The U.S. Supreme Court’s right-wing majority on Thursday severely curtailed protections for “waters of the United States.”
The decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “unanimous in result but very split in reasoning,” explainedSlate‘s Mark Joseph Stern. “The upshot of Sackett is that, by a 5–4 vote, the Supreme Court dramatically narrows” which wetlands are covered by the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“Today’s decisions should be commended for recognizing that the rules we apply to the internet should foster free expression, not suppress it,” said the deputy director of ACLU’s National Security Project.
Alongside its partners, the ACLU “filed amicus briefs in both cases urging the court to ensure online platforms are free to promote, demote, and recommend content without legal risk in order to protect political discourse, cultural development, and intellectual activity,” the group noted in a statement.
The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will hear a challenge to a nearly 40-year administrative law precedent under which judges defer to federal agencies’ interpretation of ambiguous statutes—a case that legal experts warn could result in judicial power grabs and the gutting of environmental and other regulations.
The Supreme Court said it will take up Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo—a case in which fishing companies are seeking to strike down the Chevron doctrine, named after the landmark 1984 Chevron USA v. Natural Resources Defense Council ruling that conservatives have long sought to overturn. The case is one of the most cited precedents in administrative law.
In what voting rights advocates called a “blatant attack on democracy,” the North Carolina Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling that allows partisan gerrymandering, reversing earlier decisions that outlawed rigged maps.
The ruling enables North Carolina Republicans to redraw state and U.S. congressional districts in a self-serving way. This has major national implications because it paves the way for the GOP to expand its narrow U.S. House majority in 2024 and potentially beyond.
A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, earned $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.
Sullivan Roberts earned the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota on Monday signed one of the nation’s most draconian abortion bans into law, just weeks after the state’s GOP lawmakers shot down a proposal to provide free school lunches to low-income students.
The new forced pregnancy law, which takes immediate effect, prohibits abortion care in nearly all cases. Abortion is allowed in cases of rape or incest, but only during the first six weeks of pregnancy—before many people realize they are pregnant. Abortion is also allowed without gestational limits if terminating a pregnancy could prevent the pregnant person’s “death or a serious health risk.”
“The high court’s decision is a major victory for communities across the country that are fighting to hold Big Oil accountable and make them pay for the climate damages they knowingly caused,” said one advocate.
Campaigners and frontline communities celebrated Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear five appeals from major fossil fuel companies hoping to shift climate liability cases from state to federal court, where polluters are more likely to prevail.
“Big Oil companies have been desperate to avoid trials in state courts, where they will be forced to defend their climate lies in front of juries, and today the Supreme Court declined to bail them out,” said Center for Climate Integrity president Richard Wiles.
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.
From Florida and Texas to California and Illinois, demonstrators marched with chants like, “Red state, blue state, you can’t hide, the war on abortion is nationwide,” and “Fascist judges make me ill, hands off the abortion pill.”
As legal fights raise concerns about the future accessibility of the abortion medication mifepristone, reproductive rights supporters on Saturday rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court and in cities across the country.
The demonstrations came a day after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a recent ruling by Texas-based federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who struck down the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs often taken in tandem for abortions.
Democracy defenders on Monday sharply criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s agreement to place the country’s National Guard under the control of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right extremist who has advocated the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
Netanyahu’s move is in exchange for a promise from Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party to remain in the prime minister’s governing coalition despite an earlier threat to exit if Netanyahu delayed a highly controversial judicial overhaul. Facing massive street protests and a general strike by the nation’s largest trade union, Netanyahu agreed on Monday to postpone the legislation until April or early May. Continue reading →