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NATIONAL
March 25, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's conservative justices sharply criticized part of President Obama's healthcare law Tuesday, suggesting they will rule later this year that requiring Christian-owned corporations to offer their employees contraceptives coverage violates the freedom of religion. “Your reasoning would permit requiring profit-making corporations to pay for abortions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who defended the contraceptives provision of the Affordable Care Act. The administration's lawyer warned that the court would be adopting a “dangerous principle” if it gave employers a right to exempt themselves from federal laws based on their religious beliefs.
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NATIONAL
March 25, 2014 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's conservative justices sharply criticized part of President Obama's healthcare law Tuesday, suggesting they will rule later this year that requiring Christian-owned corporations to offer their employees contraceptives coverage violates the freedom of religion. “Your reasoning would permit requiring profit-making corporations to pay for abortions,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy told U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who defended the contraceptives provision of the Affordable Care Act. The administration's lawyer warned that the court would be adopting a “dangerous principle” if it gave employers a right to exempt themselves from federal laws based on their religious beliefs.
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NEWS
November 11, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. isn't a member of the tea party, but he alluded to one of the movement's obsessions the other day during oral arguments in one of the more unusual cases of the court's current term. It involves Carole Anne Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who tried to poison her romantic rival by smearing dangerous chemicals on her doorknob. Bond was prosecuted by the feds under a statute enacted to implement the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Bond's lawyer - superstar litigator and former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement - argued that the federal government lacked the constitutional authority to prosecute a purely local crime.
NEWS
November 11, 2013 | By Michael McGough
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. isn't a member of the tea party, but he alluded to one of the movement's obsessions the other day during oral arguments in one of the more unusual cases of the court's current term. It involves Carole Anne Bond, a Pennsylvania woman who tried to poison her romantic rival by smearing dangerous chemicals on her doorknob. Bond was prosecuted by the feds under a statute enacted to implement the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention. Bond's lawyer - superstar litigator and former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement - argued that the federal government lacked the constitutional authority to prosecute a purely local crime.
OPINION
March 31, 2012
After a three-day marathon of oral arguments, the nine members of the Supreme Court met in conference Friday to cast preliminary votes on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare. " Some commentators regard the outcome as a foregone conclusion based on the skeptical questions posed to the government's lawyers by the two Republican-appointed justices considered most likely to uphold the law - Chief JusticeJohn G. Roberts Jr.and JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy - and on the supposedly lackluster advocacy of Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. At the risk of being accused of wishful thinking, we believe reports of the death of the law may be greatly exaggerated.
NATIONAL
September 19, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration set the stage Thursday for another Supreme Court showdown on the president's healthcare law, this time to decide whether for-profit companies can be forced to provide full contraceptive coverage for their employees despite religious objections from their owners. The administration's lawyers asked the justices to take up the issue this fall to decide whether these corporations can claim a religious exemption to this part of the healthcare law. U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. called the issue one of "exceptional importance" that needs to be resolved soon.
NATIONAL
February 23, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court justices spoke with disdain about liars who claim to have earned military honors, but they sounded less sure how to handle another group known for shading the truth: politicians. "In the commercial context, we allow a decent amount of lying. It's called puffing. 'You won't buy it cheaper anywhere,' " said Justice Antonin Scalia. "So maybe we allow a certain amount of puffing in political speech as well. Nobody believes all that stuff, right?" The exchange came midway through Wednesday's argument over whether the freedom of speech shields people who falsely claim military honors.
NATIONAL
March 26, 2012 | By David G. Savage and Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The battle over President Obama's landmark healthcare law arrived at the Supreme Court as justices began three days of oral arguments, quickly making clear they are ready to rule on the politically charged question of whether the government can require all Americans to have health insurance by 2014. Outside, where spectators had been lining up since Friday for the few available seats inside the court, protesters, partisans and even a Republican presidential candidate gathered.
NEWS
March 30, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Although his arguments in support of the healthcare law in the Supreme Court are over, and the nine justices will cast their initial votes in secret Friday, the public grilling of Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. doesn't look like it will end anytime soon. Verrilli, an accomplished lawyer who this week became known for his frequent pauses, awkward noises and lengthy water breaks during his defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has been widely criticized for what some deemed a sub-par performance in the nation's highest court.
NEWS
June 6, 2011 | By Lisa Mascaro
The Senate on Monday approved Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. as the U.S. solicitor general, taking over the position that opened after Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Verrilli, a deputy counsel to President Obama and former associate deputy attorney general, was approved 72-16 as federal government’s chief legal representative before the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been an attorney in private practice for 20 years, and argued 12 cases before the court.
NATIONAL
September 19, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration set the stage Thursday for another Supreme Court showdown on the president's healthcare law, this time to decide whether for-profit companies can be forced to provide full contraceptive coverage for their employees despite religious objections from their owners. The administration's lawyers asked the justices to take up the issue this fall to decide whether these corporations can claim a religious exemption to this part of the healthcare law. U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. called the issue one of "exceptional importance" that needs to be resolved soon.
NATIONAL
May 12, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - By the time the Supreme Court wrapped up the last of its public arguments for this term, it had been an unusually rough first year for U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr., the Obama administration's chief courtroom lawyer. A respected, reserved corporate attorney, Verrilli also had a passion for defending inmates on death row. But he had not handled high-stakes, politically charged cases in the high court. He seemed repeatedly caught off guard when his liberal arguments were met with skepticism and even scorn from the justices, a majority of whom lean to the right.
OPINION
March 31, 2012
After a three-day marathon of oral arguments, the nine members of the Supreme Court met in conference Friday to cast preliminary votes on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. "Obamacare. " Some commentators regard the outcome as a foregone conclusion based on the skeptical questions posed to the government's lawyers by the two Republican-appointed justices considered most likely to uphold the law - Chief JusticeJohn G. Roberts Jr.and JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy - and on the supposedly lackluster advocacy of Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. At the risk of being accused of wishful thinking, we believe reports of the death of the law may be greatly exaggerated.
NEWS
March 30, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Although his arguments in support of the healthcare law in the Supreme Court are over, and the nine justices will cast their initial votes in secret Friday, the public grilling of Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. doesn't look like it will end anytime soon. Verrilli, an accomplished lawyer who this week became known for his frequent pauses, awkward noises and lengthy water breaks during his defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has been widely criticized for what some deemed a sub-par performance in the nation's highest court.
NATIONAL
March 26, 2012 | By David G. Savage and Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The battle over President Obama's landmark healthcare law arrived at the Supreme Court as justices began three days of oral arguments, quickly making clear they are ready to rule on the politically charged question of whether the government can require all Americans to have health insurance by 2014. Outside, where spectators had been lining up since Friday for the few available seats inside the court, protesters, partisans and even a Republican presidential candidate gathered.
NATIONAL
February 23, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court justices spoke with disdain about liars who claim to have earned military honors, but they sounded less sure how to handle another group known for shading the truth: politicians. "In the commercial context, we allow a decent amount of lying. It's called puffing. 'You won't buy it cheaper anywhere,' " said Justice Antonin Scalia. "So maybe we allow a certain amount of puffing in political speech as well. Nobody believes all that stuff, right?" The exchange came midway through Wednesday's argument over whether the freedom of speech shields people who falsely claim military honors.
NATIONAL
May 12, 2012 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - By the time the Supreme Court wrapped up the last of its public arguments for this term, it had been an unusually rough first year for U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr., the Obama administration's chief courtroom lawyer. A respected, reserved corporate attorney, Verrilli also had a passion for defending inmates on death row. But he had not handled high-stakes, politically charged cases in the high court. He seemed repeatedly caught off guard when his liberal arguments were met with skepticism and even scorn from the justices, a majority of whom lean to the right.
NATIONAL
December 11, 2011 | By David G. Savage, Washington Bureau
The Supreme Court, already poised to decide one hot-button political issue during an election year, may also tackle the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's law requiring its police to check the immigration status of people who are stopped. At issue is not only who can enforce immigration laws but also what the policy should be for the millions of illegal immigrants living and working in the country. President Obama's team has targeted for deportation illegal immigrants who are criminals, smugglers and repeat border crossers, not those who obey the criminal laws.
NEWS
June 6, 2011 | By Lisa Mascaro
The Senate on Monday approved Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. as the U.S. solicitor general, taking over the position that opened after Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court last year. Verrilli, a deputy counsel to President Obama and former associate deputy attorney general, was approved 72-16 as federal government’s chief legal representative before the U.S. Supreme Court. He had been an attorney in private practice for 20 years, and argued 12 cases before the court.
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