• Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky [SCOTUSbrief]

    Andy Cilek, in 2010, went to vote in Minnesota wearing a tea party t-shirt. He was twice stopped by a poll worker from voting, and on the third try he was finally allowed to vote but his name and address was taken down for potential prosecution. He filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Joe Mansky and other government officials in Minnesota alleging that Minnesota’s broad ban on all political apparel at the polling place violates the First Amendment. The law at issue in this case is Minnesota Section 211 B.11 which prohibits voters from wearing any political badge, button, or other insignia at the polling place. Minnesota promulgated an election…

  • Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt [SCOTUSbrief]

    In California Franchise Tax Board versus Hyatt, the core issue is whether the Supreme Court should overrule a 40-year-old precedent called Nevada versus Hall, uh, that had decided that states do not have sovereign immunity in the courts of their sister states. It’s one of these cases that has been up and back to the Supreme Court a lot of different times. The whole issue started in the early ’90s. Gilbert Hyatt is an inventor, and he actually lived in California, and he made a lot of money off of technology patents. He then moved to Nevada. The California Franchise Tax Board is the agency in California that is responsible…

  • The Role of the Chief Justice [No. 86]
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    The Role of the Chief Justice [No. 86]

    There was relatively little discussion about the role of the Chief Justice at the time of the framing, and the Constitution itself says relatively little about the Chief Justice. The only mention of a Chief Justice in the Constitution is in Article I, Section 3, which provides that when a President is impeached, the Chief Justice should supervise the trial. The Constitution really left to Congress, uh, the responsibility of specifying the powers of the Chief Justice and indeed of the Justices of the Supreme Court, uh, more generally, and many of the powers of the Chief Justice have evolved really as a matter of custom rather than as a…

  • Murr v. Wisconsin: The Regulatory Taking Case
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    Murr v. Wisconsin: The Regulatory Taking Case

    The Murrs are four brothers and sisters and they own two lots side by side on the St. Croix River in Wisconsin. The Murrs’ parents bought the properties that are in dispute in the ‘60s. In 1960, the Murrs bought what I want to call “Lot F,” and they transferred ownership of Lot F to a plumbing company that the dad owned and ran. And they built a cabin that they use as a summer cabin on that lot. In 1963, the parents then bought a second lot, Lot E, and they kept that lot vacant. In 1994, the plumbing company passed on ownership of Lot F to the Murr…

  • Edward Whelan: Scalia and Gorsuch on Chevron Deference
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    Edward Whelan: Scalia and Gorsuch on Chevron Deference

    The argument that Justice Scalia embraced in a noteworthy 1989 Law Review article, is that it was important and valuable to have a default rule so the courts weren’t always trying to figure out, right at the beginning, what do we do with this statute? Is this a statute that calls for us to defer it to the agencies or not? He emphasized that Chevron was not, by any means, constitutionally mandated. He believed that there was value in having a clear rule up front for Congress to choose to depart from if it wanted to, to, for the courts to have a clear rule to apply in reviewing agency…

  • Janus v. AFSCME: Union Fees & the First Amendment [SCOTUSbrief]
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    Janus v. AFSCME: Union Fees & the First Amendment [SCOTUSbrief]

    The issue in this case are whether public sector union fees are constitutional. The parties to this case are Mark Janus, Child Support Specialist Employed by the State of Illinois, and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31, otherwise known as AFSCME Council 31, as well as various departments of the state of Illinois. AFSCME, it’s function is to bargain with the state of Illinois over Illinois’s policies that affect employees. And the theory of the case basically stated is that it offends the First Amendment to force an employee to support union speech that he or she does not support. To understand the case in…

  • Brown v. Plata: Oral Argument – November 30, 2010
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    Brown v. Plata: Oral Argument – November 30, 2010

    Roberts: 09-1233, Schwarzenegger versus Plata, and the related cases, Mr. Phillips. Phillips: Thank you, Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the Court. What this Court has under review today is an extraordinary and unprecedented order issued by a three-judge District Court, requiring the release of between 36,000 and 45,000 inmates, currently incarcerated in the California penal system within a two-year period. The order in this particular case is made particularly remarkable because it strikes me that at a minimum it is extraordinarily premature. That it may come at some point in this process that an order, probably substantially smaller in scope than this one, may become appropriate, but if…

  • Articles

    Herrera v. Wyoming [SCOTUSbrief]

    Herrera versus Wyoming presents a very interesting treaty question that’s alive today and that shows the enduring effect of issues flowing from an 1868 treaty between an Indian tribe and the United States. It’s a simple fact pattern. You have a group of hunters who are Crow tribal members from the Crow Reservation in Montana. They’re elk hunting for their families, subsistence hunting. When they go over a fence, they’re in Wyoming and they shoot an elk over there, and they get arrested by the state of Wyoming and they’re charged with illegal hunting under Wyoming state law. Herrera takes the position legally, “I’m a Crow tribal member, I’m exercising…

  • By Virtue: Three Executive Orders that Shaped American Law
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    By Virtue: Three Executive Orders that Shaped American Law

    Ninety-six to ninety-nine percent of executive orders and proclamations are going to be non-controversial. One really can’t, you know, say categorically “Executive orders are good,” or “Executive orders are bad,” or “They tend to be legal,” or “They tend not.” You just, you have to look at the facts. A lot of the times the claims against executive orders are really claims against the presidency and the president’s powers in general. Just the order happens to be the way they’re carried out. What really matters is the number, and it may only be a handful, it may only be five that are illegal. That’s what defines whether a president is…

  • The conservative movement transforming America’s courts
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    The conservative movement transforming America’s courts

    -You put the wrong justices on the Supreme Court and this country will never, ever, be the same. We have to pick one that’s gonna be there for forty years. From one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. -Leonard Leo is the executive vice president of the Federalist Society. He advises President Trump on judicial nominations. -The Federalist Society is about results. They see judges, along with the Republican Party, as pathways to power. -You don’t mess around with judges. You get them confirmed. You get them confirmed quickly. -If you’ve got a group that’s been in-sourced into…