Category Archives: Supreme Court

Constitutional Law Experts Endorse Democrats’ Bill to Create 18-Year Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices

They called it “a critical piece in prescribing how our country’s leaders can work to depoliticize the Supreme Court and its confirmation process.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-23-2020

Constitutional law experts on Friday endorsed a bill that would create 18-year term limits for U.S. Supreme Court Justices. (Photo: Matt Wade/flickr/cc)

Over two dozen constitutional law experts on Friday endorsed legislation recently introduced by a trio of House Democrats that would establish 18-year term limits for U.S. Supreme Court justices.

The endorsement letter (pdf) signed by professors and scholars across the country, along with a former U.S. senator and a former chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court, comes as the Senate GOP is trying to confirm right-wing Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s third nominee to the high court, before the November general election. Continue reading

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Warning Fundamental Rights and American Lives at Stake, 5,000+ Lawyers Urge Senate to Reject Barrett

“Rushing to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett will cause irreparable damage to the public’s faith in the Supreme Court, the rule of law, and our democracy.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-9-2020

Photo:massmatt/flickr/CC

Ahead of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings scheduled to start Monday, more than 5,000 lawyers issued an open letter Friday urging senators to “defend the lives and fundamental rights of all Americans” by refusing to confirm President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Congressional leaders and the White House have been locked in a political battle over the high court’s empty seat since the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg  in September. Rights advocates have raised alarm about Barrett’s “extreme ideology”—as the lawyers put it—since even before Trump officially announced her nomination. Continue reading

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Successful GOP Repeal of ACA Would Strip Health Coverage From Millions and Give Top 0.1% a Massive Tax Cut—During a Pandemic

“If Trump gets the Supreme Court to strike down ACA, the richest 0.1% would get a tax cut of $198,000 a year, and Big Pharma would get a tax cut of $2.8 billion. But millions of seniors would pay billions more for prescription drugs, and 20 million would lose their health insurance.”

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-6-2020

Health Care Reform Law Protests at the US Supreme Court in 2012. Photo: Elvert Barnes/CC

New research released Tuesday shows that if the Supreme Court next month sides with the Trump administration and 18 state attorneys general seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million people would lose health insurance and millions more would be forced to pay more for healthcare—in the middle of a pandemic—while Big Pharma and the richest 0.1% would enjoy major tax cuts.

“The stakes in this case, always extraordinarily high”—wrote Tara Straw and Aviva Aron-Dine in one of several reports (pdf) published this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)—”are even higher now amidst a global pandemic and an economic crisis that has caused more people to lose health insurance and become eligible for help from the ACA.” Continue reading

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Indigenous Leaders Furious After EPA Grants Oklahoma Control Over Sovereign Tribal Lands

“We must fight back against this underhanded ruling,” said one Indigenous leader. “In the courts, on the frontlines and in the international courts, life itself is at stake.”

By Brett Wilkins, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-5-2020

The Oklahoma State Capitol is the only one in the nation containing a working oil rig on its grounds. (Photo: duggar11/Flickr cc)

In a little-noticed development last week that drew ire after being reported Monday, the Trump administration’s EPA granted the state of Oklahoma wide-ranging environmental regulatory control on nearly all tribal lands in the state, stripping dozens of tribes of their sovereignty over critical environmental issues.

The Young Turks which first reported the news, obtained a copy of an October 1 letter (pdf) from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler granting a request by Republican Gov. J. Kevin Stitt for control of environmental regulations on tribal land on a wide range of issues, including: Continue reading

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Unlike US, Europe picks top judges with bipartisan approval to create ideologically balanced high courts

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 21 called on the Republican-controlled Senate not to confirm a new justice until the next president is in office. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

David Orentlicher, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court immediately sparked a bitter partisan fight.

But choosing judges for the nation’s highest court doesn’t have to be so polarizing.

In some European countries, judicial appointments are designed to ensure the court’s ideological balance, and the entire process, from nomination to confirmation, is generally not seen as partisan. By choice and by law, high court justices in those places work together to render consensus-based decisions. Continue reading

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‘Knives Out on SCOTUS’: Patriotic Millionaires Open Letter Pushes Senate Dems to Fight ‘Nakedly Illegitimate’ Nomination Attempt

Citing Trump’s signals that he may try to remain in office regardless of the election results, the group tells lawmakers, “to be clear, you no longer have the option to stand idly by and wait for things to ‘play out.'”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-25-2020

Judge Amy Coney Barrett during her Circuit Court confirmation hearing. Screenshot: C-SPAN

Ahead of reporting Friday that President Donald Trump has selected Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Patriotic Millionaires launched a “Knives Out on SCOTUS” campaign pressuring Senate Democrats to fight back against “morally-bankrupt Republican hypocrites” in the chamber who are trying to “hand a far-right ideologue a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court just days before the most divisive and consequential election in American history.”

The group’s open letter, which Americans are urged to sign, comes after a week of mobilizing in response to Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell (R-Ky.) vowing after Ginsburg’s death that they were committed to nominating and voting on her replacement before November 3. The letter demands that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and members of the Democratic Caucus “use every possible procedural tool” at their disposal “to disrupt and delay this public fraud.” Continue reading

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Dismissing Need for Abortion Access, Ted Cruz Claims Pregnancy Is Not ‘Life-Threatening’—Despite Alarming Maternal Mortality Rate in US

“Ted Cruz has never been pregnant and clearly knows nothing about maternal mortality rates in the U.S. or in Texas.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-3-2020

Photo: Mikasi/cc/flickr

Reproductive rights advocates rebuked Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday after he claimed that pregnancy is “not a life-threatening” condition for women while arguing that medication abortions should not be available in the United States.

After joining 20 of his GOP colleagues in writing a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calling on the agency to ban mifepristone and misoprostol, which are used in early pregnancy to induce an abortion, the Texas Republican tweeted that the pills are “dangerous” and unnecessary for women’s health. Continue reading

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Amid Pandemic, Trump Petitions Supreme Court to Make Potential Covid-19 Exposure ‘the Price of Abortion Care’

“We’ve already blocked this policy in two federal courts—and we plan to do so again,” said the ACLU.

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-26-2020

President Donld Trump petitioned the Supreme Court to reinstate an FDA rule mandating a doctor’s office visit for patients to obtain mifepristone, which is used to terminate an early pregnancy. (Photo: Robin Marty/Flickr)

Potentially subjecting patients to Covid-19 risks in the interest of violating the constitutional right to seek an abortion, President Donald Trump on Wednesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate a rule requiring patients to see a doctor in person before obtaining a medication used to provide abortion care.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit last month to suspend the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) restriction on behalf of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), New York State Academy of Family Physicians, and other reproductive healthcare providers and rights groups. Continue reading

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Mail-in voting does not cause fraud, but judges are buying the GOP’s argument that it does

Protesters against passage of a bill to expand mail-in voting during a Nevada Republican Party demonstration, August 4, 2020, in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Penny Venetis, Rutgers University Newark

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee filed lawsuits recently against New Jersey and Nevada to prevent expansive vote-by-mail efforts in those states.

These high-profile lawsuits make the same argument that Republicans have made in many lesser-known lawsuits that were filed around the country during the primary season. In all of these lawsuits, Republicans argue that voting by mail perpetuates fraud – an argument President Donald Trump makes daily, on various media platforms. Continue reading

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Prohibited From Holding Police Officer to Account, Federal Judge Calls on Supreme Court to Overturn ‘Qualified Immunity’

“Those who violate the constitutional rights of our citizens must be held accountable. When that day comes we will be one step closer to that more perfect Union.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-7-2020

Image: change.org

Handing down a ruling to dismiss a civil lawsuit which alleged a police officer violated a Black man’s Fourth Amendment rights during a traffic stop in 2013, a federal judge in Mississippi made clear that he sided with the plaintiff—and demanded the U.S. Supreme Court overturn legal precedent that makes it nearly impossible for the judicial system to hold officers accountable for rights violations. 

Calling for an end to qualified immunity, which dates back to a 1982 ruling and shields police from civil liability in most cases, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves turned his ruling into a plea for justice for plaintiff Clarence Jamison as well as countless other Black Americans who have faced violent abuse and deadly use of force by officers. Continue reading

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