts Jr.'s constitutional training brought him to his decision. Our country will be better for it. Are we to take from this that the four justices who voted against the Affordable Care Act put their politics before the law?