ABA Journal

Erwin Chemerinsky

17 ABA Journal Erwin Chemerinsky articles.

Chemerinsky: Expect a truly extraordinary year at the Supreme Court

Every Supreme Court term has important decisions that change the law and affect people’s lives, but some years are blockbusters in the number of high-profile, significant rulings. The October 2021 term, which begins on Monday, Oct. 4, promises to be such a year. It is the first full term with the court’s current composition.

Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court has done a poor job protecting against police abuse of power and racism

Following the death of George Floyd, the nation focused attention on the enormous problems of police violence and racism in law enforcement, but there is a failure to put blame where much belongs: on the United States Supreme Court.

Chemerinsky: The SCOTUS sleeper cases of the October 2020 term

The U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2020 term, which ended on July 1, had major rulings that attracted media attention, such as its narrow interpretation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and its ruling expanding the protections of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. There also were some cases that attracted relatively little attention but that have the potential to have significant effects on the work of lawyers and judges throughout the country. Here are two of them.

Chemerinsky: Supreme Court looks to common law for guidance in Fourth Amendment cases

The Supreme Court decided three cases concerning the Fourth Amendment during the October 2020 term. They shared several characteristics.

Chemerinsky: Precedent seems to matter little in the Roberts Court

How much weight does the Roberts Court give to precedent? This is the crucial underlying question now that the U.S. Supreme Court has granted review in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which puts the fate of Roe v. Wade before the justices. The case concerns a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Chemerinsky: Despite SCOTUS ruling, questions of personal jurisdiction remain unsettled

Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District is important in clarifying the law of personal jurisdiction, but it also raises many questions that will confront lower state and federal courts and ultimately need Supreme Court resolution.

Chemerinsky: SCOTUS weighs whether freedom of speech applies to students off campus using social media

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its last oral arguments of the term in April, and it will finish with a First Amendment case of potential great importance. Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. involves whether a student can be punished for speech on social media over the weekend.

Chemerinsky: Voting rights cases before SCOTUS could have profound effects on future elections

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in important cases concerning the meaning of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee. The cases involve Section 2 of the act, which prohibits voting practices or procedures that discriminate on the basis of race, color or language.

Chemerinsky: SCOTUS hands down a rare civil rights victory on qualified immunity

Per curiam decisions handed down without briefing and oral argument generally do not get much attention, so it is understandable that the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling about qualified immunity in Taylor v. Riojas might have been overlooked, even by civil rights lawyers.

Chemerinsky: Predicting the Supreme Court in 2021 may be dangerous and futile

At the end of 2019, law dean Erwin Chemerinsky attempted to look ahead to what to expect in the U.S. Supreme Court in 2020. He’s sure 2021 will be no different in its unpredictability. Here are some things to look for at the high court in the year ahead.

Chemerinsky: Looking back at the Supreme Court in 2020

Everyone, I am sure, will be glad to bid farewell to 2020 and looks forward to better things in 2021. As the year draws to a close, the COVID-19 pandemic is surging with a catastrophic loss of lives and serious illnesses, but there is the hope of vaccines soon becoming widely available. What were the most important stories about the U.S. Supreme Court during this plague year?

Chemerinsky: COVID-19 ruling reveals much about the new Supreme Court

We are accustomed to major U.S. Supreme Court decisions in late June as the term winds to a conclusion; rarely, however, is there a blockbuster ruling a few minutes before midnight the night before Thanksgiving. But the court’s ruling Nov. 25 in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo is quite important and tells us a great deal about the new court.

Chemerinsky: SCOTUS considers whether religious freedom also means freedom to discriminate

On Nov. 4, the U.S. Supreme Court again will face one of the country’s most divisive constitutional issues: Does the First Amendment’s protection of speech and religion provide a basis for violating laws that prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians?

Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court returns to a term like no other

No other first Monday in October, the traditional start of a new U.S. Supreme Court term, ever has been like this one. With the country still in the midst of a pandemic, oral arguments will be held by telephone as they were in May. The justices and the country are still reeling from the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Sept. 18. Looming large is the coming confirmation battle over the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who would add another staunch conservative to the court.

Chemerinsky: Will SCOTUS rulings help decide the 2020 presidential election?

There now have been six instances in which the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with issues concerning COVID-19 and the election process. The court repeatedly has made clear that it does not want the federal courts changing the rules of an election, even when necessary to protect the right to vote in a pandemic.

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