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What cuts Campaign Finance Reform and the First Amendment right down the middle? Why its the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court held that corporate political spending is protected speech under the First Amendment. The controversial decision has dramatically limited the government’s power to enact campaign finance reform. The Facts of the Case Under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), corporations and [...]

Key Abortion Rulings Made By The Supreme Court

Key Abortion Rulings

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to again address the constitutionality of state laws restricting abortion. The state of North Carolina recently announced it would ask the country’s highest court to review a state law that requires pregnant women to undergo ultrasound tests and listen to an anti-abortion message prior to the procedure in regards [...]

Legalized Marijuana in Colorado May Go Up in Smoke

legalized marijuana, donald scarinci, oklahoma, nebraska, colorado, supreme court, Controlled Substances Act, U.S. constitution

Nebraska and Oklahoma are asking the Supreme Court to declare that Colorado violated the U.S. Constitution when it legalized marijuana. The suit, which evokes the Court’s original jurisdiction over disputes between states, specifically alleges that the state’s marijuana law violates the Supremacy Clause by “establish[ing] its own policy that is directly counter to federal policy [...]

Heien v. North Carolina | Donald Scarinci Constitutional Law Reporter

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its first major Fourth Amendment decision of this term. In Heien v. North Carolina, the justices held that a police officer’s reasonable mistake of law can provide reasonable suspicion under the Fourth Amendment and, therefore, did not make a traffic stop illegal. Maynor Javier Vasquez was stopped by police [...]

By Pearson Scott Foresman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to consider another significant First Amendment case. Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. involves whether state governments can limit the messages conveyed on specialty license plates. The Facts of the Case Texas, like many states, allows drivers to choose from a variety of license-plate designs, including [...]

By Intel Free Press [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether you should have paid taxes on your Cyber Monday purchases. The issue before the Court in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl is whether the federal courts can enjoin a tax scheme in Colorado that requires retailers, among other reporting requirements, to send an annual notice to the [...]

"Florida quarter, reverse side, 2004". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Florida_quarter,_reverse_side,_2004.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Florida_quarter,_reverse_side,_2004.jpg

Later this term, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider another case related to campaign finance. This time, in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar the issue is whether a rule of judicial conduct that prohibits candidates for judicial office from personally soliciting campaign funds violates the First Amendment. Petitioner Lanell Williams-Yulee sought election as a County [...]

Image taken from Creative Commons

Presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama have issued executive orders to help facilitate the management of the country. Because such actions are often not expressly authorized by statute, but rather derived from the President’s executive power under the U.S. Constitution, they are subject to legal challenge. In Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, [...]

Yates V. United States

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Yates v. United States. The case involves a Florida fisherman who was convicted of violating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act when he destroyed several dozen undersized fish. The specific issue before the justices is whether the anti-shredding provision of the corporate responsibility law is limited to the destruction [...]

Zemel v. Rusk: Supreme Court Upholds Travel Restrictions

Zemel v. Rusk: Supreme Court Upholds Travel Restrictions

The Ebola scare has raised questions regarding the legal authority of the United States government to institute travel bans from countries in West Africa. In Zemel v. Rusk, the U.S. Supreme Court held that travel restrictions, if made in a non-discriminatory manner, are constitutional when implemented in the interests of national security. Prior to 1961, [...]