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  • Legal Memorandum posted March 10, 2015 by Gene Schaerr, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional

    Over the past year, four federal circuit courts—the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits—have ruled that the states and their people lack the ability under the federal Constitution to define marriage as it has always been defined: as the legal union of a man and a woman.[1] In their breathtaking sweep, those four rulings are reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s…

  • Legal Memorandum posted January 28, 2015 by Thomas A. Lambert Respecting the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies

    The Basic Structure of American Antitrust Law When it comes to assuring low prices, high-quality goods and services, and product variety, there is no better regulator than market competition. Accordingly, the federal antitrust laws—chiefly, the Sherman and Clayton Acts—aim to promote vigorous competition among providers of goods and services. They do so by policing the…

  • Commentary posted January 14, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery The End of ‘Disparate Impact’?

    On January 21, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case involving the Obama administration’s favorite dubious legal theory, “disparate impact.” Then again, maybe it won’t — because the administration or some of its more radical allies in the civil-rights movement might snatch the case out of the court’s hands by engineering an eleventh-hour settlement.…

  • Commentary posted October 9, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery The Roberts Court is Not 'Increasingly Conservative'

    Washington Post Supreme Court correspondent Robert Barnes claims that the Supreme Court has become more conservative during John Roberts’ nine-year tenure as Chief Justice. Such a characterization shows a misunderstanding of the role of courts. Rather than label the Roberts Court as “conservative” or “liberal,” it would be more accurate to describe the Court as…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 6, 2014. The 2013 term featured a number of hot-button issues: campaign finance restrictions, racial preferences, pro-life speech outside abortion clinics, unions, legislative prayer, and a challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Nearly two-thirds of the decisions were…

  • Commentary posted July 24, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Obamacare’s Almost Surely Going Back to the Supreme Court

    And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: two different federal courts of appeal, issuing completely contradictory rulings on the very same day, on the very same issue. That’s what happened Tuesday. If nothing else, the dueling rulings should hasten the day when the next phase of litigation involving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reaches the Supreme…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by Andrew Kloster The Supreme Court's Top Ten Cases

    With the Supreme Court on summer recess, it's time to review the biggest cases of the October 2013 docket. SCOTUSblog's "Stat Pack" notes that the Court this term had a high degree of unanimity and a relative lack of 5-4 decisions. But by margins both large and small, the court issued a number of important cases. Reasonable people can, of course, disagree about the…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Eric Holder’s long losing record before the Supreme Court

    If Eric Holder were a baseball player, he’d have been benched long ago — if not kicked off the team. His batting average before the Supreme Court is abysmal, losing again and again in his efforts to undermine the Constitution. This term featured four big strike downs. First was Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Supremes tossed out ObamaCare’s contraceptive abortion…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Jennifer A. Marshall, Sarah Torre RFRA Worked the Way It Was Supposed To in Hobby Lobby

    Today an important religious- liberty law did what it was supposed to do. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) provided the Supreme Court with a mechanism for weighing competing claims in our pluralistic society. The Court determined that we can, in fact, balance seemingly conflicting interests without throwing out religious…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Judges and Voter ID

    To better understand the contrast between an activist, liberal judge who refuses to follow the law and a judge who understands that his job is to follow precedent and the Constitution, consider two recent federal cases on voter-ID laws. On Tuesday, federal-district-court judge Lynn Adelman — a Clinton appointee, former Democratic state senator, and former Legal Aid…

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  • Legal Memorandum posted March 10, 2015 by Gene Schaerr, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional

    Over the past year, four federal circuit courts—the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits—have ruled that the states and their people lack the ability under the federal Constitution to define marriage as it has always been defined: as the legal union of a man and a woman.[1] In their breathtaking sweep, those four rulings are reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 6, 2014. The 2013 term featured a number of hot-button issues: campaign finance restrictions, racial preferences, pro-life speech outside abortion clinics, unions, legislative prayer, and a challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Nearly two-thirds of the decisions were…

  • Report posted June 20, 2011 by John Yoo, James C. Ho The Sword and the Purse (Part 1); The Role of Congress in War

    From the retaliatory raids on the Barbary pirates at the turn of the 19th century to the ongoing bombing campaign in Libya, American Presidents have deployed military force several hundred times in the nation’s history. Yet Congress has declared war on only five occasions—and only once to initiate hostilities (the War of 1812 against Britain). There is no inconsistency in…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2012 by Elizabeth Slattery Supreme Court Immigration Showdown: Why States Can Enforce Immigration Laws

    On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case with significant implications for immigration policy and enforcement well beyond the immediate statute at issue. Arizona v. United States is a challenge to much of the state enforcement scheme of Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (S.B. 1070), which was enacted to detect and address illegal immigration in Arizona.…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 11, 2011 by Andrew M. Grossman The Fourteenth Amendment Is No Blank Check for Debt Increases

    Abstract: A clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides, “The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.” Far from authorizing the President to incur more debt—a power vested solely in Congress—this clause bars Congress from repudiating debt that it has already incurred. Whether a default would amount to…

  • Lecture posted January 9, 1998 by Matthew J. Franck Support and Defend: How Congress Can Save the Constitution from the Supreme Court

    When I was a boy, the comic books I devoured regularly featured an advertisement promising that Charles Atlas could turn any scrawny boy into a manly, muscled fellow. The ad usually contained a story of its own in comic-strip form, with a "98-pound weakling," sitting on the beach with a pretty girl, getting sand kicked in his face by a large bully who then taunts him…

  • WebMemo posted June 30, 2011 by Brian W. Walsh The Supreme Court’s Willful Blindness Doctrine Opens the Door to More Wrongful Criminal Convictions

    Willful blindness is not knowledge; and judges should not broaden a legislative proscription by analogy. —Justice Anthony Kennedy, May 31, 2011[1] A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in a patent lawsuit may, somewhat surprisingly, have a major and destructive impact on federal criminal law. In Global-Tech Appliances v. SEB, the high court…

  • Report posted June 20, 2011 by John Yoo, James C. Ho The Sword and the Purse (Part 2); The President as Commander in Chief

    Under the Articles of Confederation, all war power was vested in a Congress and the United States lacked a formal executive. This arrangement proved unworkable as America’s foreign policy and defense, deprived of executive guidance, floundered. Recognizing the need for an executive to act with swiftness and dispatch in response to foreign threats, the Framers of the…

  • Lecture posted October 14, 1997 by Kevin J. Hasson God and Man at the Supreme Court: Rethinking Religion in Public Life

    Let's begin with a multiple choice test. Who said, "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence"? Was it (a) Albert Camus; (b) Jean-Paul Sartre; (c) Justice Kennedy; or (d) all of the above? The correct answer is (d); in one way or another, each of them said it. I don't believe that is a coincidence. The quotation, of course,…

  • Legal Memorandum posted June 4, 2010 by Darpana M. Sheth Overturning Iqbal and Twombly Would Encourage Frivolous Litigation and Harm National Security

    Abstract: The ill-advised and unnecessary Notice Pleading Restoration Act of 2009 and the Open Access to Courts Act of 2009 would severely weaken the federal civil pleading standard, encouraging frivolous litigation and harming national security. Such an almost nonexistent pleading standard would weaken U.S. national security, and otherwise impede the government’s ability…

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  • Legal Memorandum posted March 10, 2015 by Gene Schaerr, Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Memo to Supreme Court: State Marriage Laws Are Constitutional

    Over the past year, four federal circuit courts—the Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits—have ruled that the states and their people lack the ability under the federal Constitution to define marriage as it has always been defined: as the legal union of a man and a woman.[1] In their breathtaking sweep, those four rulings are reminiscent of the U.S. Supreme Court’s…

  • Legal Memorandum posted January 28, 2015 by Thomas A. Lambert Respecting the Limits of Antitrust: The Roberts Court Versus the Enforcement Agencies

    The Basic Structure of American Antitrust Law When it comes to assuring low prices, high-quality goods and services, and product variety, there is no better regulator than market competition. Accordingly, the federal antitrust laws—chiefly, the Sherman and Clayton Acts—aim to promote vigorous competition among providers of goods and services. They do so by policing the…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 6, 2014. The 2013 term featured a number of hot-button issues: campaign finance restrictions, racial preferences, pro-life speech outside abortion clinics, unions, legislative prayer, and a challenge to Obamacare’s Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate. Nearly two-thirds of the decisions were…

  • Issue Brief posted April 25, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Supreme Court 101: A Primer for Non-Lawyers

    A common refrain from lawyers is that they will take a case “all the way to the Supreme Court,” but it is easier said than done to get the Supreme Court to review a case. The Supreme Court of the United States agrees to hear only a small number of cases each term, so the odds are stacked against most litigants. The reasons why the Court declines to hear particular cases…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 23, 2013 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the Supreme Court’s October 2013 Term

    The Supreme Court of the United States begins its next term on October 7, 2013. The 2012 term was marked by a series of high-profile civil rights cases: a challenge to the Voting Rights Act coverage formula, a case dealing with racial preferences in higher education, Arizona’s proof of citizenship voter registration requirement, and, of course, the long-awaited same-sex…

  • Backgrounder posted March 27, 2013 by Andrew Kloster Why Congress and the Courts Must Respect Citizens’ Rights to Arbitration

    In 1925, Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA),[1] establishing a strong federal policy in favor of arbitration. A form of alternative dispute resolution, arbitration reduces litigation costs, a savings that is passed on to consumers. Despite its advantages, however, arbitration has recently come under attack in Congress, executive agencies, and the courts.…

  • Issue Brief posted March 18, 2013 by Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D. Marriage Matters: Consequences of Redefining Marriage

    The Supreme Court is considering challenges to state and federal laws that define marriage as the union of a man and woman. After lower courts ruled against these marriage laws, the Supreme Court now has the opportunity to uphold the laws and return to citizens and their elected representatives the authority for answering questions about marriage policy. If marriage…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2012 by John Malcolm, Jessica Zuckerman Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008

    In September, the House of Representatives passed the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), which made key updates to the authorities granted to U.S. intelligence under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Reauthorization of the bill, which expires at the end of this year, has yet to be taken up by the Senate.…

  • Backgrounder posted October 10, 2012 by Dominique Ludvigson Circumventing Citizens on Marriage: A Survey

    Abstract: Despite a history of consistent voter support for traditional marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to address questions concerning this foundational social institution. The issue has been forced onto the Court’s docket by activist judges who have overruled democratically established marriage policies and by executive branch officials who have…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 21, 2012 by Paul Larkin, Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the Supreme Court’s October Term, 2012

    Abstract: Given the excitement and importance of the recently concluded Supreme Court term, it is possible that the upcoming term will lack the same dazzling array of issues; just as not every baseball lineup is loaded with players like the 1927 Yankees Murderers Row, not every Supreme Court term is chock-full of Hall of Fame cases. Still, the next few years promise their…

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