Is a Recipe for Justice Kennedy a Recipe for Success?

The puns are endless with a case that goes by the name Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The stakes though are no laughing manner. If the Court decides all of the issues brought up in the case, boundaries of the First Amendment doctrine may be rewritten as could the defining lines between religious…

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…

A Tale of Two Constitutional Holdings

The Supreme Court held two state statutes unconstitutional during the the 2015 term*: portions of Florida’s death penalty law in Hurst v. Florida and Texas’ abortion statute in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. While lower court rulings relate to the specific statute(s) dealt with in a case, these decisions have nationwide implications. The Court’s decisions have constitutional…

Quick Note: Supreme Court Stay Applications 2015/2016

The Supreme Court regularly receives applications to stay court orders or mandates pending possible upcoming decisions such as those on certiorari.  Many of these requests are received from inmates on death row looking to stay executions.  Several instances involve multiple applications based around the same underlying cases.  Due to the interest in the stay recently granted in…