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December 2012 Archives

Justice Sotomayor Denies Hobby Lobby Emergency Appeal

Justice Sonia Sotomayor took a break from her holiday downtime last week to deny a Christian retailer’s pleas for protection from the federal government.

In an order issued last Wednesday, Sotomayor said that Hobby Lobby — Oklahoma City billionaire David Green’s for-profit company — did not qualify for an injunction from the Affordable Care Act birth control mandate while the family challenges the requirement in court, Reuters reports.

High Court to Consider 10 Cases in February

Last week, it seemed silly for the Supreme Court to waste time on its February oral argument calendar because -- hello -- the end of the world was scheduled for the end of the week.

But since that turned out to be a big dud, let's take a look at the key issues in the 10 cases on the High Court's post-Valentine's Day docket.

The 12 Days of SCOTUS: Part Tres

That light at the end of the tunnel isn't the Star of Bethlehem, it's the last installment of our 12 Days of SCOTUS.

So let's jump into the final four connections between the most annoying holiday song ever written and the Supreme Court.

The 12 Days of SCOTUS: Part Deux

On Monday, we started wondering what the 12 days of Christmas would look like viewed through the Supreme Court's jurisprudentially-colored glasses. The problem with starting down that rabbit hole is that we can't turn back now.

(No, really. Our editor won't let us.)

Let's keep moving down the countdown, folks. It's our only way out.

The 12 Days of SCOTUS: Part I

What do you get when you cross the Supreme Court with a painfully long beloved Christmas carol? An acute awareness that after more than 200 years, the Court has seen it all.

So come along, boys and girls, as we learn that the drummers drumming and lords-a-leaping aren't quite as innocent in the judicial version of this gift list.

Should Justice Scalia Apologize?

Justice Antonin Scalia moseyed over to Princeton University on Monday to promote "Reading Law." It didn't go too well.

We dare say the only thing anyone will remember from the lecture is a question from a student about Scalia's dissents in Lawrence v. Texas and Romer v. Evans, in which the jurist compared homosexuality to murder, polygamy, and cruelty to animals.

Federal Employee Can Bring Discrimination Claim in District Court

The Supreme Court resolved a narrow, but long-standing circuit conflict this week in Kloeckner v. Solis, a jurisdictional dispute about the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Monday, the Court ruled that a federal employee who claims that an agency action appealable to the MSPB violates an anti-discrimination statute should seek judicial review in district court — not the Federal Circuit — regardless of whether the MSPB decided her case on procedural grounds or on the merits.

Supreme Court Grants Same-Sex Marriage Petitions

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8. The granted cases are U.S. v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, respectively.

If your friends are like ours, these grants will be the only thing you'll talk about this weekend. Here's a primer to get you prepped for the onslaught of questions about these same-sex marriage cases.

Should it Stay or Should it Go? 3 Tips for Constitutional Holiday Cheer

The holidays are upon us! Hanukkah begins this weekend. Christmas trees are popping up around town. Barbara Walters is picking her most fascinating people of the year.

It's truly the most wonderful time of the year ... to discuss the Establishment Clause.

Each year, the debate begins anew: Which holiday traditions are constitutionally-condoned based on the Supreme Court's Establishment Clause rulings? Here are three tips to guide you when spiking publicly-owned spaces with holiday cheer.

Supreme Court Makes a Dam Decision

Temporary flooding can be a taking. And the government can be forced to compensate for it.

That’s the word from the Supreme Court, which ruled in an 8-0 decision that there’s no reason for courts to differentiate flooding from the “myriad other instances of government occupation or invasion of property.”

Supreme Court to Address International Custody Battle Wednesday

Custody disputes are typically state court matters, but the Supreme Court will consider Chafin v. Chafin, an international child custody dispute, on Wednesday.

Jeffrey Chafin is a U.S. Army sergeant who lives in Alabama. Lynne Chafin is his Scottish ex-wife who resides in Glasgow. Lynne and the couple's daughter have lived in Scotland, apart from Jeffrey, since 2007 due to the Jeffrey's job with the military. In 2010, Lynne moved stateside to try to save her marriage. When the couple failed to reconcile, she decided to return to Scotland.

That led to an international custody battle.