U.S. Supreme Court | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Supreme Court

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: After the first of two days of historic legal arguments on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, the betting line hasn’t changed: The U.S. Supreme Court likely will look for a way to avoid a broad ruling recognizing or rejecting gay marriage but will likely strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Mary Ziegler, a professor at Saint Louis University Law School, put it this way: “Based on the comments, there isn’t any appetite to do anything broad -- either that there is a right for gay couples to marry or there isn’t.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Five U.S. Supreme Court justices seemed ready on Wednesday to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but they didn’t agree on the reason.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the swing justice, suggested that the law denying federal benefits to same-sex couples “intertwined” the federal government with “the citizens’ day-to-day life” in a way that violated federalism by interfering with the states’ power to regulate marriage, divorce and custody.

(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.

'Millionaire Amendment' decision shows O'Connor effect

Jul 1, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 1, 2008 - A recent Supreme Court decision shows the difference that the absence of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor makes. The decision striking down the provision of the McCain-Feingold law was written by Justice O'Connor's replacement, Justice Samuel Alito. It's a good bet that the case would have come out the other way if Justice O'Connor still had been on the bench because she voted in favor of upholding most of the provisions of the law in an earlier decision.

Supreme Court upholds individual right to keep a gun

Jun 26, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 26, 2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for the first time in history that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-protection. Through much of the 20th century, the Second Amendment had been viewed by the courts as protecting a collective right necessary to running state militias.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 12, 2008 - In an extraordinary rebuke to President George W. Bush and Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Thursday that prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay have the right to go to federal court on a writ of habeas corpus. This is the third time since 9/11 that the Supreme Court has found that the president violated the law or the Constitution in limiting the opportunities of prisoners in the war on terrorism to obtain a fair hearing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: May 27, 2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court broadened the legal protection of workers who face retaliation for complaining about discrimination at work. The court ruled that workers who complained about race and age discrimination were protected from reprisals, just as are those who complain about sex discrimination have been protected since a 2005 decision.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Replacing Justice John Paul Stevens with a Thomas/Scalia/Alito clone could move the court more dramatically to the right than any Supreme Court appointment in the past half century. The balance of the court on issues like religious freedom, affirmative action, gay rights and flag burning could switch. Hence the importance of the next president's selection of a new justice.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Mildred Loving has a special place in my memory.

Almost 20 years ago, I was writing stories about the Constitution. One afternoon, on a whim, I put my sleeping 4-year-old in the car and set off from our Bethesda, Md., hoping to find Mildred Loving at her rural Virginia home.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana's voter identification law on Monday by a 6-3 vote that avoided the normal ideological divisions. The decision won't revive Missouri's voter ID law, however, because the 2006 decision striking down that law was based on state, not federal constitutional grounds.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two death penalty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday could affect Missouri. In one, a splintered court ruled that Kentucky could resume lethal injections, a decision that could restart executions in Missouri and most other states. In the other case, the court heard arguments that capital punishment should be permitted for child rape, a position that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has urged on the court.