DECISION DAY AT SCOTUS | Travel Ban, Church and State, LGBTQ Cases In the Spotlight | To Retire, Or Not To Retire, That Is The Question
June 26, 2017
LAST DAY, LOTTA NEWS|
It’s official, folks — the Supreme Court will hear the travel ban case. The justices also agreed to let parts of PRESIDENT TRUMP’S travel ban go into effect for some travelers, reversing the actions of lower federal courts that had put the policy completely on ice. The Supreme Court’s actions mean much of the travel ban can be enforced for the next several months, at least until the justices hear the case when their new term begins in the fall. However, the court also said that the issue may be moot by the time it hears the case because the 90-day ban will have expired by then.
THE WALL COMES DOWN|
This morning, the wall between church and state was made much easier to climb with the Supreme Court’s ruling that religious institutions should be eligible to receive public funds for purely secular purposes. It is one of the most important rulings on religious rights in decades. The justices ruled 7-2 that Missouri went too far in denying a Lutheran church a competitive state grant for playground resurfacing. The decision could have implications for more than 30 states that block public funds from going to religious organizations. In her dissent, JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR wrote, “If this separation means anything, it means that the government cannot, or at the very least need not, tax its citizens and turn that money over to houses of worship. The court today blinds itself to the outcome this history requires and leads us instead to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment.”
LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE|
This morning, the Supreme Court struck down an Arkansas law that treated same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples on their children’s birth certificates. The justices ruled 6-3, with JUSTICES CLARENCE THOMAS, SAMUEL ALITO and NEIL GORSUCH dissenting. The ruling came down from the court without singling out a justice for its authorship.
CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE CAKE|
The Supreme Court decided today that it will rule on a major case pitting conservative Christian beliefs against gay rights and decide whether some businesses can cite their religious views as a reason for refusing to serve same-sex couples. The justices will hear an appeal from the owner of a Colorado bakery who refused to create and design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
FROM BATHROOMS TO BAKERIES|
Does a baker’s religious belief trump a state’s civil rights protections for LGBTQ people? Vox’s German Lopez covers the cake case SCOTUS just decided to take up and explains how bakeries ended up being at the center of the Supreme Court’s next big case.
PUT YOUR GUN AWAY|
SCOTUS this morning declined to hear a Second Amendment challenge to a California state law that puts strict limits on carrying guns in public, leaving intact a San Diego County policy that requires people to show a special need in order to get a license to carry a concealed handgun outside the home. The court gave no reason for its decision — as is custom — and JUSTICES CLARENCE THOMAS and NEIL GORSUCH dissented. Thomas wrote that the decision, “reflects a distressing trend: the treatment of the Second Amendment as a disfavored right.”
Will he stay or will he go? The speculation over JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY’S impending retirement has reached an all-time high. CNN’s Ariane de Vogue reports that the justice hosted a reunion over the weekend for his former law clerks. She writes, “At the end of a dinner with the former clerks Saturday night, Kennedy addressed the crowd, saying he had heard some speculation about an announcement tonight, ‘and here it is,’ he said: The ‘bar will be open after dinner.'” All jokes aside though, sources close to Kennedy say that he is seriously considering retirement, although they are unclear when it might happen.
In The Sacramento Bee (local newspaper in the hometown of JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY and yours truly), ERWIN CHEMERINSKY weighed in on the possible retirement of the Sacramento-grown justice. He opines, “Few modern justices have had as much influence on constitutional law as Anthony Kennedy. For a long time now, it really has been the Kennedy Court. The question, and likely no one but Kennedy knows, is how long it will continue to be that.”
BELATED IS THE NEW BLACK|
Over the weekend, a couple of our justices celebrated their birthdays in what we can only assume was some serious summertime style. SCOTUSDaily wishes a happy birthday to JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR who turned 63, and to JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS who turned 69.
“Can the family of a slain Mexican teenager sue the federal agent who shot him across the U.S.-Mexico border for damages? The U.S. Supreme Court did not answer this question on Monday, instead opting to send a case back to a lower court.”Bloomberg
“The U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to weigh in to decide once and for all the parameters for when you can go to court and allege that the government has violated your rights by endorsing a religion. Underlying its eventual decision is the question: To what extent does the Constitution protect feelings?”