Tag: U.S. Supreme Court

Crowdsourced Redistricting »

Last Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a Wisconsin case that would overturn a highly gerrymandered State Assembly redistricting map that heavily favors Republicans. The Court plans to hear arguments next fall, and it is expected that it will be closely divided. (New York Times, “Justices Take up Gerrymandering Based on...
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“The Slants” Win on Free Speech »

In Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down an important First Amendment decision. This case dealt with a band’s application for federal trademark registration of the band’s name, “The Slants.” The Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) denied the application based on 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage ....
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SCOTUS Slaps Patent Trolls »

In a unanimous decision (TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC), the U.S. Supreme Court gave a kick in the rear to patent trolls. The Verge has this article on the case. Patent trolls obtain patents not for the purpose of producing an invention or a technology but to license and enforce the patents. In other...
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Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices? »

Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution provides that “Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour ...” The result is that instead of choosing Justices on the basis of their experience, maturity and gravitas, there is a premium on packing the Court with youngsters who...
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Friedrichs v. CTA Could End Compulsory Union Dues »

On January 11, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), a potentially landmark case. If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the financial strength and political clout of government employee unions across the country could be diminished greatly. Ten California teachers and a teachers’ group,...
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Justices Breyer and Ginsburg Would Hold the Death Penalty Unconstitutional »

Today, the Supreme Court in an ongoing effort to micromanage state laws and procedures reviewed whether a certain chemical cocktail used by Oklahoma in executions is constitutional. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rejected the challenge to the use of the chemical midazolam. What is especially of interest is a dissenting opinion in which...
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Cy pres in Class Action Lawsuits: Alive and Well? »

Last Friday an Illinois court resurrected a previously overturned $10.1 billion tobacco verdict, sending the case back to Madison County, Ill., for a possible retrial. According to Yahoo! News carrying the AP story: In 2003, now-retired Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron found that Philip Morris misled customers about “light” and “low tar” cigarettes...
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“Uncle Jay” on Obama’s New GM and Supreme Court Nominee »

Here is “Uncle Jay” this week on Obama’s new corporatist GM (a.k.a., Government Motors) and nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court:

Another Erosion of the Fourth Amendment »

The Supreme Court has recently watered down the exclusionary rule in a decision that has affirmed a conviction even where there was a bad warrant and faulty arrest. Now evidence obtained through negligence will be admissable, meaning that police have less reason to be careful in their investigations, searches and arrests. The exclusionary rule...
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