SCOTUS NOT READY TO RULE ON DEATH PENALTY | Justices Dodge DACA | Abortion And Free Speech At 1 First Tomorrow
March 19, 2018
NOT READY TO MAKE NICE|
The Supreme Court refused again today to consider the constitutionality of America’s death penalty system. The justices denied a case out of Arizona in which lawyers asked the high court to strike down the capital punishment system in both Arizona and the country broadly. The court’s action was unsigned but JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER wrote a 10-page concurrence laying out possible grounds for declaring Arizona’s system as unconstitutional but noted that the factual record for such a case was not yet fully developed. The three other liberal justices on the court agreed with this opinion.
YOU COULD BE MY ENEMY AND YOU COULD BE MY JUDGE|
SCOTUS agreed today to decide whether federal immigration law gives the government the power to indefinitely detain any noncitizen it is considering deporting if the person previously committed certain crimes. The case comes as a class-action ruling out of California that held immigrants who served time in local and state jails may be released if they pose no danger to the public and are not likely to flee. This sets up a clash between sanctuary cities and the Trump administration that will likely be considered by the high court next fall.
DREAM ON, DRIVE ON|
The justices decided to steer clear of a fight over DACA, refusing today to let Arizona deny driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants protected from deportation under the policy. The court refused to hear an appeal from Republicans of a lower court ruling that barred the state from denying those licenses to Dreamers.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT & ABORTION, A LOVE STORY|
“For years, abortion-rights advocates have used the First Amendment as a weapon to challenge laws that require doctors to display an ultrasound or describe a fetus in detail to a patient. Now it’s the anti-abortion side that says its speech rights are being violated.” That’s Greg Stohr with Bloomberg previewing tomorrow’s Supreme Court case where justices will hear arguments on a California law that forces licensed pregnancy-counseling clinics that promote childbirth to tell patients that they may be eligible for free or discounted abortions. These pregnancy centers, though, say such a law forces them to advertise a procedure that their entire operation was built to avoid.
THE FIRST AND FINEST|
Richard Wolf with USA Today notes that although the Supreme Court made abortion legal nationwide in 1973 and has struck down state regulations that block access to the procedure, the court has also held firm in its support of free speech rights in a number of recent cases. Wolf writes, “That makes it likely the justices will not favor California’s law, which also requires that unlicensed pregnancy centers clearly state and advertise that they are not medical providers.”
The justices today gave the green light to two class-action lawsuits from residents of Flint, Michigan pursuing civil rights claims against local and state officials over lead contamination in the city’s water supply. Lawrence Hurley with Reuters reports.
AN ABDICATION OF DUTY|
In The New York Times, Adam Liptak notes that the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority might have found an unlikely ally: the Trump administration. A Supreme Court appeal from victims of terrorist attacks in Israel took a long, long time for input from the administration, which ultimately sided with the P.L.O., not the victims of the attacks. Liptak: “This did not sit well with THEODORE B. OLSON, a lawyer for the victims who served as solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration. In a brief filed last week, Mr. Olson called the administration’s position ‘astonishing’ and ‘disturbingly disingenuous.'” In his brief, Olson used unusually harsh words when he criticized the solicitor general’s response to the appeal and said, “The United States’ argument that this court should not address this issue is, to put it bluntly a blatant abdication of duty.” The justices meet in private next week to discuss whether to hear the case, Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization, some 13 months after the plaintiffs filed their petition seeking review.
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider rolling back the wide latitude federal agencies are given to interpret their own regulations in a case that could have bolstered President Donald Trump’s push toward deregulation and curbing agency power.”Bloomberg
“Climate change is profoundly unfair: By failing to address it, today’s leaders are imposing what could prove to be an unbearable burden on future generations. But how can they be made to recognize the danger and act? Using the U.S. legal system, a group of children has found a novel way to do so.”The Wall Street Journal
“Sveen v. Melin is the first Contract Clause case to appear before the high court in more than 25 years. By accepting this case, the justices may be signaling a willingness to restore the clause, which has fallen into disuse, to its historical vigor.”