U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Summaries Blog


Justice Ginsburg Promises a 'Momentous' Supreme Court Term

With the U.S. Supreme Court set to open Oct. 2, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is warming up the crowd.

Speaking at Georgetown Law, she promised it will be a "momentous" term with issues such as the President's travel ban, religious freedom, voting rights, and same-sex marriage. But the notorious RBG also entertained, especially when asked how she choose her early career.

"How did I decide to become a flaming feminist litigator?" she posed, evoking smiles and chuckles from the crowd.

Ginsburg to Congress: Stop the Nonsense

When the late Justice Antonin Scalia was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed him.

In contrast two decades later, nearly two dozen Senators -- voting along party lines -- opposed the nomination of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. A pattern of partisan opposition emerged as Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan came before the lawmakers for consideration.

"My hope -- and I hope I will live to see it in this lifetime -- is that our Congress will get over this nonsense," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pioneering Gay Rights Activist Dies: Edith Windsor's Legal Legacy

Edith Windsor, who won a pioneering case for same-sex marriages, has died.

She was not a lawyer, but she won a case that secured her legacy in civil rights history. Two past presidents honored her after news of her passing.

"Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor -- and few made as big a difference to America," said former President Barack Obama.

Title VII Sexual Orientation Suit Filed at Supreme Court

It's not that the case came from the Deep South, but Judge Robin Rosenbaum knew the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals was in deep trouble.

As she wrote in her long dissent in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, the Eleventh Circuit majority was about 50 years behind the times. Now the U.S. Supreme Court will decide if it's time to bring the appeals court up to date.

The question is whether an employer may discriminate against a person based on sexual orientation. Is that still a question in 2017?

Trump Lawyers Back the Baker Against Gay Couple

No shorts, no shoes, no shirt, no service. But what about gay couples?

That's the question baker Jack Phillips poses to the U.S. Supreme Court in a showdown between gay and religious rights. For now, the U.S. Justice Department has answered the question: no service.

"Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights," Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall argues in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Supreme Court to Consider Attorney's Fees in Prison Beating Case

After all that Charles Murphy suffered at the hands of prison guards, his case is going to the U.S. Supreme Court over another issue: attorney's fees.

The High Court has docketed the case, Murphy v. Smith, to decide whether a portion of a judgment means "up to 25 percent" or "exactly 25 percent" for attorney's fees under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said that Murphy has to pay 25 percent of the fees from his award.

Murphy's attorneys, who won a $307,733 judgment, said the appeals court cut too much into the recovery for attorney's fees to be paid by the plaintiff. They want the defendants -- prison guards who beat him -- to pay more.

SCOTUS Blocks Order to Redraw Texas Voting Districts

The U.S. Supreme Court stayed an order that would have forced legislators to redraw two congressional districts in Texas, pending a decision about whether the boundaries discriminate against minorities.

Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. issued the one-page order in Abbott v. Perez, giving the plaintiffs until Sept. 5, 2017, to respond. Meanwhile, the Court will review next session a lower court decision that said Texas lawmakers "intentionally deprived" voters in "an impermissible racial gerrymander."

"The Court concludes that the racially discriminatory intent and effects that it previously found in the 2011 plans carry over into the 2013 plans where those district lines remain unchanged," Judge Xavier Rodriguez wrote two weeks earlier.

Susan Fowler, the ex-Uber engineer whose viral blog post about the hostile working environment she endured while working for the booming ride-hailing app, has filed an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court.

In addition to detailing her harrowing experience, her brief argues in support of invalidating forced employee/contractor arbitration clauses, which is at issue in a set of three cases which the High Court has consolidated. Specifically at issue in the cases before SCOTUS is whether bans on class actions and collective actions through arbitration agreements violates federal law.

SCOTUS to Consider Whether Google Trademark is Generic

Where is Humpty Dumpty when the U.S. Supreme Court needs him?

While the Court is in recess, the most egg-cellent arbiter could handle at least one new case. The case is about whether Google can keep its trademark for a word that also means "to search the internet."

"When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less," Humpty Dumpty told Alice scornfully.

With or without the scorn, the Court could say as much in Elliott v. Google. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals already did.

Headlines have been popping up in various media sources questioning the propriety of Justice Neil Gorsuch's planned speaking engagement at the Trump Hotel. This is primarily due to the fact that the speaking engagement is set for September 28, and the oral argument on the president's "travel ban" executive order is scheduled for October 10 (just 12 days later).

While it's a new phenomenon that a U.S. president owns hotels, if it were the Trump Hotel paying Justice Gorsuch, this might be a different story. But, it is a non-profit group, the Fund for American Studies, that is hosting the event. Additionally, Justice Gorsuch has asserted that he will not be collecting a fee for this speaking engagement.