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2011-2012 supreme court term

2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in Reichle v. Howards, No. 11-262: Should the Secret Service Have Immunity From Liability for an Alleged Retaliatory Arrest?

April 7, 2012

During oral argument in Reichle v. Howards the justices of the Supreme Court were understandably skeptical about allowing a man to sue a group of Secret Service agents for "retaliation" where there was probable cause for the agents to arrest the man. On the other hand, the Court struggled to find a way not to give the Secret Service [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in Fox v. F.C.C.

March 4, 2012

I described the First Amendment issues that are at stake in this case in yesterday's post. Today's post summarizes what occurred during the government's presentation at oral argument in FCC v. Fox on January 10, 2012. The transcript of oral argument is available here.

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Decision in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp.: Statutory or Constitutional Stare Decisis?

March 1, 2012

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued a decision in Kurns v.  Railroad Friction Products Corp.  This is yet another judicial decision ruling that a piece of federal regulatory legislation should be interpreted to preempt state common law tort claims.  A disturbing element in this case is the willingness of the Court to give precedential effect to a case [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Oral Argument in MBZ v. Clinton

March 1, 2012

Like most of the cases this year, oral argument in this case featured a very active bench.  Justices vigorously questioned both attorneys; my impression is that they were much tougher on the attorney for the petitioner, and much less satisfied with his answers.  I think the President will win.  The question is whether he will [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: MBZ v. Clinton, No. 10-699 (Political Question, Separation of Powers)

February 29, 2012

In 2002 Menachem Binyamin Zivotofsky was born in Jerusalem to American parents.  His parents applied to the State Department for a passport for him and requested that it show his place of birth as âIsrael.â  The State Department instead listed his place of birth as "Jerusalem."  His parents brought this suit on his behalf requesting [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Reichle v. Howards, No. 11-362 (First Amendment)

February 28, 2012

On June 16, 2006, Stephen Howards was arrested by the Secret Service after he said something to Vice-President Richard Cheney and touched or pushed his shoulder, and then lied to them about whether he had done that.  As a result Howards sued several of the Secret Service agents for violating his rights under the First [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: The Respondent's Attack on the Stolen Valor Act at Oral Argument in United States v. Alvarez

February 27, 2012

Yesterday's post described the government's presentation at oral argument in United States v. Alvarez, where the Solicitor General defended the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act.  Today's post summarizes the respondent's argument.  Here is a link to the transcript of the oral argument.

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: The Government's Defense of the Stolen Valor Act at Oral Argument in United States v. Alvarez

February 26, 2012

The principal doctrinal division in this case is whether "false statements of fact" are a "historically unprotected category of speech.  The principal practical division arises from the attempt to identify the "harm" that the government is seeking to prevent by prohibiting people from lying about earning military honors.  Oral argument exposed those divisions.  Today I describe [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Court's Non-Decision in Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California

February 24, 2012

Pffft.  Two days ago the Supreme Court issued its decision in Douglas v. Independent Living Center, a case that promised to answer the undying question whether Article III standing may be premised on the Supremacy Clause – a case only a standing junkie could love.  But nooooo, the Supreme Court found technical reasons not to answer [...]

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2011-2012 Supreme Court Term: Armour v. Indianapolis, Docket No. 11-161

February 19, 2012

One of the constitutional cases that the Supreme Court is currently reviewing is Armour v. Indianapolis, a tax case brought under the Equal Protection Clause. In 2001 the City of Indianapolis assessed Christine Armour and a group of 180 other homeowners a fee of $9,278 to pay for connection to city sewers.  Of this group, [...]

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