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

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.

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.

Legal Roundtable Previews Supreme Court Session

Oct 6, 2014
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. 

Join The Legal Roundtable Audience On Monday

Oct 2, 2014

"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.

Supreme Court starts with old favorites

Oct 7, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 7, 2013: There are no blockbusters on the U.S. Supreme Court term that begins today. Nothing measures up to the landmark decisions of the past two terms -- upholding the Affordable Care Act, overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and gutting the most successful civil rights law in history, the Voting Rights Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2013: In accord with the behavioral tradition, fledgling social scientists are taught to distinguish between facts and values. Their scientific study is supposed to involve facts alone. Yet, this dichotomy may be neither real nor realistic.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court provided constitutional protection for same-sex marriages, ruling that Congress cannot demean, stigmatize or treat them as second-class once states recognize their dignity.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 26, 2013 - For the first time in its history, the U.S. Supreme Court provided constitutional protection for same-sex marriages, ruling that Congress cannot demean, stigmatize or treat them as second-class once states recognize their dignity.

On the historic final day of its term, the court threw out the federal law that prevented couples in same-sex marriages from enjoying the same federal benefits as traditional married couples receive.

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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 25, 2013: The conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the most potent part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful laws enacted in American history.

Supreme Court maintains affirmative action precedent

Jun 24, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 24, 2013: Affirmative action survived in the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, but universities will have a harder time defending racial preferences in court. The justices said that universities must show that they have no other way to achieve diversity.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 13, 2013 - Vernon Bowman's challenge to Monsanto Co.'s patent on its Roundup Ready soybean seeds was billed as a David v. Goliath contest. Goliath won and won big.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that Bowman, a 75-year-old soybeans farmer from southern Indiana, had violated Monsanto's patent on its genetically engineered soybean seeds. Bowman had used commodity seeds he bought from a local grain elevator to make new seeds with Roundup Ready traits. 

This article irst appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 18, 2013 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that Missouri couldn’t force a Cape Girardeau man suspected of drunken driving to submit to a blood alcohol test without obtaining a search warrant. 

The court ruled 5-4 in favor of Tyler McNeely who was arrested after driving erratically and then forced to submit to a blood test at a hospital after he refused a breath test. The blood test showed he was legally drunk. (Read the Scotusblog file on the case.)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 29, 2013 - Should the U.S. Supreme Court pay attention to the elections or the opinion polls in deciding what the Constitution means?

Should the court be an engine of social change – as it was during the Warren Court of the 1950s and '60s – or should it avoid getting too far ahead of the American public?

What should that grand promise of “equal protection” mean?  What it meant in 1868 when it was written into the Constitution with the blood of hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers? Or 1954 when it first was found to prohibit racial segregation? Or 1967 when it finally ended the ban on interracial marriage?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:Should the U.S. Supreme Court pay attention to the elections or the opinion polls in deciding what the Constitution means?

Should the court be an engine of social change – as it was during the Warren Court of the 1950s and '60s – or should it avoid getting too far ahead of the American public?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gov. Jay Nixon brushed off questions yesterday about gay marriage, an issue  now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

But Nixon, a Democrat, did express support for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination statutes. That's become an increasingly visible priority among gay rights groups and their allies.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2013 - 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).

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