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


A Preview of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Movie

When it comes to movies based on real life, viewers must allow for some literary license.

Even in the upcoming biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the justice would grant Felicity Jones some flexibility in portraying her. After all, the actress is English.

One thing is certain, however. The movie, set to begin filming in September, will hew to the truth that women have had to fight for equal rights in America.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, SCOTUS denied President Trump's lawyers' motion seeking clarification of the Court's recent order lifting the injunction that stopped the controversial travel ban from being enforced. The Court issued a short, two-paragraph, three-sentence, order denying the motion, primarily explaining that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals needs to rule before the High Court will rule again on this issue.

Curiously, the second paragraph to the order is a single sentence that states: "Justice Thomas, Justice Alito, and Justice Gorsuch would have stayed the District Court order in its entirety."

It is a rare occasion when the Supreme Court reverses itself, but what about Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.?

It has happened, for example, when Chief Justice Roberts changed his vote on Obamacare. In that case, he flipped from the conservative majority to the liberal dissent.

Now court watchers are speculating that he has changed his view on same-sex marriage. Although that decision left the building two years ago, it matters again because there's a little rustling of the tea leaves at the Supreme Court.

'Very Troubling,' Scholar Says as High Court Closes Door on Injury Claims

Erwin Chemerinsky, the constitutional law scholar, may have more published opinions than any justice of the Supreme Court.

That's because media outlets often quote him, and judges generally do not talk to the press. So when Chemerinsky speaks, people usually listen.

Now that he has landed in the dean's chair at Berkeley Law, Chemerinksy also has a bully pulpit for his latest opinion: recent Supreme Court decisions are "very troubling."

'Internet' or 'internet'? Supreme Court Widens the Capitalization Debate

You say 'tomato,' I say 'tomato.'

Wait, that doesn't work. You say 'Internet,' I say 'internet.'

Hold on. This only works if you're writing, not talking. And it only seems to matter here if the U.S. Supreme Court has anything to say, er, write about it.

Is RBG 'Bound by Law' to Recuse Herself on Travel Ban Case?

While the U.S. Supreme Court eases into the summer recess, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be working overtime on one issue: whether she should recuse herself from the Trump travel ban case.

In a letter to "Madam Justice Ginsburg," three score Republicans have bellowed, "Yes!" Other politicians and pundits say, "No!"

The debate will likely continue through the season, but everyone seems to agree on one point: Ginsburg, by law, will make the decision herself.

Justice Kennedy to Retire -- Again?

Remember when you were a kid, waking up before sunrise to see if Santa Claus had done his job yet?

You probably checked several times throughout the night before the moment finally came. And it did, of course, because Santa Claus was real -- at least until you got older.

So it is with the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Every kid in the press corps has been checking like clockwork to see if he's there yet, and the rumors keep coming.

Wells Fargo's Win on Nevada Lien Law Left Intact by Supreme Court

In a tacit affirmation of another U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision this week, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the appeals court's ruling that Nevada's lien law violated due process rights of mortgage lenders.

The Ninth Circuit said in Bourne Valley Court Trust v. Wells Fargo Bank last year that homeowners' associations should have to give notice to lenders before foreclosing on a property for delinquent dues. The Nevada law allowed the HOA to strip the bank's title without notice, unless the lender "opted-in" beforehand.

"How the mortgage lender, which likely had no relationship with the homeowners' association, should have known to ask is anybody's guess..." the appeals court said. "But this system was not just strange; in our view, it was also unconstitutional."

Supreme Court Won't Hear Handgun Case

Continuing a guarded approach to the Second Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away a case that said people need "good cause" for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public.

The Court left intact Peruta v. County of San Diego, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that said "there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public." As a result, most Californians will have a hard time getting concealed weapons permits.

Gun advocates promptly decried the High Court's action, just as they did when the Ninth Circuit ruled on the case. Justice Clarence Thomas, joined in dissent by Justice Neil Gorsuch, said the Supreme Court should have taken up the appeal.

Religious School Entitled to Public Playground Money

Heralded as a major church-state decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said a church-owned school is entitled to state funds available for playgrounds open to the public.

The decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer marked a turning point in the church-state debate and an ending point for the Court session. The justices have taken a recess for the summer.

Observers called the case a "major" decision under the Free Exercise clause. The decision prompted separate opinions from five justices, who voted 7-2 for the church.