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

U.S. Supreme Court

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2013 - WASHINGTON – In what some view as a David vs. Goliath case of a farmer taking on agribusiness giant Monsanto Co., the St. Louis-based behemoth appeared to be winning the argument Tuesday in the Supreme Court.

During the hour-long oral arguments, justices appeared skeptical of Indiana farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman’s assertion – as expressed by his attorney – that his use of next-generation Roundup Ready soybean seeds did not violate Monsanto’s patent.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 9, 2013 - WASHINGTON – When a Missouri highway patrolman stopped a driver for speeding in Cape Girardeau at 2:08 a.m. on Oct. 3, 2010, he couldn’t have anticipated that the blood-alcohol test he ordered without the driver's consent would be challenged all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 17, 2012 - The chances are that the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the federal law discriminating against couples in same-sex marriages without giving gay marriage the kind of constitutional imprimatur that would require the entire nation to adopt it.

That is the view of many legal scholars in the wake of last week's decision by the court to hear two cases that raise the issue of same-sex marriage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 13, 2012If President Barack Obama has a chance to replace one of the five Republican-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court, he could bring about significant constitutional change and create the most liberal Supreme Court since the famous Warren Court of the 1960s.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 29, 2012 - In something of a surprise, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Monsanto Co.'s lucrative patent on Roundup Ready seeds extends to seeds that farmers purchase from grain elevators instead of Monsanto.

The court's agreement earlier this month to hear the case is surprising because the lower courts had ruled in Monsanto's favor and the Obama administration had told the court that it should not consider overturning that decision.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 26, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a Missouri Highway patrolman had to obtain a search warrant before forcibly obtaining a blood sample from a drunk driving suspect. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the patrolman's failure to obtain a warrant violated the suspect's fourth amendment right against unreasonable searches.

(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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Critics of the Supreme Court -- liberal and conservative -- often say the court should leave more room for elected bodies and the voters to decide important issues. That's exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court did when it upheld the Affordable Care Act last week.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 2, 2012 - Chief Justice John G. Roberts' opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act is an act of crafty judicial statesmanship that recalls important strategic Supreme Court decisions as far back as Marbury vs. Madison, the 1803 case that established the court's power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Surprise. If there is a single theme to the story of “Obamacare,” it is that surprises have lain in wait at every turn.

The biggest surprise may have been Thursday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Most of America expected the court to toss out the law after it had spent three days roughing up Solicitor General Donald Verrilli last spring.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 29, 2012 - Lisa Hill of Wildwood has a 17-year-old son with more health conditions than most people struggle with in a life time. He has coped with autism, epilepsy and leukemia. Hill says she has had no good place to turn for health insurance. But she felt hopeful on Thursday morning upon hearing that the Supreme Court had upheld the Affordable Care Act.

"The Supreme Court decided to allow my son to live," she said. "If his leukemia were to ever come back, it can be treated. That's what (the decision) means."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health-care law in a narrow 5-4 decision, with Chief Justice John Roberts providing the deciding vote. At the same time, the court put limits on some of Congress' most potent powers — its power to regulate commerce and to attach conditions to federal funding.

Commentary: Who let the vampires in this time?

Jun 28, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 28, 2012 - Several years ago, I wrote a column in which I likened lawyers to vampires. The obvious joke notwithstanding, the analogy had nothing to do with blood-sucking.

Rather, it referred to a precept of traditional vampire lore — namely, that the undead cannot enter your dwelling unless they are invited to do so. Once inside, however, they tend to take over the place and run amok.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 26, 2012 - The road to limiting the severity of the punishments for juveniles convicted of murder runs through Missouri.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case from Missouri -- Simmons vs. Roper -- that juveniles could not be executed for murder because it amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 26, 2012 - Politicans, both local and national, have split on the meaning of the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's law in immigration. Both the White House and Arizona Gov. Janet Brewer claimed victory. Former Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce, the architect of the SB 1070, called the decision "a huge win."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 25, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down three key provisions of Arizona's immigration law on Monday, reaffirming the federal government's preeminence in immigration matters and giving President Barack Obama a victory in a bitterly contested case. States can't make it a state crime for an undocumented immigrant to live in the state or to work or seek a job. But Arizona may be able to require a person to present papers, such as a driver's license, during a police stop.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

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

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 7, 2012 - No matter how expert the lawyer or the health professional or the political analyst, no one knows how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act or what impact the ruling will have on health care or the presidential race.

When the law passed, almost all constitutional experts said it was clearly constitutional.  Certainly, they said, Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce includes health care, which is one-sixth of the economy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 6, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court's recent 5-4 ruling upholding the strip search of a man who had been mistakenly arrested has drawn some interesting critiques.

Bruce La Pierre, a law professor at Washington University, noted in an email that 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis showed more concern in a 2008 decision about the rights of a person in custody than did Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion last Monday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - At times, the six hours of oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on the national health care law seemed like theater of the absurd.

During a very difficult day on Tuesday defending the individual mandate, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli almost seemed to muse aloud about the absurdity of his situation. He called it an irony that the opponents of the law said it was such a novel use of government power and an abuse of power.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 30, 2012 - The U.S. Supreme Court meets Friday to take its first vote on whether to strike down one of the most important pieces of social and economic legislation passed by Congress in the past half century — the Affordable Care Act.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 28, 2012 - When the third and final day of U.S. Supreme Court arguments on the federal health care law had ended on Wednesday, at least one thing seemed certain: All four justices appointed by Democratic presidents would vote to uphold the law, and all five justices appointed by Republican presidents had serious questions about both the law's individual mandate to buy health insurance and its expansion of Medicaid.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 27, 2012 - President Barack Obama's health-care law ran into a barrage of skeptical questions on Tuesday from conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. They challenged Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to define an outer limit for congressional power if Congress can force people to enter commerce to buy health insurance.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 26, 2012 - President Barack Obama's lawyer began his historic Supreme Court argument Monday with a flourish, saying the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is an issue of "great moment."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 23, 2012 - Chief Justice John G. Roberts and the U.S. Supreme Court arrive at a constitutional crossroads when they take up the Affordable Care Act Monday. They can turn their backs on the past 80 years of history by sharply reducing two of the Constitution's prime sources of national power. Or they can allow the nation to proceed along the road charted by the New Deal and the Great Society.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 5, 2012 - On the last of three days of arguments on the Affordable Care Act later this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will turn to the sleeper issue that could have the biggest impact on federal power -- Congress' authority under its spending power to require a big expansion of state Medicaid programs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 9, 2012 - WASHINGTON - Open proceedings of the U.S. Supreme Court would be televised under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But it appeared unlikely that Congress would move on the bill before the court hears arguments next month on the "individual mandate" of the new health-care law.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 15, 2011 - The debate about the power of the federal government is as old as the nation.

It began with the Articles of Confederation and its weak central government. It continued with arguments between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson and a bitter fight over the creation of the Bank of the United States. It boiled over in the war against slavery and, later, the states' rights to deny equality to African-Americans. It again divided the country over the New Deal's power to take strong national action to end the Great Depression.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov 1, 2011 - Even some of the most conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court were ready to admit it may have been unfair that St. Louisan Galin Frye's public defender failed to tell him about a favorable plea bargain. But even the most liberal justices were unable to figure out whether the unfairness violated Frye's constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel.

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