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  • Commentary posted March 27, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Lois Lerner’s New Lawyer

    The latest action of Representative Elijah Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democratic member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, makes one wonder whether he has received a retainer from Lois Lerner. Lerner, of course, is the former IRS official at the heart of the scandal over the targeting of conservative organizations. Cummings appears to be acting as…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2014 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Will Chicago’s Latest Gun Ban Being Thrown out Finally Teach the City a Lesson?

    The decision on Monday by federal judge Edmond Chang in Illinois Association of Firearms Retailers v. Chicago to throw out Chicago’s ban on gun sales comes as no surprise, but it illustrates the continuing efforts of the city’s political leadership, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to deny the Second Amendment rights of its residents and to evade a U.S. Supreme Court…

  • Commentary posted December 18, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Silencing Conservatives - The Administration's Latest Attempt to Censor Political Speech

    On Nov. 29, when Americans were with their families giving thanks for the founding of our great nation, the Obama administration quietly unveiled its latest attempt to silence the political opposition to a mostly-empty Washington. As if the indefensible attack on Tea Party and other conservative organizations documented by the IRS Inspector General wasn’t enough, the IRS…

  • Commentary posted November 13, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Possible Use of Federal Dollars in Settlement of Mount Holly Case

    The city council of Mount Holly, N. J. has scheduled a town meeting tonight to discuss the proposed settlement of its Supreme Court case, Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action. The Obama administration is worried about the possibility of a decision striking down the disparate-impact approach to civil-rights enforcement under the Fair Housing Act,…

  • Commentary posted November 1, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Last-Minute Settlement Saves 'Disparate Impact' - Again

    “Disparate impact” — a legal theory favored by the administration in bringing discrimination lawsuits — has once again ducked its day in court. For the second time in two years, a settlement has been engineered with the parties challenging the dubious theory, effectively keeping the Supreme Court from ruling on its validity. The Wall Street Journal reports that a…

  • Commentary posted October 24, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky, Elizabeth Slattery Packing Washington's most crucial court

    The U.S. Senate will soon vote on the nominations of three individuals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This court is widely regarded as a steppingstone to the Supreme Court. Because of its location in the nation’s capital, a considerable portion of its cases involve federal agencies. This makes the D.C. Circuit a watchdog over the…

  • Commentary posted October 16, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky Getting Rid of Discrimination by Any Means Necessary

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in a case that features a party with one of the longest and most pretentious names ever to appear on the court’s docket: Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Hopefully, the justices viewed the arguments made by BAMN…

  • Commentary posted October 8, 2013 by Hans A. von Spakovsky The Supreme Court's Latest Opportunity to Restore the First Amendment

    Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will give the justices another opportunity to overturn a campaign finance regulation that directly restricts the associational and free speech rights of American citizens. Hopefully, the Supremes will get it right – as the majority did in the Citizens United decision back in 2010 when they threw out an…

  • 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 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.…

  • Lecture posted October 10, 2012 by The Honorable Alice M. Batchelder Suppose Joseph Story Had Been Right and Brutus Had Been Wrong

    Abstract: Brutus, one of the loose-knit group of Anti-Federalists who opposed the adoption of the Constitution, was convinced that the new government would prove to be a national, not a federal, government; that the several states would cease to exist as sovereign entities; and that the judiciary would be instrumental in causing that result. Joseph Story, a proponent of a…

  • 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…