"If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?"

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (via theatlantic)

(via theatlantic)

pbsthisdayinhistory:

September 24, 1789: The Supreme Court Established
On this day in 1789, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington. This act established the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal of six justices nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. 
In Article 3 of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court is granted ultimate jurisdiction over all laws.
Take a look at The Supreme Court timeline that details Supreme Court developments throughout American history.

pbsthisdayinhistory:

September 24, 1789: The Supreme Court Established

On this day in 1789, the Judiciary Act of 1789 was passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington. This act established the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal of six justices nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

In Article 3 of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court is granted ultimate jurisdiction over all laws.

Take a look at The Supreme Court timeline that details Supreme Court developments throughout American history.

shortformblog:

In case you haven’t heard, CNN sorta screwed this up. The law was mostly upheld. (ht @BuzzfeedAndrew)

A lot of news organizations screwed it up.

shortformblog:

In case you haven’t heard, CNN sorta screwed this up. The law was mostly upheld. (ht @BuzzfeedAndrew)

A lot of news organizations screwed it up.

shortformblog:

It is not clear at this stage and on this record that §2(B), in practice, will require state officers to delay the release of detainees for no reason other than to verify their immigration status.  This would raise constitutional concerns.  And it would disrupt the federal framework to put state officers in the position of holding aliens in custody for possible unlawful presence without federal direction and supervision.  But §2(B) could be read to avoid these concerns.  If the law only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been  released, the provision would likely survive preemption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives.  Without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume §2(B) will be construed in a way that conflicts with federal law.

Translation: Police can still ask officers to see your proof of U.S. residency.

EDIT: But as Think Progress notes, this decision leaves room for this portion of the case to be decided more definitively later. If there is evidence that this is being used for racial profiling, it’s possible it could get struck down later.

shortformblog:

timemagazine:

The latest issue of TIME, featuring our cover story on Justice Anthony Kennedy, “The Decider”, will hit newsstands Friday.(Photograph by Peter Hapak for Time)

From a purely design standpoint, this is a nice hard-news cover, but the widow-like “is” floating by itself on a single line is distracting.

I refer to those as orphans, and, yes, it is very distracting.

shortformblog:

timemagazine:

The latest issue of TIME, featuring our cover story on Justice Anthony Kennedy, “The Decider”, will hit newsstands Friday.

(Photograph by Peter Hapak for Time)

From a purely design standpoint, this is a nice hard-news cover, but the widow-like “is” floating by itself on a single line is distracting.

I refer to those as orphans, and, yes, it is very distracting.

shortformblog:

HOLY CRAP OF THE DAY: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer apparently was robbed at knifepoint while vacation in the Caribbean. Hearing word it was a machete. More info as we get it. EDIT:  From NPR: “Justice Breyer, his wife Joanna and a friend were at the Breyer home on Nevis last Thursday when a man armed with a machete broke in, took about $1,000 in cash and fled.”

shortformblog:

HOLY CRAP OF THE DAY: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer apparently was robbed at knifepoint while vacation in the Caribbean. Hearing word it was a machete. More info as we get it. EDIT:  From NPR: “Justice Breyer, his wife Joanna and a friend were at the Breyer home on Nevis last Thursday when a man armed with a machete broke in, took about $1,000 in cash and fled.”

(via shortformblog)

shortformblog:

Just decided: The Supreme Court decided in favor of nightclub owner Antoine Jones, convicted of drug conspiracy based partly on GPS evidence, saying that the federal government needs a warrant when using a GPS device to track someone. Here’s the decision. A key line from Antonin Scalia’s main opinion here: “It is important to be clear about what occurred in this case: The Government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information. We have no doubt that such a physical intrusion would have been considered a “search” within the meaning of the FourthAmendment when it was adopted.”

shortformblog:

Just decided: The Supreme Court decided in favor of nightclub owner Antoine Jones, convicted of drug conspiracy based partly on GPS evidence, saying that the federal government needs a warrant when using a GPS device to track someone. Here’s the decision. A key line from Antonin Scalia’s main opinion here: “It is important to be clear about what occurred in this case: The Government physically occupied private property for the purpose of obtaining information. We have no doubt that such a physical intrusion would have been considered a “search” within the meaning of the FourthAmendment when it was adopted.”

(via shortformblog)


Supreme Court Overturns Car
WASHINGTON, DC—In a landmark reversal of a 19-year-old automobile, the Supreme Court overturned a 1978 Ford Pinto Sunday, effectively ending the car’s longstanding upright, “wheels on the ground” position.
The reversal, which has affected the lives of an estimated 400 motorists on D.C.’s Wisconsin Avenue, was overturned by the nation’s highest judicial body at approximately 9 p.m., in what legal experts described as a “strong show of support” for the Washington Redskins’ 38-28 victory over the NFC East rival Arizona Cardinals.
Said Justice David Souter, who wrote the majority opinion in the case and played a key role in the car’s reversal, lifting the back right tire off the ground: “Whoo! ‘Skins rule, motherfuckers!”
 
Added Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “All the way, baby.”
Judicial experts agree that the reversal represents the most significant Supreme Court overturning of a motorized vehicle since its controversial 1994 decision to strike down a Yamaha motorcycle during a spring-break binge-drinking free-for-all at Freaknik ‘94 in Atlanta. Most observers attributed that decision to the presence of a crowd of inebriated African-American college students cheering the justices on, as well as the blaring of rap group Wreckx ‘N’ Effect’s “Rump Shaker.”
"By turning this Ford Pinto upside-down in the middle of the street, the Supreme Court has made a clear statement that, as far as the U.S. judicial system is concerned, the Redskins are without question the greatest team ever and cannot be stopped," said Georgetown University law professor Edwin Burber.
The court is set to rule Thursday on whether or not beer bongs are awesome.

Supreme Court Overturns Car

WASHINGTON, DC—In a landmark reversal of a 19-year-old automobile, the Supreme Court overturned a 1978 Ford Pinto Sunday, effectively ending the car’s longstanding upright, “wheels on the ground” position.

The reversal, which has affected the lives of an estimated 400 motorists on D.C.’s Wisconsin Avenue, was overturned by the nation’s highest judicial body at approximately 9 p.m., in what legal experts described as a “strong show of support” for the Washington Redskins’ 38-28 victory over the NFC East rival Arizona Cardinals.

Said Justice David Souter, who wrote the majority opinion in the case and played a key role in the car’s reversal, lifting the back right tire off the ground: “Whoo! ‘Skins rule, motherfuckers!”

Added Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “All the way, baby.”

Judicial experts agree that the reversal represents the most significant Supreme Court overturning of a motorized vehicle since its controversial 1994 decision to strike down a Yamaha motorcycle during a spring-break binge-drinking free-for-all at Freaknik ‘94 in Atlanta. Most observers attributed that decision to the presence of a crowd of inebriated African-American college students cheering the justices on, as well as the blaring of rap group Wreckx ‘N’ Effect’s “Rump Shaker.”

"By turning this Ford Pinto upside-down in the middle of the street, the Supreme Court has made a clear statement that, as far as the U.S. judicial system is concerned, the Redskins are without question the greatest team ever and cannot be stopped," said Georgetown University law professor Edwin Burber.

The court is set to rule Thursday on whether or not beer bongs are awesome.

"The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations. We trust that AT&T will not take it personally."

— Chief Justice John Roberts’ unanimous opinion for the Supreme Court in ruling that AT&T does not enjoy protection from FOIA requests on the basis of “personal privacy”

By DAVID COLE
Published: January 2, 2011

DID former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Tom Ridge, a former homeland security secretary, and Frances Townsend, a former national security adviser, all commit a federal crime last month in Paris when they spoke in support of the Mujahedeen Khalq at a conference organized by the Iranian opposition group’s advocates? Free speech, right? Not necessarily.

The problem is that the United States government has labeled the Mujahedeen Khalq a “foreign terrorist organization,” making it a crime to provide it, directly or indirectly, with any material support. And, according to the Justice Department under Mr. Mukasey himself, as well as under the current attorney general, Eric Holder, material support includes not only cash and other tangible aid, but also speech coordinated with a “foreign terrorist organization” for its benefit. It is therefore a felony, the government has argued, to file an amicus brief on behalf of a “terrorist” group, to engage in public advocacy to challenge a group’s “terrorist” designation or even to encourage peaceful avenues for redress of grievances.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe Mr. Mukasey and his compatriots had every right to say what they did. Indeed, I argued just that in the Supreme Court, on behalf of the Los Angeles-based Humanitarian Law Project, which fought for more than a decade in American courts for its right to teach the Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey how to bring human rights claims before the United Nations, and to assist them in peace overtures to the Turkish government.

But in June, the Supreme Court ruled against us, stating that all such speech could be prohibited, because it might indirectly support the group’s terrorist activity. Chief Justice John Roberts reasoned that a terrorist group might use human rights advocacy training to file harassing claims, that it might use peacemaking assistance as a cover while re-arming itself, and that such speech could contribute to the group’s “legitimacy,” and thus increase its ability to obtain support elsewhere that could be turned to terrorist ends. Under the court’s decision, former President Jimmy Carter’s election monitoring team could be prosecuted for meeting with and advising Hezbollah during the 2009 Lebanese elections.

The government has similarly argued that providing legitimate humanitarian aid to victims of war or natural disasters is a crime if provided to or coordinated with a group labeled as a “foreign terrorist organization” — even if there is no other way to get the aid to the region in need. Yet The Times recently reported that the Treasury Department, under a provision ostensibly intended for humanitarian aid, was secretly granting licenses to American businesses to sell billions of dollars worth of food and goods to the very countries we have blockaded for their support of terrorism. Some of the “humanitarian aid” exempted? Cigarettes, popcorn and chewing gum.

Under current law, it seems, the right to make profits is more sacrosanct than the right to petition for peace, and the need to placate American businesses more compelling than the need to provide food and shelter to earthquake victims and war refugees.

Congress should reform the laws governing material support of terrorism. It should make clear that speech advocating only lawful, nonviolent activities — as Michael Mukasey and Rudolph Giuliani did in Paris — is not a crime. The First Amendment protects even speech advocating criminal activity, unless it is intended and likely to incite imminent lawless conduct. The risk that speech advocating peace and human rights would further terrorism is so remote that it cannot outweigh the indispensable value of protecting dissent.

At the same time, Congress also needs to reform the humanitarian aid exemption. It should state clearly that corporate interests in making profits from cigarettes are not sufficient to warrant exemptions from sanctions on state sponsors of terrorism. But Congress should also protect the provision of legitimate humanitarian aid — food, water, medical aid and shelter — in response to wars or natural disasters. Genuine humanitarian aid and free speech can and should be preserved without undermining our interests in security.

David Cole is a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Well, it looks like several of my undergrad and grad school papers, as well as my Master’s thesis, will get me convicted of treason….

I hate this court.

"The New York Times has shown an utter reckless disregard for any responsible journalism by printing something that they know that they obtained in a way that is not appropriate."

Former Governor and FOXNews host Mike Huckabee on Wikileaks.

Mike, SCOTUS decision on the Pentagon Papers. Your argument is invalid.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Don’t expect a Facebook friend request from Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer any time soon.

The 72-year-old justice said in a speech at Vanderbilt Law School on Tuesday that he was perplexed when he recently saw the film “The Social Network” about the origins of Facebook.

But Breyer said the film illustrates his argument that modern conditions - like the development of the social-networking site - should inform justices when interpreting a Constitution written in the 18th century.

"If I’m applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there’s an Internet, and there’s Facebook, and there are movies like … ‘The Social Network,’ which I couldn’t even understand," he said.

Breyer said of the high court: “It’s quite clear, we don’t have a Facebook page.”

Although Breyer was making a point about judicial philosophy, he also touched on the court’s sometimes limited grasp of technological developments. For example, Chief Justice John Roberts in a public employee privacy case before the court earlier this year tried to figure out the role of a text-messaging service in enabling an exchange between two people.

"I thought, you know, you push a button; it goes right to the other thing," Roberts said. Responded Justice Antonin Scalia: "You mean it doesn’t go right to the other thing?"

I just … what in the fuck. Breyer is an intellectual beacon; those others … just go away. Please.

Clarence Thomas obsessed with porn, lied to Senate Committee during confirmation hearings

Washington Post

In her Senate testimony, Hill, who worked with Thomas at two federal agencies, said that Thomas would make sexual comments to her at work, including references to scenes in hard-core pornographic films.

"If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it," Thomas responded to the committee.

McEwen scoffs softly when asked about Thomas’s indignation, which has barely cooled in the 19 years since the hearings. In his vivid 2007 memoir, the justice calls Hill a tool of liberal activists outraged because he did not fit their idea of what an African American should believe.

McEwen’s memoir describes her own “dysfunctional” family in the District and, ultimately, a long legal career. She charts how she developed an “inner self” to escape the chaos of her childhood. Her story also includes explicit details of her relationship with Thomas, which she said included a freewheeling sex life.

Given that history, she said Hill’s long-ago description of Thomas’s behavior resonated with her.

"He was obsessed with porn," she said of Thomas, who is now 63. "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting."

"The right to trial by jury and the immunity from prosecution except as the result of an indictment may have value and importance. Even so, they are not of the very essence of a scheme of ordered liberty. To abolish them is not to violate a “principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.”"

Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s opinion on Palko v. Connecticut (1937).

Frank Palka was on trial for the murders of two police officers. He was convicted of second-degree murder. The State of Connecticut appealed and Palka was retried and convicted of first-degree murder. Palka appealed citing violation of the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Palka lost in the Supreme Court by a ruling of 8-1. He was executed April 12, 1938 by electric chair. Only Associate Justice Pierce Butler voted in dissent; he did not write a dissenting opinion.

SCOTUS overruled Palko in 1969 with Benton v. Maryland.