All eyes should be on Justice Anthony Kennedy. At 81, Kennedy is the longest-serving, second oldest justice on the court and is a conservative — except when he’s not.
Kennedy has sided with the court’s more liberal justices on several landmark cases, as he did in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. But he also sided with the conservative judges in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a ruling that the Christian-owned chain of craft stores could deny contraception coverage.
The 8-0 ruling reverses lower court decisions that sided with hospital workers who argued that the exemption from pension laws should not extend to hospitals affiliated with churches.
On April 19, the court will hear a religious rights case in which a church contends Missouri violated the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom by denying it funds for a playground project due to a state ban on aid to religious organizations.
Gorsuch has ruled several times in favor of expansive religious rights during his decade as a judge.
"Given Gorsuch's solicitude for religious liberty, his joining the court can only help the church," said Ilya Shapiro, a lawyer with the libertarian Cato Institute think tank.
Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican committee member, expressed regret that his party would be forced to change the Senate rules and said the "damage done to the Senate's going to be real."
"If we have to, we will change the rules, and it looks like we're going to have to. I hate that. I really, really do," Graham said.
Law enforcement shackled us with chains on our hands, waist, and feet, and held us in jail for more than 30 hours. While we were there, the government that imprisoned us for holding a banner executed Ricky Gray. It does raise the question of what is right and what is wrong, doesn’t it?
“We are standing with families who have had their loved ones murdered and families who have had their loved ones executed or put on death row,” said Shane Claiborne, co-director of the Red Letter Christians, who was arrested during the protest.
“Violence is a disease not the cure,” he continued, “as families themselves say, remember our loved ones but not with more killing. That’s our message today.”
The 6-2 ruling in Voisine v. U.S. upholds a federal law that prohibits any person convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from owning a firearm.
The case was brought by two men convicted of misdemeanor assault under state law and later charged with federal crimes for possessing firearms. The plaintiffs, Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong, argued that their crimes did not count under federal statute because their crimes were reckless, not intentional or knowing.
The Supreme Court struck down Texas’ restrictive abortion laws on June 27 in one of the most important abortion-related cases in years.
The Court ruled 5-3 in the case known as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which served to clarify the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey. That case concluded that while the states are free to regulate abortion, they cannot place an “undue burden” on women’s constitutional right to abortion.
I am a stranger in two strange lands. Born in the U.K. and an immigrant to the U.S., my understanding of self changed yesterday. As the U.K. voted to leave the EU and the U.S. Supreme Court’s tied decision left an appeals court block on President Obama’s executive order on immigration in place — my identity as an immigrant and a Briton changed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2016
Washington, DC - Rev. Jim Wallis, President and Founder of Sojourners, today issued the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision regarding President Obama's executive actions on DAPA, DACA:
"The race-conscious admissions program in use at the time of petitioner’s application is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause," said the court.
The Supreme Court tied 4-4 in the crucial immigration case U.S. v. Texas.
“The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court,” the one-sentence opinion reads.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down as early as this week a decision in U.S. v. Texas, a lawsuit brought by 26 states against the Obama administration for its executive actions allowing certain undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.
The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to assault weapons bans on June 20, just a week after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
It’s not the first time I’ve shared about the fear of being separated from my parents. In each of those cases, I have had the opportunity to allow people to look me in the eyes and share with me the burden of being undocumented in this country. “Please look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t feel my brokenness and my powerlessness.” I have a powerful voice, but writing — now that truly shakes me up.
In the case, various religious groups are suing the federal government over the HHS mandate, the requirement to provide contraception coverage in employees’ health insurance plans. There is currently an opt-out option, but the Little Sisters of the Poor, the co-plaintiffs, and their supporters do not believe that the opt-out is strong enough and thus that they are still complicit in providing contraception. They say, therefore, that the HHS mandate is a violation of their religious freedom.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously to uphold the traditional interpretation of “one person, one vote,” in which all residents — not just eligible voters — count toward population totals for electoral districts, reports Talking Points Memo. The opinion in the case, Evenwel v. Abbott, was authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas wrote concurring opinions.
The Supreme Court is seeking a compromise that would let religious nonprofit groups avoid any involvement in offering insurance coverage for contraceptives while also ensuring that employees get the coverage.