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  • 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 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 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 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted April 24, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Hans A. von Spakovsky Schuette and America’s Future

    Our most recent paper suggested that Congress ban racial preferences and rein in the “disparate impact” approach to civil-rights enforcement. This week, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Schuette v. BAMN and gave a green light to the political branches if they decide to prohibit such discrimination. We hope that Congress — as well as state legislatures — will…

  • Commentary posted April 23, 2014 by Mike Gonzalez Sotomayor’s demeaning views on race

    Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling that Michigan voters had the right to ban racial preferences in university admissions didn’t sit well with the court’s self-described “Wise Latina,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Her 58-page-long dissent made clear that she’ll be the last line of defense for affirmative-action policies at the highest court in the land. But a look at the dissent…

  • Commentary posted April 15, 2014 by Elizabeth Slattery, Hans A. von Spakovsky Congress Can Help End Racial Discrimination

    The federal government wittingly and unwittingly endorses a great deal of racial discrimination in America. A 2011 report by the Congressional Research Service catalogued literally hundreds of government-wide and agency-specific set-aside and preference programs and grants throughout the entire executive branch that amount to some form of racial discrimination. If…

  • 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…