U.S. Supreme Court

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.

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.

U.S. Supreme Court
supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court started its new term Monday morning by announcing it would not hear petitions related to bans on gay marriage in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. 

"St. Louis on the Air" will host local legal leaders Monday for the Legal Roundtable, and you're invited to join us for the live broadcast.

The Legal Roundtable will convene at Washington University's Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, and will discuss the new session of the U.S. Supreme Court and other legal matters. Audience members will be able to ask questions during the live broadcast.

Guests

U.S. Supreme Court
Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

The Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision may not be as big a threat to contraceptive coverage for women as it first appeared.

After a few weeks of legal sleuthing, several leading Supreme Court experts think the court has signaled it will approve a compromise to provide free contraceptive coverage to women who work for companies and religious nonprofits that object to the coverage on religion grounds.

James Cridland via Flickr

Two proposed amendments to Missouri's Constitution will appear on August's ballot, and they are raising questions among law enforcement officials, lawmakers and voters. 

U.S. Supreme Court
supremecourt.gov

Update: U.S. district court grants St. Louis Archdiocese an injunction from enforcement of the mandate to provide contraceptive coverage, even with the existing religious accommodation.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Wikipedia | government photo

In a case from Illinois that may not reach outside that state, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Pamela Harris, whose child’s disabilities required that he have around-the-clock care. She became his home health worker and objected to having to pay union dues that she thought reduced the amount of money she had to care for her child.

U.S. Supreme Court
Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

The era of unanimity on the U.S. Supreme Court lasted about four days.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued three important decisions last week with unanimous votes, a flurry of legal and media commentary talked about Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. having engineered a new era of consensus on the court, with nearly two-thirds of this year's decisions decided without a dissent. Some contended that this new consensus court had rejected President Barack Obama's extremism and bolstered House Speaker John Boehner's threatened lawsuit against the president.

Governments cannot ban anti-abortion "sidewalk counselors" from a 35-foot buffer zone that includes the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic unless the governments first have tried less restrictive methods of protecting women from face-to-face intimidation as they enter reproductive health facilities.

supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously struck down President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and a Massachusetts law keeping opponents of abortion off the sidewalks within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.
 

U.S. Supreme Court
Matt H. Wade | Wikipedia

In a landmark decision protecting Americans' digital privacy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that police almost always need to get warrants to search the cell phones of people they arrest.

via Wikimedia Commons

Gay and lesbian couples who are legally married in the 12 states that, along with Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriages will be able to access federal marriage benefits such as tax breaks.

The 5-4 ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court just moments ago says the Federal Defense of Marriage Act violates the 5th Amendment by "singl[ing] out a class of persons deemed by a state entitled to recognition and protection to enhance their own liberty."

Proposition 8

(Dan Charles/NPR)

Updated on Tuesday, February 19, at 6:10 p.m. to add quote from Bowman.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in a legal battle between St. Louis-based Monsanto and a 75-year-old Indiana farmer.

The case revolves around whether Vernon Hugh Bowman violated Monsanto's patent rights when he bought seeds from a grain elevator and planted them.

(via Flickr/Phil Roeder)

Jacob McCleland of KRCU's reporting used in this story.

The US Supreme Court will pick up a case that could determine whether police can legally administer blood tests without a warrant.

A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer took Tyler McNeely to a Cape Girardeau hospital for blood tests after he failed field sobriety tests but refused the breathalyzer.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Former slave Dred Scott has been inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.