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U.S. Supreme Court

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Kavanaugh hearings continue Thursday: Opening statements are underway in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Watch the hearing live.

MORE: McCaskill raises familiar topics as she sits down with Kavanaugh

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill meets with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in her Washington office.
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U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill isn’t signaling her opinion after her first meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

But as she’d advertised, the Missouri Democrat says her questions on Tuesday centered on three topics: protecting access to health care, curbing corporate power and addressing the explosion in campaign money from undisclosed donors.

McCaskill did not disclose Kavanaugh’s answers.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says she has a growing list of questions as she preps for her meeting next week with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

And most of them won’t deal with his position on abortion rights, a top concern of progressive groups.

“I’m sure it will come up, but he won’t answer it,’’ McCaskill predicted.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Although President Donald Trump isn’t expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee until next week, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and her best-known GOP rival are already gearing up for a major fight.

That’s particularly true for the Republican, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who’s contending that the future of the U.S. Supreme Court – and McCaskill’s past confirmation votes – should be the pivotal issue in their contest.

Pat White is the president of the St. Louis Labor Council.
Pat White

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant legal blow to public-sector unions earlier this week with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, an Illinois union-dues case. The ruling comes as Missouri voters gear up to decide Aug. 7 whether to pass a right-to-work referendum, Proposition A, that would impact collective bargaining in the private sector.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines with a discussion about the state of organized labor in the bi-state region in light of the ruling. Joining him for the conversation was the president of the St. Louis Labor Council, Pat White, who described the court decision as “another attack on working men and women.”

Supreme Court
Kjetil Ree | Flickr

Labor leaders in Missouri’s public and private sectors say the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest ruling curbing public-employee unions doesn’t appear to have a direct impact in Missouri.

The court ruled 5-4 today that public-employee unions cannot collect fees or dues from workers who decline to join the union. But in Missouri, labor leaders say public-employee unions in the state already must get their members to voluntarily pay dues.

Anne Geraghty-Rathert talked about the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on religious grounds.

For Friday’s Behind the Headlines, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked to Webster University legal studies professor Anne Geraghty-Rathert about the implications of that decision and what it may or may not mean for the rights of same-sex couples.

File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Bobby Bostic was 16 when he committed several felonies in the course of an armed robbery. Two years later, he was sentenced to 241 years in prison.

Advocates for juvenile sentencing reform say that runs contrary to earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions limiting how harshly the courts can punish young defendants who have not killed anyone, and they are now asking the justices to weigh in.

When Norman Brown was 15, he served as a decoy while a man twice his age robbed a store and fatally shot its owner. Brown received life without parole for first-degree murder even though he wasn’t the shooter.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

There are about 100 inmates in Missouri who were told as teenagers they would die behind bars for murder. All of them are now eligible for parole after serving 25 years due to two U.S. Supreme Court decisions and a change in state law.

But only three of the 23 men who’ve asked for their freedom know when they’re going home — a ratio that advocates say is unconstitutional.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Missouri
Ryan Famuliner | KBIA

Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision involving a Missouri church ultimately could make it easier for religious institutions to seek out state money for non-religious needs.

The justices ruled 7-2 in favor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, which had sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground, but was denied funding. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote it is “odious to our Constitution” to exclude the church from the grant program.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
File photo

After weeks of mulling it over, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Friday that she'll oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Missouri Democrat called it “a really difficult decision.” Her announcement comes ahead of next week's expected vote. Gorsuch needs 60 votes, which means at least eight Democrats must support him.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill listens to a presentation on Aug. 29, 2016, at Jefferson Barracks from members of a Missouri National Guard cyber unit.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says the military needs to be more aggressive in attracting and recruiting qualified people for cyber security operations.

That’s one of the big takeaways the Democratic senator had after receiving a presentation on Monday from Missouri National Guard personnel at Jefferson Barracks. The cyber unit that’s stationed there was established in 2013 and is often sought to train military units across the country.

Planned Parenthood supporters rally in 2015 outside the agency's clinic in St. Louis after a mass shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Three Democrats in the Missouri legislature plan to file bills repealing two of the state’s laws restricting abortion facilities, following a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that threw out similar measures in Texas.

supremecourt.gov

Some of Missouri’s restrictive laws governing abortion clinics will likely face a legal challenge as a result of today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision knocking down similar restrictions in Texas.

But abortion-rights supporters and opponents in Missouri agree that it’s “too soon to tell’’ the specific effects of the high court’s 5-3 ruling on the Show-Me state, which long has had some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.

Students, faculty and guests listen to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at Graham Chapel on the campus of Washington University on April 25 2016
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The friendship that endured between justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia despite their ideological differences is well-known, but not uncommon, according to a former colleague.

"Nino was well-liked by his colleagues across the judicial spectrum," retired Justice John Paul Stevens said of Scalia, who died in February. "Nino's friendships with his colleagues, including both those who frequently disagreed with his views and those who more regularly shared his views, is legendary."

Back row from left Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito, and Elena Kagan. Front row from left Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court photo | 2010

The Roberts court has made a “surprising move leftward,” writes The New York Times. Conservative justices have stopped “playing nice” and taken off the gloves, writes Politico.  Liberal justices are “legislating from the bench,” claim all manner of Republican candidates for president.

Those were the story lines emerging from the Supreme Court as it ended its 2014 term with extraordinary decisions that save Obamacare, constitutionalize same-sex marriage and make it easier to prove housing discrimination.

Jim Obergefell is the lead plaintiff in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will likely decide whether same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on June 26 with news of ruling  — Today in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution required states to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in that case, sat down to talk with St. Louis on the Air three weeks before the decision was handed down. 

Our original story.

Protesters holding sign in front of Supreme Court
LaDawna Howard | Flickr

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a high-profile challenge to the Affordable Care Act that could have made health insurance unaffordable for more than 5 million people.

Legal roundtable discusses Cardinals’ hackers, football stadium, more

Jun 18, 2015
Old Courthouse downtown st. louis
Rachel Heidenry | 2008

As the U.S. Supreme Court approaches the end of its summer term, some long-awaited cases remain undecided: most notable are those on the future of the Affordable Care Act and the nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage.

The laws governing how much force police are allowed to use has had a long, circuitous history.
Flickr | Quinn Dombrowski

Second of two parts.

Even though a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, the case against Wilson is not entirely closed. The U.S. Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation into the Aug. 9 incident.

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