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

August 2018 Archives

A recently released survey about the American public's views on SCOTUS has some interesting, and potentially good news.

First the good news: The survey, conducted by PSB, and reported by C-SPAN, explains that nearly 70 percent of Americans have been following the news of the recent Supreme Court nominations. This is good because it shows the American public is interested in the High Court. This is bolstered by the fact that over 90 percent believe Supreme Court decisions impact their everyday life. And while that might not be that shocking, given how highly politicized the Court has been, since forever, notably the survey found that only a little more than half of Americans believe that the Court is split along partisan grounds.

The United States Supreme Court knows that it is more than just the ultimate arbiter of the law of the land in the United States; it also wields influence worldwide. And though the Court regularly explains that issues involving foreign policy are best left to the legislature and executive, it does not rule in a vacuum cut-off from the rest of the world.

Along with the increase in globalization and e-commerce, cases in U.S. courts have increasingly involved foreign parties, requiring U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, to interpret and consider foreign laws and the impact on U.S. law and individual cases. In addition to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court having a clear global influence on business and immigration, the High Court has also influenced many foreign tribunals, and been influenced.

While John Oliver didn't add a new dog to the Supreme Court when Justice Gorsuch was confirmed, the TV viewing world didn't seem to mind that much. Oliver had his reasons apparently.

And if you're a "dog person" and fan of the Supreme Court (or vice versa), then you might want to check out the John Oliver pieces as well as the hours upon hours of YouTube videos that people have uploaded using the Last Week Tonight Supreme Court dogs dubbed to real oral arguments. Don't worry, Justice Alito and the others are enjoying it too.

Below you can read about a few of the dogs that Supreme Court Justices have owned.

A recent talk before an Eighth Circuit conference gave us all some insight into the day-to-day life of the youngest member of the High Court.

In a panel discussion with Eighth Circuit Chief Judge Lavenski Smith, Gorsuch described his usual daily routine. He also expressed some views on how the media focuses too much on the close cases rather than the unanimous decisions.

Justice Gorsuch also explained that despite all the disagreements, the Justices share a rather "collegial atmosphere," he stated: "just because you disagree doesn't mean you have to be disagreeable."

The Polls Aren't Kind to Kavanaugh, So?

Federal judges are not supposed to be chosen by popular vote, but that doesn't stop the pollsters.

And according to several polls, Brett Kavanaugh is not the people's choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. That will not likely stop President Trump from applauding his pick, however.

In the end, it all comes down to numbers in the Senate, not in the polls. Still, here's a look at why Kavanaugh is the most unpopular Supreme Court nominee in three decades.

Are you at a loss with what you're going to do on Labor Day? If your office isn't closed, it'll certainly be quiet. And if you're trying to avoid labor on Labor Day, here's one potentially relaxing idea: Watch a documentary.

And if you're looking for a documentary to watch, CNN has a supreme one for you. The Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary, creatively named "RBG," will make its television premier on CNN Monday September 3.

Kavanaugh Confirmation Battle Starts Early

If all goes well for Brett Kavanaugh, he should be seated on the U.S. Supreme Court by the time it opens for business in October.

The Senate Judiciary Committee set September 4 for his confirmation hearing, which should take about four days. The committee has also reviewed about 10,000 pages of judicial opinions from his tenure on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

With politics kicking in, however, the confirmation battle is heating up. It includes a debate over documents from Kavanaugh's days as a White House lawyer more than a decade ago.

No Surprise, Sotomayor Is a 'No' on Execution

It was really no surprise that Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented in the lastest death penalty case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Sotomayor expressed her views on it long before she made it to the highest court. In 1981, she signed an internal memo for an organization opposing the death penalty.

Conservatives jumped on it during her confirmation hearing in 2009, but of course that went nowhere. Now she's in the driver's seat, even if her colleagues don't see it.

While it is no secret that United States Supreme Court confirmation hearings can be hotly contested and highly partisan, nominee Brett Kavanaugh might be facing a particularly contentious one.

Interestingly, democrats in the Senate have pushed to obtain records of Kavanaugh's work as a government official, but have been denied. However, recent headlines indicate that the Senate has utilized FOIA requests to obtain those records, which is an unprecedented move and a move that might delay things for Kavanaugh.

The SCOTUS term may have ended, but that doesn't mean you have to stop reading about the most powerful court in the country. Every year, new books are published that highlight various aspects of the Court's history, the Justices' lives, and the cases that get decided.

And while you might not be able to bill for reading biographies, memoirs, and historical texts, if the High Court is a subject of interest to you, some of the following books might make for some good SCOTUS off-season reading.

Recently, the topic of increasing the number of justices on the High Court has come up again -- as it tends to every few years. And, naturally, there's no shortage of bad ideas.

The concept of court-packing involves Congress changing the rules to allow the president to appoint more justices. Currently, the president is capped at nine, but Congress could change that, and ideas abound. But perhaps the most troubling problem with a court-packing scheme like this would be the potential, and likelihood, of a snowball effect (on top of a slippery slope).

For instance, if the Republicans, who are in control now, were to do so, when the Democrats regained power, it's very likely that the same tactic would be employed to gain a liberal majority on the High Court. This process would continue to repeat until the High Court was unwieldy in size and a public joke.