Public faith in government has fallen to historic lows. The Supreme Court, however, appears to have bucked the trend. A number of recent polls demonstrate broad public support for the job the justices are doing, though this approval appears influenced by party alignment.

Surveys of public opinion on the court were released this month by Gallup and the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, and Marquette Law School released another yesterday. Although the results depend to some degree on how the questions are framed, the polls share two central findings: The Supreme Court enjoys an appreciable level of public support, and this support is higher among political conservatives.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Tuesday round-up

By on Oct 22, 2019 at 7:03 am

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued additional orders from the justices’ private conference last Friday, adding no new cases to their merits docket. Amy Howe covers the order list for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. Todd Ruger reports at Roll Call (via How Appealing) that the court “officially wiped out a lower court ruling from April that had struck down Michigan’s congressional map as giving an unconstitutional boost to Republicans,” a move that “was expected, since the justices decided in June that federal courts can’t rein in politicians who draw political maps to entrench a partisan advantage.” At US News & World Report, Lisa Hagen reports that “[e]arlier this month, the Supreme Court tossed a similar challenge in Ohio, where a lower court struck down the state’s congressional districts drawn by the Republican-led legislature.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

Supreme Court oral arguments are not entirely what they seem. Although at first blush they may appear to be an opportunity for attorneys to make their arguments directly to the justices, they often become occasions for the justices to test out their theories of a given case and to gauge other justices’ positions on given topics. That is one of the reasons why the justices almost always direct the flow and tenor of each argument.

Justice Stephen Breyer, for instance, is notorious for his lengthy mid-argument orations. Although attorneys still often speak more than individual justices in each argument, they generally have little time to expound on points they feel are important to the case unless these topics are of equal interest to one or more of the justices. Perhaps for this reason, new Supreme Court Guidelines state: “The Court generally will not question lead counsel for petitioners (or appellants) and respondents (or appellees) during the first two minutes of argument.” These two uninterrupted minutes of speech should give the attorneys an opportunity to make points that otherwise would be lost in the mix of the justices’ questions.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Three days after adding another blockbuster case, involving the president’s ability to fire the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to their docket for this term, the justices this morning issued additional orders from their private conference last week. Today’s orders were significantly less eventful. They were perhaps most noteworthy for the fact that the court once again did not act on Indiana’s request to review a state law requiring pregnant women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before obtaining an abortion. The justices have now considered the case at six conferences – three in May and three in October – without ruling on it.

Continue reading »

Oyez has posted the aligned audio and transcripts from last week’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court. The court heard argument last week in:

Posted in Merits Cases
 
Share:

Monday round-up

By on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:59 am

On Friday afternoon, the justices added four cases to their merits docket, including Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a constitutional challenge to the structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Amy Howe covers the grants for this blog, in a post that first appeared at Howe on the Court. At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr reports that in Seila Law, the court “agreed to consider giving the president broad power to replace the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, accepting a case that could curb the independence of the watchdog agency tasked with regulating mortgages and credit cards.” Yuka Hayashi and Brent Kendall report for The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that “[t]he high court’s eventual decision could have implications for other government agencies.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:

This week at the court

By on Oct 20, 2019 at 12:00 pm

On Monday, the Supreme Court released additional orders from the October 18 conference. The justices did not add any new cases to their merits docket.

 
Share:

The website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, created in 2010 under the Dodd-Frank Act as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, describes the CFPB as a “U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.” Today the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of statutory restrictions on the president’s ability to remove the director of the CFPB from office. The dispute is not merely an academic one: If the justices agree that the restrictions violate the doctrine known as the separation of powers – the idea that the Constitution divides the different functions of government among the executive, judicial and legislative branches – their ruling could potentially unravel all the CFPB’s decisions in the nine years since its creation.

Continue reading »

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard argument in Rotkiske v. Klemm. What seemed like a run-of-the-mill statutory-interpretation case revealed itself to be deeply convoluted, involving uncertainty both about which issues had been waived in earlier proceedings and what the question presented even means. These fundamental questions clouded the argument enough that I would not be surprised to see this case dismissed as improvidently granted.

Continue reading »

 
Share:

Friday round-up

By on Oct 18, 2019 at 6:58 am

Briefly:

  • Pratheepan Gulasekaram analyzes Wednesday’s oral argument in Kansas v. Garcia, which asks whether federal immigration law preempts a state prosecution for identity theft based on using someone else’s Social Security number to obtain employment, for this blog.
  • At Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson reports that yesterday the court “issued guidance for filers of friend-of-the-court briefs that ‘clears up a number of contested issues previously resolved through word-of-mouth lore among practitioners,’ one of them said.”
  • In an op-ed for USA Today, Gabe Roth calls on the court to release information about “which justices … are voting to grant review in the major cases the court is taking,” such as the recently granted abortion case June Medical Services v. Gee; he argues that “[i]f the Supreme Court’s work is truly done apolitically, we would see Republican-appointed justices voting for grants with Democratic-appointed justices just as often as with their Republican-appointed colleagues.”
  • At PrawfsBlawg (via How Appealing), Richard Re explains that in Ramos v. Louisiana, in which the justices will decide whether the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a unanimous jury applies to the states, “a lot of the Court’s discussion at oral argument focused on issues of stare decisis, particularly what to do with fragmented decisions.”

We rely on our readers to send us links for our round-up. If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, podcast or op-ed relating to the Supreme Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at] scotusblog.com. Thank you!

Posted in Round-up
 
Share:
More Posts: Older Posts
Term Snapshot
At a Glance
Awards