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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, [...]

Purcell v. Gonzalez

After a federal judge the concluded the Texas voter identification law placed an unconstitutional burden on the rights of minority voters, the U.S. Supreme Court inexplicably issued an emergency order giving it the green light. While the justices may ultimately strike down the law, it appears the majority believed their hands were tied when it [...]

"Ebola virus particles" by Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine - PLoS Pathogens, November 2008 direct link to the image description page doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000225. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ebola_virus_particles.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Ebola_virus_particles.jpg

New York and New Jersey are currently imposing mandatory quarantines to stop the spread of Ebola. The U.S. Supreme first recognized the authority of the states to exercise their police power to protect the public health in 1905. The case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, remains the leading authority on the scope of government authority to enforce [...]

Republican River

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, which involves a tri-state dispute over water rights to the Republican River. While the subject matter of the suit largely boils down to a very high-profile breach of contract, the case is unique because it invokes the Court’s original jurisdiction. Most [...]

Vacco v. Quill: The Right to Die and the U.S. Constitution

Vacco v. Quill

The planned death of a 29-year-old California woman with brain cancer has placed the legality of “death with dignity” laws back in the spotlight. Brittany Maynard, who moved to Oregon where physician assisted suicide is legal, is using her remaining days to voice her support for the ability of terminally ill patients to decide when [...]