Home Daily News Bias in jury selection is back before Supreme… U.S. Supreme Court By Debra Cassens Weiss Posted November 7, 2018, 12:07 pm CST sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com Lawyers for two death-row inmates are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide questions of racial bias in jury selection. Last Friday, the court accepted the case of Curtis Flowers, a black Mississippi inmate who has been tried six times for a 1996 quadruple murder at a furniture store, according to the Associated Press, the Clarion Ledger and APM Reports. The prosecutor in Flowers’ six trials used the “overwhelming majority” of his peremptory strikes to exclude potential black jurors, according to the Clarion Ledger. In a second case, lawyers for a black death-row inmate in California contend prosecutors used a question about O.J. Simpson’s murder trial as a tool to exclude blacks from juries, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The newspaper dubs the question the “O.J. … [Read more...] about Bias in jury selection is back before Supreme Court; is ‘OJ strategy’ a Batson violation?
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Home Daily News Will abortion controversies get Supreme Court… U.S. Supreme Court By Debra Cassens Weiss Posted October 26, 2018, 1:10 pm CDT Several abortion cases working their way through the courts could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, although it’s unclear whether the court will want to take up the politically charged issue at this time. Currently before the court are cert petitions filed by Kansas and Louisiana that contend states should be allowed to deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, report the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Indiana, meanwhile, has filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to uphold a law requiring the burial of fetal remains and banning abortions based on gender, race or disability. NWI.com has coverage. More cases “are headed inexorably toward the high court,” according to USA Today. At issue are limits on the timing, methods and providers of abortion. Some cases involve abortion-clinic requirements similar to … [Read more...] about Will abortion controversies get Supreme Court hearing? Planned Parenthood funding cases await action
Home Daily News Supreme Court is asked to rule Oregon bakers… U.S. Supreme Court By Debra Cassens Weiss Posted October 23, 2018, 4:20 pm CDT Shutterstock.com. The former owners of an Oregon bakery are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to accept their appeal and decide that they had a First Amendment right to refuse to bake a custom cake for a same-sex wedding. The Oct. 19 cert petition filed on behalf of Melissa and Aaron Klein says they refused to bake the cake because of their religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, report SCOTUSblog and the Oregonian. The Kleins are represented by the First Liberty Institute, which posted a press release and a case summary. The decision could resolve a broader question that the Supreme Court didn’t settle in its Masterpiece Cakeshop decision involving a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The narrow decision, issued in June, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated baker Jack … [Read more...] about Supreme Court is asked to rule Oregon bakers had a right to refuse to make cake for same-sex wedding
Home Daily News Supreme Court to decide whether public access… Media & Communications Law By Debra Cassens Weiss Posted October 15, 2018, 1:50 pm CDT Image from Shutterstock. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the operator of a public-access TV channel is a state actor who can be sued by two producers for an alleged First Amendment violation. The case raises a broader question of whether private property can be a public forum, according to Howe on the Court and the Constitution Daily. The two producers had argued the Manhattan Neighborhood Network was a public forum, and their First Amendment rights were violated when it stopped airing their video. The network is owned by the Manhattan Community Access Corp., a private nonprofit, which said the video had harassing and threatening language directed at MNN staff, according to the cert petition. The court accepted the case on Friday; the SCOTUSblog case page is here. The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court … [Read more...] about Supreme Court to decide whether public access channel can be sued for First Amendment violation
A short-handed Supreme Court will take the bench again on Monday to gavel in a term that has been totally eclipsed by the raging battle over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh.Back in July when President Donald Trump announced that he would nominate Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, a move that would cement a conservative majority for decades to come, Republicans hoped that Kavanaugh would be seated for the start of the new term.That all changed when Christine Blasey Ford came forward with allegations of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh vehemently denies. Now Kavanaugh's confirmation, which seemed certain a few weeks ago, has been thrown into question.So for the second time in recent years, Chief Justice John Roberts will find himself having to navigate the docket with only eight justices.That means he will proceed gingerly, perhaps delaying some pending petitions to hear cases, examining existing cases to see if more narrow avenues of agreement are … [Read more...] about Supreme Court begins new term in shadow of Kavanaugh fight