November 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When the Supreme Court confronted the case of Native Americans who were fired for smoking an illegal drug during a religious ceremony, Justice Antonin Scalia called a halt to granting religious exemptions under the Constitution's protection for the "free exercise" of religion. It "would be courting anarchy" to permit "religious objectors" to ignore the law, he said. But Democrats in Congress rose up to overturn his decision and to bolster religious freedom. Backed by a broad coalition, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Christian Legal Society, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law 20 years ago this month.
November 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for Texas to enforce a strict new abortion regulation that opponents say prevents a third of the state's clinics from performing the procedure. The court, in a 5-4 vote, split along ideological lines in turning down an appeal to block the law that abortion rights advocates challenged as unconstitutional. The measure, adopted by Texas lawmakers in July, requires that abortion providers have a doctor on their staffs who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
November 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - During Supreme Court arguments, Justice Clarence Thomas sits mute, not asking a single question while his colleagues on the bench jockey to get in the next interrogatory. But this week, in front of 1,300 adoring conservative lawyers in a Washington hotel ballroom, another Clarence Thomas emerged: loquacious, folksy, irreverent, and totally at ease with his audience and himself. The result was a glimpse of the court's most controversial figure letting down his hair, talking candidly about not just his upbringing but his feelings and his approach toward judging.
November 15, 2013 |
Seven years ago, the Supreme Court rightly ruled that police couldn't conduct a warrantless search of a home shared by two people if one of the residents was present and objected. This week, the justices heard arguments in a case from California that threatens to make that decision a dead letter. The court should reject the argument that police can get around a resident's objection to a warrantless search by arresting him and then seeking permission from his spouse or roommate. That's what occurred in 2009 when police tracked a suspect in a robbery to a Los Angeles apartment.
November 13, 2013 |
At a time when unions are struggling to organize workers in the private sector, the Supreme Court is being asked to make unionization more difficult even when an employer agrees not to resist it. The court should reject the notion that such "neutrality" agreements violate the law. On Wednesday, the court will be asked to allow a Florida casino to renege on an agreement it made with the Unite Here union under which management promised to remain neutral...
November 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - For the second week in a row, the Supreme Court let stand a ruling that strikes down a major abortion regulation from Oklahoma, disappointing abortion foes who had hoped conservative justices would impose new limits on a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy. The justices Tuesday turned down Oklahoma's appeal seeking to revive a law that would have required pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound and hear about the fetus' size and possible heartbeat. Last week, the court dismissed the state's appeal of a second law that would have prohibited doctors from prescribing a combination of two drugs commonly used to induce abortion in the early weeks of pregnancy.