U.S. Supreme Court - The FindLaw U.S. Supreme Court News and Information Blog

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

SCOTUS to Start Highlighting Changes in its Opinions

The US Supreme Court announced Monday that it will start highlighting changes to public released opinions. The changes will be highlighted in the text of the opinion and both the old and new material will be visible to readers by placing their cursor over the brightened sections.

This may not come as particularly earth-shattering news, but it is construed by some as a small concession by the Highest Court in response to complaints regarding the court's lack of transparency. Certain groups have actively pushed for the use of cameras in the Court, a notion that Justice Antonin Scalia has dismissed.

Should Juries Recommend Capital Punishment? SCOTUS Will Decide

The US Supreme Court ushered in a new term yesterday morning with a bevy of polarizing social issues: the death penalty, affirmative action, and contraception.

The Court's docket this year is already furnished with two cases of particular significance regarding capital punishment. The Court will answer this question: is a jury the correct body for recommending capital punishment?

The Supreme Court reconvened this morning for the first oral arguments of the October 2015 term. The last term was full of headline-making cases. The Court recognized a fundamental right to same-sex marriage. It upheld Obamacare against another of seemingly endless challenges. It drastically reshaped public signage laws. (Okay, they can't all be sexy cases.)

This term promises to be just as important, if not more. It all starts today. Here are the cases we'll be watching as the term unfolds.

Today marks the tenth year of Chief Justice Roberts' reign over the Court. Originally considered as a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Roberts was nominated as Chief Justice following the passing of his former boss and mentor, William Rehnquist. During his nomination hearings, Justice Roberts said he wanted a modest court. That's not exactly what he's delivered.

From gun rights to gay rights, campaign donations to health care subsidies, the Roberts Court has overseen great changes in American law. "This is a court that really wants to be and is at center stage of American public life," according to U.C. Irvine's Erwin Chemerinsky. But the court's high profile has brought it condemnation from the left and the right alike.

It's an exciting time to be a SCOTUS fan. There are Scalia dolls being sold, Sotomayor danced salsa for the Nine, and Ginsburg is learning about gansta rap. Even Clarence Thomas is making some headlines!

But let's not forget, life -- and the Court -- isn't always pleasing. As Nietzsche said: "Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man." We at FindLaw couldn't agree more.

So, in the spirit of German nihilism and full, balanced listicle-making, here are nine depressing facts about the nine Supreme Court Justices:

The President keeps an open record of everyone who visits the White House. Congress broadcasts its most sleep-inducing business over three different C-SPAN channels. The Supreme Court? They like a bit more privacy.

That privacy is earning the Court a fair amount of criticism as it gets ready to begin its new term. From the cardinal halls of Stanford Law to the pink mail boxes of Palm Beach, Florida, the Supreme Court is facing accusations that it is too secretive in its doings.

The Supreme Court Justices will return from their long vacations this Monday, ready to kick off the Court's October 2015 term. They'll begin as they always do: with ritualized slaughter. Of cert petitions, that is.

Monday marks the Court's "long conference," where the Justices sift through almost 2,000 petitions for certiorari, rejecting almost all of them. It is, as The New York Times recounts, "where appeals 'go to die.'" Here's your insider guide to the killing fields.

Chicagoland radio fans got a bit of a Supreme Court treat this morning. Chicagoans who turned their dial to 98.7 FM WFMT found themselves listening to a rare guest DJ: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The Notorious RBG took over the airwaves as a guest host for the afternoon.

This wasn't your regular Top 40 tunes, though. Justice Ginsburg didn't drop any gangsta rap (though she's admitted she's becoming more familiar with the genre). There were no original RBG dubstep remixes either. Instead, Justice Ginsburg spun tunes from her favorite genres: classical music and opera.

A clerkship in the Supreme Court isn't a bad way to jump-start your legal career. SCOTUS clerks decide what cases the Court will hear and how they'll be decided. They often go on to become master litigators before the Court or to sit on the bench themselves. Many clerks get starting offers of more than $300,000 a year once they move into private practice.

Who are these lucky clerks? Statistically speaking, white guys from Harvard or Yale. When it comes to Supreme Court Clerks, they're not a diverse lot. A new report shows that feeder judges -- the few federal judges who regularly send their most talented clerks up to the Supreme Court -- might be to blame.

Justice Breyer's new book The Court and the World comes out today. In it, he argues for one of his longstanding passions -- greater engagement between the American judicial system and the rest of the world. He brought that message to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert yesterday -- a rare cross-over into pop-culture for one of the Justices.

During his appearance, Justice Breyer discussed more than just his book, surveying the advice he was given when first joining the court, arguing against cameras in the High Court, and reminding Colbert that no, watching the Justices is not entertaining. Here are some highlights.