Tag Archives: SCOTUS

OSCOTUS: What OWS protesters should focus on at the Supreme Court. – Slate Magazine

OSCOTUS: What OWS protesters should focus on at the Supreme Court. – Slate Magazine.

From OWS to OSCOTUS

As Occupy Wall Street protesters look to the Supreme Court, they’ll find more to be outraged about than the Citizens United case.

The protesters at Occupy Wall Street and all the mini-occupations that have sprung up around the country in recent days have started to connect two important dots. Blaming Congress for the corporate takeover of American democracy is only half the fun; blaming the Supreme Court is almost better. So when Cornel West was arrested Sunday at an impromptu protest on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, his message was a simple one that may be starting to resonate: If you don’t like big corporations buying and selling your government, you may want to go talk to the five-justice majority who gave us the Citizens United decision.

There is only one small problem with this argument. The corporate takeover of government predates the Citizens United ruling, issued in 2010, by many, many years. Moreover […]
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Sex, Violence and the Supreme Court – NYTimes.com

Sex, Violence and the Supreme Court – NYTimes.com.

July 7, 2011, 8:30 pm

Sex and the Supremes

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The Supreme Court shows corporate America how to screw over its customers and employees without breaking the law. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine

The Supreme Court shows corporate America how to screw over its customers and employees without breaking the law. – By Dahlia Lithwick – Slate Magazine.

Operating Instructions

The Supreme Court shows corporate America how to screw over its customers and employees without breaking the law.

Depending on how you count “big cases,” the Supreme Court has just finished off either a great (according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) or spectacularly great (according to a new study by the Constitutional Accountability Center) term for big business. The measure of success here isn’t just the win-loss record of the Chamber of Commerce, although that’s certainly part of the story. Nor is it news that—in keeping with a recent trend—the court is systematically closing the courthouse doors to everyday litigants, though that’s a tale that always bears retelling. The reason the Roberts Court has proven to be Christmas in July for big business is this: Slowly but surely, the Supreme Court is giving corporate America a handbook on how to engage in misconduct. In case after case, it seems big companies are being given the playbook on how to win even bigger the next time.

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– The Washington Post

Scalia and Thomas disagree about children and free speech

The Washington Post

The First Amendmentdoes not convey a free-speech right when minors are involved.
[…]
“The Framers could not possibly have understood ‘the freedom of speech’ to include an unqualified right to speak to minors,” Thomas wrote. “Specifically, I am sure that the founding generation would not have understood ‘the freedom of speech’ to include a right to speak to children without going through their parents.”

Thomas’s argument was the logical extension of his “originalist” position that the Constitution’s provisions be discerned by the most likely public understanding at the
time it was adopted.

[…]

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The D.A. Stole His Life, Justices Took His Money – NYTimes.com

The D.A. Stole His Life, Justices Took His Money – NYTimes.com.

In an important prosecutorial-misconduct case this term, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority threw out a $14 million jury award for a New Orleans man who was imprisoned for 18 years, including 14 on death row, for a robbery and a murder he did not commit. One month before John Thompson’s scheduled execution, a private investigator discovered that prosecutors had hidden evidence that exonerated him.

Read the full editorial here: New York Times

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Ethics, Politics and the Law – NYTimes.com

Ethics, Politics and the Law – NYTimes.com.

The ethical judgments of the Supreme Court justices became an important issue in the just completed term. The court cannot maintain its legitimacy as guardian of the rule of law when justices behave like politicians. Yet, in several instances, justices acted in ways that weakened the court’s reputation for being independent and impartial.

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Supreme Court video game ruling: Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence? – By Brian Palmer – Slate Magazine

Supreme Court video game ruling:�Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence? – By Brian Palmer – Slate Magazine.

Is it worse for a child to see pornography or graphic violence?

The Supreme Court struck down a California law regulating the sale of violent video games to children on Monday. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia noted that, unlike sexual content, which can be regulated, violence has been part of children’s entertainment for centuries. History aside, do we know whether exposure to sex or violence is worse for children?

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A Supreme Court win for political speech and political money – The Washington Post

A Supreme Court win for political speech and political money – The Washington Post.

By , Published: June 28

The fate of Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, which the Supreme Court on Monday declared unconstitutional, was foreshadowed March 28, during oral arguments. Lawyers defending the law insisted its purpose was to combat corruption or the appearance thereof. The court has repeatedly said this is the only constitutionally permissible reason for restricting the quantity of political speech. The law’s defenders insisted its purpose was not to “level the playing field” by equalizing candidates’ resources, which the court has declared an unconstitutional reason for regulating speech. But Chief Justice John Roberts replied: “Well, I checked the Citizens Clean Elections Commission Web site this morning, and it says that this act was passed to ‘level the playing field’ when it comes to running for office.” Game over.

Given the clarity and frequency with which the court has stressed the unconstitutionality of laws empowering government to equalize candidates’ speech by equalizing their resources, Monday’s ruling was predictable, but gratifying. Also predictable, but depressing, were four justices (Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor) finding no constitutional flaw in a law that did this:

[…]

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The First Amendment, Upside Down – NYTimes.com

The First Amendment, Upside Down – NYTimes.com.

The Supreme Court decision striking down public matching funds in Arizona’s campaign finance system is a serious setback for American democracy. The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in Monday’s 5-to-4 decision shows again the conservative majority’s contempt for campaign finance laws that aim to provide some balance to the unlimited amounts of money flooding the political system.

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Supreme Court strikes Arizona’s ‘matching funds’ to publicly financed candidates – The Washington Post

Supreme Court strikes Arizona’s ‘matching funds’ to publicly financed candidates – The Washington Post.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down part of Arizona’s public campaign financelaw, the court’s latest decision that the right of political speech trumps government’s attempts to restrain the power of money in elections.The court rejected Arizona’s system of providing “matching funds” to candidates who face big-spending opponents or opposition groups. The system has been used in every statewide and legislative election since voters approved it in 1998, after a period in which the state told the court a “seamless interplay between fundraising and lawmaking cast a web of perceived corruption over the Arizona capitol.”

Read the full story here: Washington Post

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