Supreme Court Report

164 ABA Journal Supreme Court Report articles.

Can black TV mogul’s discrimination suit against Comcast proceed? SCOTUS to decide

Byron Allen of Entertainment Studios Networks alleges in a $20 billion lawsuit that Comcast was motivated by racial bias in refusing to pick up his channels for inclusion on its cable systems in recent years. On Nov. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether a race-discrimination claim may proceed.

After nearly 30 years on the court, Justice Thomas’ supporters and detractors are still debating who he really is

After Clarence Thomas’ nearly 30 years on the court, his critics and supporters are still debating who Thomas is. But at a June conversation in the courtroom before the historical society, Thomas mostly seemed at peace with himself and his role on the court.

Tension in the Court: Public collegiality belies behind-the-scenes debates

Appeals involving such divisive issues as gun control and gay and transgender rights in the workplace were granted Supreme Court review this term, but only after the point when they would be pushed into the next term for arguments and decision. Other hot-button cases involving abortion restrictions, immigration and religious exceptions to same-sex marriage were awaiting resolution as of mid-May on whether the justices would grant review.

Justice by Numbers: Proposals resurface to expand the size of the court

In recent months, a concept that has been on the fringes of political theory has suddenly gained steam, with several progressive organizations calling for an expansion of the court and pushing Democratic presidential candidates to respond to the idea.

Court considers whether inquiry about citizenship belongs on the U.S. census

On April 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case that should resolve the issue. The justices will hear an appeal brought by the Trump administration of a federal district judge’s ruling that invalidated U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ 2018 decision to add a citizenship question to the next census.

Too tasteless to trademark? SCOTUS considers whether vulgar-sounding brand name is protected by First Amendment

Iancu v. Brunetti, set for U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments Monday, considers whether the First Amendment protects a vulgar-sounding brand name.

Liquor store war: Should giant wine and spirits retailer be subject to state residency requirements?

Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Blair is scheduled for Supreme Court argument Jan. 16. The state requires that licensees satisfy a two-year residency requirement. A panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati affirmed a district court order to strike down the requirement, allowing the Total Wine store in Knoxville to open.

What can states seize? SCOTUS will decide whether the excessive fines clause applies to states

The legal question in Timbs v. Indiana, scheduled for argument on Nov. 28 as part of the court’s December sitting, is whether the clause is incorporated against the states by the 14th Amendment.

Court to consider challenge to cy pres remedies to settle class actions

Cy pres settlements emerged in the 1970s as a solution to class actions with large and diffuse memberships for whom individual cash awards might be paltry. Such settlements typically involve contributions to charities or nonprofit organizations that advance the goals pursued in the class action.

Supreme Court considers whether prisoner with dementia and no memory of his crime should be executed

The Supreme Court granted full review of Alabama death row prisoner Vernon Madison’s case. The issue is whether the Eighth Amendment and relevant court precedents permit a state to execute someone who whose mental disability leaves him without memory of his commission of the capital offense, and whether evolving standards of decency bar the execution of a prisoner whose competency has been compromised by vascular dementia and multiple strokes.

Chief Justice Roberts slides into the high court’s ideological middle

Anthony M. Kennedy has been the median justice since Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s 2006 retirement. That role now may fall to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

Lost ground: The number of women arguing before the court has fallen off steeply

“I would have thought this would have been fixed by now,” says Lisa S. Blatt, a partner with Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer who has argued 35 cases—more than any other woman—before the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court rules lawyers cannot defy their clients’ wishes to argue for their innocence

A recent Supreme Court decision addresses a dilemma that would challenge any lawyer—how to respond if a client refuses to confess to a capital crime when the lawyer believes such a strategy may be the only way to avoid a death sentence.

Assessing Gorsuch: What’s the verdict on justice’s first full term?

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares potential landmark decisions, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch nears the end of his first full term. Conservatives have generally been pleased with what they have seen, while liberals say their concerns have been confirmed.

Speculation swirls over Supreme Court retirements

If Justice Anthony Kennedy decides to retire under President Trump, he would be following a long tradition of justices consciously leaving the court under a president of the same party who appointed them. A more complicated question is whether justices also seek to time their retirements with political or ideological goals in mind—and whether they have been successful.

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