Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Disenfranchise No More – NYTimes.com

Disenfranchise No More – NYTimes.com.

November 17, 2011, 8:25 pm

Disenfranchise No More

Mississippi voters just approved a new law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. But that law will not go into effect immediately, thanks to the Voting Rights Act. Instead Mississippi will get in line behind Texas and South Carolina as the Department of Justice examines each state’s voter ID laws, in a process known as “preclearance.” The Justice Department will allow each law to go into effect only if the state can show its law will not have a racially discriminatory purpose or effect. Such proof may be hard to come by: a recent study by The Associated Press found that African-American voters in South Carolina would be much harder hit by that state’s ID law than white voters because they often don’t have the right kind of identification.

But this important preclearance procedure may not be around much longer. Before the next election season rolls around, the Supreme Court could well strike down this provision of the law as an unconstitutional infringement on states’ rights, leaving minority voters essentially unprotected from efforts to diminish their voting power. Congress needs to act before then to protect voting rights everywhere.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under election laws, elections, USA, voter ID, voting fraud, voting rights

Actively Engaged – NYTimes.com

Actively Engaged – NYTimes.com.

October 19, 2011, 9:30 pm

Actively Engaged

Leave a comment

Filed under Judicial System, political parties, Republicans, USA

‘Empathy’ Is Code for Judicial Activism – WSJ.com

‘Empathy’ Is Code for Judicial Activism – WSJ.com.

MAY 28, 2009

‘Empathy’ Is Code for Judicial Activism

What damage did Democrats suffer when they attacked Miguel Estrada?

Both President Barack Obama and Republicans get something they want from the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.

Mr. Obama said he wanted to replace Justice David Souter with someone who had “empathy” and who’d temper the court’s decisions with a concern for the downtrodden, the powerless and the voiceless.

“Empathy” is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn’t pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would generate voter backlash.

[…]

Read the full story here: The Wall Street Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under Judicial System, Supreme Court, USA

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

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

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.

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

1 Comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

– 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.

[…]

Read the full story here: The Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, USA

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

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

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.

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

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?

Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA

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:

[…]

Read the full story here: Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under news & comments, notes and musings from a big country, politics, USA