Some commentators argue that Brett Kavanaugh will shift the Supreme Court to the right, based on metrics that show him more conservative than retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. But a close look at how Kennedy voted in more than a dozen cases reveals he was far from a “moderate” on criminal procedure—which suggests Kavanaugh might actually move the court towards the center on those issues, writes a former federal prosecutor.
The feds want to prosecute José Garcia Zarate after he was already acquitted in a California court on a murder charge in the Steinle shooting, to underline their hardline immigration policies. But the Court, which is considering another case involving Fifth Amendment protections against double jeopardy, may have the ultimate say.
A new study confirms that widely held impression. Justice Elena Kagan highlighted the issue during a speech in 2014. “Case in and case out,” she said, “the category of litigant who is not getting great representation at the Supreme Court are criminal defendants.”
The New York Times made significant changes to an exclusive report about a potential criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s State Department email account last night after the Clinton campaign complained about the story, Politico reports. The paper initially reported that two inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state.” The clause that cast Clinton as the […]
Every member of the U.S. Supreme Court received free travel in 2014, according to a report by Reity O’Brien, a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity. The news site compiled financial disclosures detailing “the stock holdings, travel, spousal income, gifts and debts of the nine Supreme Court justices (which) show the many ways that the judges can pad their finances.” The site found that, through investments, most justice are millionaires, and all nine were paid to travel. Six of […]
Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the highest-profile death penalty challenge in seven years, and the justices will began to consider this question: Does Oklahoma's use of the common surgical sedative midazolam fail to make prisoners unconscious during lethal injections, thus violating the Eighth Amendment's protection against “cruel and unusual punishment”? For many court watchers, however, a subject of special scrutiny is the credibility of Oklahoma’s key expert witness, Dr. Roswell Lee Evans, who has testified that inmates […]
Can We All Get Along? The question posed by Rodney King over a decade ago in the wake of the Los Angeles riots is still, unfortunately, at the top of the nation's agenda in the wake of the deaths of unarmed young man at the hands of police over the past year. It was the central question of the 2015 Harry Frank Guggenheim Conference on Crime in America, held at John Jay College of Criminal Justice on Feb 9-10, 2015, […]
A blistering dissent from Justice Clarence Thomas to a 7-2 Supreme Court decision not to delay same-sex marriage in Alabama offers the strongest signal yet that gay rights advocates are likely to prevail when the marriage issue is considered by the court this spring, reports the New York Times. Thomas criticized his fellow justices for looking “the other way” as another federal court pushes aside state laws, rather than taking the customary course of leaving the laws in place until […]
William Baude, a University of Chicago law professor, says it is time to cast a light on the U.S. Supreme Court’s secretive “orders docket,” a crucial part of the court’s work that most people don’t know anything about. Writing in the New York Times, Baude explains that work at the Supreme Court is divided into two main categories. One group includes the 70-some cases each year that the court selects for extensive briefing, oral argument and a substantial written opinions. […]