Early Term Decisions

The Supreme Court released two more decisions today in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc. and Salman v. United States. Both were unanimous – the Samsung decision written by Justice Sotomayor and Salman by Justice Alito.  This brings the total number of authored decisions so far this Term to four. All were unanimous and the only separate opinion was a concurrence by…

Will the Election Help Normalize Business at the Supreme Court?

Prior to the Presidential Election there was profound uncertainty about the future of the Court.  Before election night many believed Clinton would take the presidency and the democrats would look to move on the Garland nomination or otherwise nominate another candidate to the Supreme Court.  With the Trump victory an entirely new chapter will be…

The Supreme Court and the Next Generation of Executive Power Cases

Over the past several months an entirely new class of executive power-related concerns have percolated through the national media and have begun burgeoning in federal courts.  Prior to the election of President-Elect Trump, few knew about the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution and how it could be violated.  Just this morning Trump’s comments on Twitter…

An Alternate Take on Trump’s Potential Supreme Court Nominees

Making sense out of who Donald Trump may nominate to the Supreme Court is a very different exercise than doing the same for Hillary Clinton.  Trump, unlike Clinton, is not a career politician, and he has campaigned on a platform designating himself as an outsider looking to reform the Washington establishment.  Trump’s list of potential…

Immediate Effect of the Election on the Court and the Justices

The Justices have languished for months with the uncertainty of who will fill the empty seat on the Court.  This uncertainty will by no means end soon, but the impending election and the election itself may have had a cathartic effect on the Justices.  There is now greater likelihood that the empty seat will be…

Supreme Obstruction and the 2016 Senatorial Election Mandate

Let’s begin with a few political facts. Presidential elections are held every four years. Senatorial elections are held every two. Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life (Article III of the Constitution actually provides that federal judges “shall hold their offices during good behavior” but this has become synonymous with life tenure). These terms of…

Under the Radar With GVRs

A regular yet often overlooked practice in the Supreme Court is the grant, vacate remand or GVR.  A GVR is a summary disposition where, generally (although not always) based on a plenary decision, the Court grants certiorari in a case, vacates the lower court’s decision, and remands the case back to the lower court based…

The Supreme Court’s Gender Balance

The Supreme Court heard five oral arguments this week. This was one of the two weeks with five arguments scheduled on the Supreme Court’s argument calendar so far in the 2016 Term. All other weeks in the first three argument sessions have fewer scheduled arguments. By comparison, the Justices heard six arguments in two of…

We Need Nine (Or Do We): A Slice of Supreme Court History

The Supreme Court is in the midst of a critical juncture.  For perhaps the first time since FDR was President, there is serious discussion regarding how many justices should sit on the Supreme Court.  Roosevelt tried and failed to add as many as six more seats to the Supreme Court in 1937.  The last time…

Narrowing Down Clinton’s Choices For Supreme Court Nominee

Let’s begin with a short timeline.  Justice Scalia passed away on February 13, 2016.  On March 16, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.  Then on May 18th, Donald Trump set forth a list of 11 individuals he viewed as potential Supreme Court nominees if he should win the presidency.  On September…

The Great Supreme Court Debate

One of, if not the main duty of the Supreme Court is safeguarding Constitutional guarantees.  Is the Court, however, the most important political branch of the government as well? For those who followed the Third Presidential Debate one could surely surmise such was and is the case.  From a rule of law perspective, the Court’s…