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Later this term, U.S. Supreme Court will consider its first death penalty case since 2007. The issue in Glossip v. Gross is whether a new sedative used in lethal injections violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The drug at use, in the Glossip v. Gross case — midazolam — was used in several bungled executions, including one widely publicized incident in which the prisoner began speak and move around after being declared unconscious. The Facts of the Case The state of Oklahoma uses three drugs in its lethal injection executions, all [...]

Railroad Commission vs Pullman Co.: The Abstention Doctrine

His arguments in part rest on the abstention doctrine set forth in Railroad Commission vs Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496 (1941).

His arguments in part rest on the abstention doctrine set forth in Railroad Commission vs Pullman Co., 312 U.S. 496 (1941). In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if a state court can readily resolve an issue based on state law, a federal court should not intervene. The Facts of the Case The [...]

Raisins Are Property Too

raisins

In Horne v. Department of Agriculture, the property at issue is raisins. The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to consider whether the government’s Fifth Amendment duty to provide just compensation when it “physically takes possession of an interest in property” applies to personal property. The Facts of the Case California raisin growers Marvin and Laura [...]

U.S. Supreme Court Orders Electronic Filing

New Jersey Lawyers have transitioned to electronic filing last year. Now the U.S. court system is doing the same.

New Jersey Lawyers have transitioned to electronic filing last year. Now the U.S. court system is doing the same. In his end-of-year report, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the Court’s new system will allow the public to access documents filed with the Court, such as petitions, responses to petitions and merit briefs, for free [...]

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that, Holt v Hobbs, the Arkansas Department of Correction’s “no beard” policy violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).

The decision extensively cites Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., confirming that the Roberts Court intends to protect religious freedom, whether it belongs to closely held corporations or a devout Muslim prisoner. The Facts of the Case Gregory H. Holt is an Arkansas inmate serving a life sentence who sought to grow a 1⁄2-inch beard [...]

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The decision of Plessy v Ferguson, which is now viewed as one of the Court’s biggest mistakes, was not overruled until 1954 in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. The Facts of the Case The state of Louisiana enacted a law requiring railway companies carrying passengers to provide equal, but separate, accommodations for [...]

How Will Same-Sex Marriage Bans Shape John Robert’s Court

Opinion on Same-Sex Marriage Bans Will Define Robert Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider four cases involving state law bans on same-sex marriage. After previously sidestepping the historic constitutional and social issue, the justices’ decision is likely to define the Robert Court. In 2013, the Court first addressed same-sex marriage when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in [...]

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 [...]