US Supreme Court

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SCOTUS Nixes White Jury's Death Penalty for Black Man

29 years after Timothy Foster's sentence, court finds prosecutors kept blacks off jury for racial reasons

(Newser) - In a ruling Vox says "could have a big impact on racism in the justice system," the Supreme Court on Tuesday tossed a death sentence rendered almost 30 years ago against a Georgia black man, voting 7-1 that state prosecutors kept African-Americans off the jury that convicted him,... More »

Here's Trump's List of Supreme Court Picks

11 names

(Newser) - Donald Trump isn't president yet, but he has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia if he's elected to the White House. Trump's picks include Steven Colloton of Iowa, Allison Eid of... More »

Supreme Court Punts on Big ObamaCare Ruling

Tells lower courts to figure out compromise for faith groups

(Newser) - The Supreme Court is ridding itself of a knotty dispute between faith-based groups and the Obama administration over birth control, reports the AP . The court on Monday asked lower courts to take another look at the issue in a search of a compromise. The justices issued an unsigned opinion in... More »

Alabama Judge in Trouble Over Gay-Marriage Fight

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore may lose his job

(Newser) - Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore—ousted from office more than a decade ago over a Ten Commandments display—now faces possible removal from the bench over his effort to block gay marriage from coming to that state after the US Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, the AP reports.... More »

Conservatives Wary of Trump Push for Obama Court Pick

They fear Clinton would appoint a more liberal justice

(Newser) - With Donald Trump the last GOP presidential candidate standing, some conservatives are starting to get nervous about the Supreme Court. "There is absolutely no reason to drag this out any longer," managing editor Leon Wolf writes at conservative blog RedState . "Garland is not a great choice, but... More »

Supreme Court Likely to Radically Alter Breath Tests

Justices seem to side against the US government

(Newser) - Laws in 13 states making it a crime for a driver to refuse an alcohol test might soon change radically, based on how a Supreme Court hearing went down Wednesday. Drivers from Minnesota and North Dakota, arrested for drunk driving after refusing a breath test, argued the test violated their... More »

Obama Plan to Protect Immigrants May Be Doomed

Unless John Roberts is a wild card?

(Newser) - A sweeping plan by President Obama to protect immigrants from deportation might be in trouble. Arguments in the Supreme Court on Monday suggested justices were headed for a 4-4 split, reports the Los Angeles Times . If that proves true when the decision is announced in June, it's bad news... More »

'Lady, You Better Get a Gun': How the Anita Hill Story Broke

Clarence Thomas' 1991 scandal proved frightening for NPR's Nina Totenberg

(Newser) - Conservatives are already critcizing HBO's upcoming Confirmation, a film debuting Saturday that documents the sexual harassment claims that rocked Clarence Thomas' 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Nina Totenberg, the NPR reporter who first broke the story of accuser Anita Hill , now reveals in a podcast that although she'... More »

Supreme Court Backs 'One Person, One Vote'

Challenge to long-held principle is rejected

(Newser) - A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can count everyone, not just eligible voters, in deciding how to draw electoral districts, turning back a challenge from Texas voters that could have dramatically altered district boundaries and disproportionately affected the nation's Latino population, reports the AP . The decision is... More »

What Day Job? Supreme Court's RBG Tries Acting

Ginsburg will have a cameo in 'The Merchant of Venice'

(Newser) - Art often imitates life, and that will ring true for none other than Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this summer as she throws off her court garb and dons stage attire for her role in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Vox reports. The 83-year-old justice's cameo appearance... More »

First GOP Senator Breaks SCOTUS Blockade

Mark Kirk praises 'one of the most eminent jurists in the country'

(Newser) - Mark Kirk on Tuesday became the first Republican senator to meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, criticizing GOP leaders' refusal to hold confirmation hearings or a vote on the longtime federal judge and praising him as "one of the most eminent jurists in the country," the AP... More »

Supreme Court Deadlocks, in a Victory for Unions

Scalia's death results in a 4-4 split

(Newser) - Organized labor seemed headed for a defeat in a major Supreme Court case after arguments in January, but Antonin Scalia's death has resulted instead in a 4-4 deadlock—a result that amounts to a "big victory to the unions," reports the New York Times . The case involved... More »

ObamaCare Birth Control Ruling Hinges on One Word

'Hijacking,' says SCOTUSBlog

(Newser) - The Supreme Court wrestled with a high-profile case on Wednesday—how far religious groups must go in helping employees gain access to birth control under ObamaCare. Based on the arguments, don't expect a clear resolution: The New York Times reports that a 4-4 tie is a "real possibility,... More »

High Court Gives Good News to Pot Legalization Activists

Supreme Court won't consider lawsuit against Colorado from 2 other states

(Newser) - Marijuana is a political debate, not a legal one—for now. The US Supreme Court announced Monday that it won't consider a lawsuit filed by two other states challenging Colorado's pot law. But lawyers say that Nebraska and Oklahoma officials could pursue other legal challenges down the road,... More »

GOP Senators Wavering on SCOTUS Blockade

Better him than a Clinton pick, some believe

(Newser) - With polls suggesting the next president is more likely to be Hillary Clinton than somebody who claims he can "Make America Great Again," some Republican senators are wavering on their Supreme Court stance. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insists that the next president should choose Antonin Scalia's... More »

SCOTUS Nominee Merrick Garland Is Obama's Sacrificial Lamb

'He is a prop, chosen to spend the next eight months as a prop'

(Newser) - It seems unlikely Republicans in Congress will give President Obama's Supreme Court nominee a hearing, and that's exactly the point, writes Slate's Jim Newell, who describes Merrick Garland as Obama's "rope-a-dope nominee." "He is a prop, chosen to spend the next eight months... More »

Meet Obama's Pick to Replace Scalia

Merrick Garland is the nominee

(Newser) - President Obama announced his choice to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court: Merrick Garland, chief judge of the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. He's "one of America's sharpest legal minds" and is "uniquely qualified," said Obama at the White House Wednesday morning.... More »

AG Lynch: Take Me Out of SCOTUS Running

AG thinks nomination process would 'curtail her effectiveness in her current role'

(Newser) - Last month Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval took himself out of the running for the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia . Now another big name has bowed out: Attorney General Loretta Lynch, NBC News reports. "As the conversation around the Supreme Court vacancy progressed, the Attorney... More »

SCOTUS Rules on Gay Adoption, Apple ... Batmobile

And other Supreme Court decisions on this busy Monday

(Newser) - The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Alabama's top court went too far when it tried to upend a lesbian mother's adoption of her longtime partner's children, the AP reports. Before their breakup, one partner bore three children; the other formally adopted them in Georgia, which they were... More »

Florida Revamping Death Penalty to Reboot Executions

Bill sent to governor requires a 10-2 jury vote for judge to OK execution

(Newser) - In January, the US Supreme Court ruled that the way Florida's death penalty was carried out was unconstitutional. Now, in reaction to that decision, the state is overhauling its system, with the Florida Legislature sending a bill to Gov. Rick Scott that would mandate at least 10 out of... More »

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