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  • Commentary posted December 21, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Scourging Scalia: The Left's Latest Hissy Fit

    In other words, instead of students attending colleges that match their academic background, training, and credentials, the racially discriminatory admissions programs of universities like the University of Texas push many students into universities where they are in the bottom of the class from the very start of their college careers. This leads to lower grades, lower…

  • Legal Memorandum posted December 3, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Discriminatory Racial Preferences in College Admissions Return to the Supreme Court: Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

    This term, the U.S. Supreme Court is reconsidering whether it is constitutional for the University of Texas at Austin to use race in its undergraduate admissions decisions, to the detriment of some students and the benefit of others. In Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Abigail Fisher argues that the school’s policy of giving racial preferences to preferred…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 17, 2015 by Elizabeth Slattery Overview of the Supreme Court’s October 2015 Term

    On October 5, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States will begin its next term. The 2014 term featured a number of hot-button issues: free speech cases involving a “true threats” prosecution, the Confederate flag, and a local sign ordinance; property rights in the California raisin farmers’ case; religious freedom in a challenge to a prison’s ban on inmates growing…

  • Legal Memorandum posted September 10, 2015 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery One Person, One Vote: Advancing Electoral Equality, Not Equality of Representation

    In its October 2015 term, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in a case arising out of the Texas legislature’s use of total population in drawing the state Senate’s districts. This case, Evenwel v. Abbott, raises the issue of which population states can or should use when determining the legislative boundaries of representative districts. The…

  • Legal Memorandum posted May 7, 2015 by Elizabeth Slattery Who Will Regulate the Regulators? Administrative Agencies, the Separation of Powers, and Chevron Deference

    The Schoolhouse Rock classic “Three Ring Government” teaches children about the separation of powers embodied in the Constitution by comparing the three branches of government to a three-ring circus. The song explains that “no one part [of government] can be more powerful than any other.” The President is the “ringmaster of the government,” Congress is tasked with…

  • 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 September 8, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery Will the War Powers Resolution prevent a swift response to ISIS?

    The beheading of another American journalist this week sparked many members of Congress to urge President Obama to amp up U.S. military action against ISIS. But before he does so, many of those same lawmakers are demanding that the president first seek congressional authorization, pursuant to the War Powers Resolution, to continue the use of military force in Iraq and…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Obama Administration Turns to “Hand-Packed” Court

    When it comes to defending Obamacare subsidies, the Justice Department appears none too eager to take its case to the Supreme Court. Instead, the administration announced it would appeal Tuesday’s adverse ruling by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to… the full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. President Obama, it seems, likes his chances with the full…

  • Legal Memorandum posted July 24, 2014 by John Malcolm, Elizabeth Slattery Boehner v. Obama: Can the House of Representatives Force the President to Comply with the Law?

    A‌rticle I of the Constitution vests “All legislative powers herein ‌granted” in Congress, while Article II, section 3 requires that the President “shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” But what happens when the President fails to execute the law? Time and again, President Barack Obama has pushed the limits of this duty, acting unilaterally to change or…

  • Commentary posted June 2, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Senate Democrats again pushing to silence freedom of speech

    Senate Democrats are pushing a constitutional amendment sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N. Mex., that for the first time in history would cut back on an important and fundamental part of the Bill of Rights -- the First Amendment. Senate Joint Resolution 19 would allow Congress to limit fundraising and spending on election campaigns and independent political speech. On…

  • Legal Memorandum posted June 2, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Amending the First Amendment: How the Campaign Finance Amendment Will Silence Free Speech

    An effort is underway in the Senate to amend the Constitution to restrict free speech by allowing Congress to limit fundraising and spending on political speech. A constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Tom Udall (D–NM) would grant Congress the power to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections. Supporters of this amendment claim that restricting the…

  • Commentary posted April 29, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Hans A. von Spakovsky Will others follow Michigan in banning race preferences?

    In a victory for equality, on April 22 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a referendum overwhelmingly passed by Michigan voters in 2006 banning discrimination by state and local governments in education, employment and contracting. The Michigan referendum amended the state constitution after Grutter v. Bollinger. In that 2003 decision involving the University of Michigan, the…

  • Commentary posted April 28, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery You mostly can’t ‘take it all the way to the Supreme Court’

    “I’ll take it all the way to the Supreme Court.” Anyone may say it, but when it comes to getting the Supreme Court to review a case, it’s far easier said than done. The Supreme Court hears only a small number of cases each term, so the odds of getting your case before these nine justices are long, indeed. But there are good reasons why the Court declines to hear most…