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Four years ago, in Miller v. Alabama, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole were an unconstitutional violation of the Eighth Amendment. Since then, there has been significant debate about Miller's reach: are automatic life without parole sentences verboten only for offenders sentenced after the Court's ruling, or should childhood offenders from long ago be given the opportunity of parole?

Today (while the rest of Washington took the day off to shovel itself out of the snow) the Court settled the debate, ruling that Miller applied retroactively and that all mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional, whether the sentencing took place five days or 50 years ago.

Florida's capital punishment sentencing scheme is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled this morning. In an 8-1 opinion authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Court found that Florida violated the Sixth Amendment by allowing a judge and not a jury to make the final determination over whether a defendant should be put to death.

Florida employs a "hybrid" capital sentencing structure, where a jury recommends the death penalty but a judge decides whether a defendant shall ultimately face execution. Today's ruling rejects that scheme and highlights the central role jurors must play when courts impose the death penalty.

Things aren't looking too good for public sector unions after oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. The case involves ten California teachers who aren't members of the public school teachers' union. While those teachers benefit from the higher wages and better conditions bargained for by the union, they object to the California law which requires them to pay "fair share" fees to the teachers' union to cover the cost of collective bargaining, arguing that the fees violate their First Amendment rights.

At oral arguments on Tuesday, many of the justices seemed set to agree with the teachers, ready to overrule long standing precedent that is relied on by millions of public sector workers across more than 20 states.

Millions of women have had abortions, but their stories are largely private; few share their experiences with the general public, and almost none with the Supreme Court.

But as the High Court prepares to hear arguments over Texas's extremely restrictive abortion regulations, 113 women in law have submitted a virtually unprecedented amicus brief detailing their own experiences with abortion. The goal, the brief explains, is to "inform the Court of the impact" abortion rights have had "on the lives of women attorneys, and, by extension, on this nation."

In 2012, Taylor Bell, a Mississippi high school senior with a spotless disciplinary record, posted a rap song online. The song accused two gym teachers at Itawamba Agricultural High School of sexually harassing female students -- but it also included violent lyrics not uncommon in much gangsta rap. Bell was suspended, sued, and is now petitioning the Supreme Court for cert.

On his side is a host of civil libertarians and students' rights groups filing amici briefs urging the Court to take up Bell's case. Among them is the Atlanta rapper Killer Mike. Killer Mike's amici brief is joined by seven other artists, including T.I. and Big Boi, but his contribution is unique: he, along with three legal scholars, actually wrote the brief. Here's what the rapper had to say to the Supreme Court.

In the dark, snowy winter months ahead, nothing beats sitting down by the fire, cozying up with a cup of tea, and playing the latest oral arguments on your gramophone (or computer). Just let them run in the background as you type away at your desk works as well.

There are plenty of oral arguments to keep you busy in January and February. Seventeen, to be exact. Here are our top six picks.

Obama Admin Asks SCOTUS to Reject Original Juris. Pot Case

The Obama Administration has just asked SCOTUS to reject a lawsuit filed by the states of Oklahoma and Nebraska which both seek to block Colorado's recently approved law legalizing recreational pot use by adults. The two states argue that marijuana is being smuggled across state borders and the drugs threaten the health and safety of their children.

Even with the rejection of the suit, a rather large legal gap would still continue to widen between the illegal status of marijuana in the eyes of the federal government, and its increasingly legal status in many states.

Yesterday, the Court heard arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a challenge to UT's use of race as a factor in admissions decisions. Fisher is one of the most high-profile, contentious cases the Supreme Court will hear this year and oral arguments reflected Fisher's import.

The debate was lively, a bit long, and even controversial, with one Justice's comments on race eliciting audible gasps from the gallery. Here's what you need to know.

Don't bet all your money on a ground-shaking, tradition-breaking ruling in the Supreme Court's 'one person, one vote' cases.

Caution ruled the day at Tuesday's oral arguments, as the Supreme Court debated just how best to ensure equal representation in voting districts. And few of the justices seemed eager to make drastic changes to the districting status quo. Here are the highlights.

It's one of the cornerstones of modern democracy: one person, one vote. But as straight-forward as the phrase sounds, there are some major ambiguities lurking in the wings. Such as, who counts as "one person?" Everyone living in a state? Just American citizens? Just voters?

The Supreme Court will take up those questions when it hears oral arguments for Evenwel v. Abbott on Tuesday, as it decides whether states may use total population or voter population when drawing legislative districts.