Tag: Law

Will the Supreme Court Let Americans Carry Guns for Any Reason?

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case challenging New York’s concealed-carry laws, setting up what could be the court’s first major Second Amendment ruling in a decade. Gun-rights activists and some conservative justices have decried the court for treating the Second Amendment as a “second-class right” in recent years.

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Blame Anthony Kennedy for the Supreme Court’s Mangled Ruling on Juvenile Life Without Parole

On Thursday, the Supreme Court reversed course on its decade-and-a-half-long push to reduce the most serious sentences for prisoners who committed crimes as children. In two previous decisions, the court said that life-without-parole sentences should only be given to juvenile defendants who were truly beyond rehabilitation. But in a 6–3 decision, the court’s conservative bloc took a different approach, holding that states weren’t actually obligated to make such formal findings.

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The Democrats’ Court-Packing Plan Doesn’t Make Any Sense

You can tell that House and Senate Democrats are serious about court-packing by the new bill’s name: the Judiciary Act of 2021. They didn’t burden it with an insufferable acronym, like the Judicial Upkeep, Democracy, Growth, and Expansion, or JUDGE, Act, or something pedantic like the Save Our Courts Act. By connecting it to previous Judiciary Acts that built and expanded the federal courts since 1789, Democrats are trying to suggest that there’s precedent and continuity to their proposal.

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The Supreme Court Could Get Dragged Into the Cancel Culture Wars

The United States has one national Constitution and one national Bill of Rights. But sometimes it feels like this country has two First Amendments. There is the one that was written down in the late eighteenth century and has almost two-and-a-half centuries of jurisprudence built around it. And then there is the folk understanding of the First Amendment in certain circles, where getting banned from Twitter is a free-speech violation beyond anything that George Orwell could have imagined.

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The Supreme Court’s Religious Persecution Complex

Democracies depend on law; authoritarian systems prefer legal theater. In recent cases having to do with religion, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has shown a distinct preference for the latter. This unsubtle turn in the direction of performative justice is among the more disturbing developments in American politics over the past decade. It is evidence of the drift in America’s right flank toward a new authoritarian religious nationalism.

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Texas Wants to Tell California How to Spend Its Money. What Happened to States’ Rights?

It’s been a big term for state-on-state clashes at the Supreme Court. The justices could hand down an opinion any day now in California v. Texas, a major Affordable Care Act case that pitted Republican state attorneys general against their Democratic counterparts over the individual mandate penalty. More recently, and more notoriously, Texas filed a lawsuit directly to the Supreme Court to overturn election results in six states won by President Biden, which the justices unanimously rejected.

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The Obscure Supreme Court Case That Could Radically Redefine Police Powers

Why is the United States so reliant on police officers for basic social services? What societal roles do cops fill other than investigating crimes, arresting suspects, and patrolling communities? And what happens when those roles intersect, or even clash, with their law enforcement duties? Over the past few years, these questions have fueled a national debate over American policing. This week, the Supreme Court also came tantalizingly close to wrestling with all of them.

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