Log inskip to content

Archive for the 'US GOV: The Judiciary' Category

Supreme Court Rulings 2010-11

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The US Supreme Court is rendering rulings on the cases from this year’s docket. There are several interesting cases.

Here are all of the slip opinions.

Here is some top-notch editorializing on the rulings from Slate’s Dalia Lithwick who, in my humble opinion, offers remarkably insightful yet accessible court journalism.

Justice Breyer: The Court, The Cases And Conflicts

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer outlines his ideas about the Constitution and about the way the United States legal system works.

Breyer, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1994, explains that he interprets the Constitution as a living document, in opposition to some of his colleagues — including Justice Antonin Scalia — who see it as a static and literal set of rules that do not change over time.

Breyer argues that the framers knew that the interpretation of the document would continue to change as America evolved — and that members of the Supreme Court should apply the Constitution’s values to modern circumstances.

Breyer Interview

Explaining The American Filibuster

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

If high-school government class taught us anything, it’s that getting bills passed through Congress is a game of numbers: The bill with the most votes wins.

Turns out it’s not that simple. These days, the polarized state of American politics means that major bills need at least 60 votes to avoid an inevitable filibuster by the opposition.

Political scientist Gregory Koger’s new book, Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate, addresses the institutionalization of the filibuster — and describes congressional loopholes by way of which fast thinking and hard work can beat the numbers. Koger teaches American politics at the University of Miami. He joins host Terry Gross for a conversation about what has happened to simple majority rule.

Listen to Koger discuss the filibuster in an interview with Terry Gross

1st Amendment: The Supreme Court mauls the law banning animal-cruelty videos

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Witness the American deputy solicitor general in his natural habitat—the Supreme Court. As Neal Katyal roams softly across the cool marble chamber, he has no idea what awaits him. He is here to protect his tribe—the U.S. government—which, in 1999, passed a statute making it a crime to create, sell, or possess “any visual or auditory depiction” of “animal cruelty” if the act of cruelty is itself illegal under either federal law or the law of the state in which the depiction occurred.

Read on from Slate

The high court looks again at religious symbols on public lands

Monday, October 12th, 2009

There’s just one person at oral argument in Salazar v. Buono this morning who really wants to talk about whether a 5-foot cross on federal government land in the Mojave National Preserve violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. But Justice Antonin Scalia really, really wants to talk about it. He looks particularly queasy when Peter Eliasberg—the ACLU lawyer whose client objects to crosses on government land—suggests partway through the morning that perhaps a less controversial World War I memorial might consist of “a statue of a soldier which would honor all of the people who fought for America in World War I and not just the Christians.”

Read on from Slate

Supreme Court Rulings

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Here is the official list of Supreme Court opinions for the past 4 years.

Enjoy it here

Supreme Court Watch from NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

The latest news and analysis about key cases and critical arguments before the Supreme Court. The feed is updated frequently when the court is in session with interviews, background reports and updates to put key decisions in context.

These are listener friendly 5-10 minute discussions/lectures  about recent Supreme Court decisions.

The 2008 Docket

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The NY Times offers a sneak peek of the Supreme Court Docket here

Interviews with Supreme Court Justices

Sunday, October 7th, 2007

1. Charlie Rose with Former Cheif Justice William H. Rehnquist in 1998

Charlie Rose: November 26, 1998

2. Charlie Rose with Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in 2002

Charlie Rose: February 28, 2002

3. Charlie Rose with O’Connor and Stephen Breyer

Charlie Rose – Stephen Breyer / Sandra Day O’Connor

4. Charlie Rose with Stephen Breyer

Charlie Rose – Stephen Breyer

5. Fresh Air Interview with Jeffrey Tooblin on his book “Nine Inside the Robes”

Fresh Air Interview with Linda Greenhouse on the closing of the 2006-07 session of the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Breyer on ‘Active Liberty’

Friday, September 14th, 2007

In a new book Justice Stephen Breyer, often at odds with Scalia and Thomas, outlines his judicial philosophy, and makes the argument that his is in fact a more democratic philosophy. The book is called Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution.

“I say ‘active liberty’ because I want to stress that democracy works if — and only if — the average citizen participates,” Breyer tells Nina Totenberg in an exclusive interview.

After 11 years on the Supreme Court, Breyer says he is comfortable in describing how he goes about interpreting the Constitution, the statutes and the regulations that come before the court. And without saying so, his book is something of a rejoinder to justice Scalia’s 1997 manifesto entitled: A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law.

Scalia’s view, called originalism, instructs judges to look to the words of the Constitution and what they meant at the time the document was written. He is critical of those like Breyer, who argue for a more flexible and adaptive interpretation of the Constitution’s words.

Breyer applies his theory of Constitutional interpretation to some of the most divisive legal questions tackled by the high court in recent years — affirmative action, privacy, separation of church and state and campaign finance.

Listen Here

(9 minutes)