New Report Reveals Public Schools Lavishing Justices With Expensive Perks And Gifts
March 24, 2020
Fix the Court today released a report that reveals Supreme Court justices are accepting expensive perks from public colleges and universities, including expensive travel and hotel accommodations like a private jet flight for JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS, and gifts like a box seat for JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN at a Wisconsin game. FTC’s Executive Director, GABE ROTH, said in a statement, “Given that basic transparency measures are anathema to the Supreme Court and its justices, we must use every available tool to ensure the nine are not flouting ethical standards. At minimum, we’d know much more about justices’ transportation and lodging costs and the types of gifts they’re receiving if they adhered to the reporting rules followed by members of Congress and top executive branch staff. Until they do, or until Congress makes them, we’ll keep digging.” Read the full report for more details.
A SIGN OF THE TIMES|
“The Supreme Court on Monday issued its first opinions of the coronavirus-era without taking the bench — departing from long-standing tradition. Instead, the court posted its rulings on four fully-argued cases online, with the justices forgoing the usual public reading of opinion summaries in the ornate courtroom across from the Capitol.” Josh Gerstein with POLITICO reports on the high court’s break with tradition and notes that the arguments that were supposed to happen this week have been postponed indefinitely.
COPY, PASTE, POST|
Its series of decisions shared virtually yesterday included a ruling that states may abolish a common form of the insanity defense, that an entrepreneur suing Comcast for race discrimination must meet a demanding standard, and that states are immune from claims of copyright infringement. Rather than being shared from the bench per tradition, the justices’ opinions were published online in five-minute intervals.
YO HO, YO HO A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME|
Nina Totenberg with NPR reports on the Supreme Court’s decision to allow states to abandon the insanity defense for accused criminals, upholding a Kansas law that “essentially allows consideration of mental status only at the sentencing phase of a trial.” Totenberg also reports on the high court’s unanimous decision to side with the state of North Carolina over a copyright dispute involving the documentation of a famous pirate ship. She writes, “Although the decision had more to do with mundane copyright law than the law of the high seas, it was a victory for states claiming immunity from copyright infringement lawsuits.”
NO GOING BACK|
Alexander Mallin, Luke Barr and Devin Dwyer with ABC News report on how the coronavirus is crippling courts “as judges, attorneys and defendants try to come to grips with how to achieve justice under the law while balancing public safety concerns amid a pandemic.” They interviewed former and current judges, attorneys and public defenders to learn more about COVID-19’s impact on their work, and learned that experts expect the pandemic could permanently change the judicial landscape.