supreme court

U.S. Supreme Court
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How will Brett Kavanaugh rule as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court? That question is being considered by conservatives and liberals alike. 

United States Capitol Building
Liam James Doyle/NPR

In an unusual weekend session, the U.S. Senate advances to a final vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Watch the proceedings live.

In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. And when he offered to lend Donald Trump his own much-read and dog-eared pocket Constitution, his gesture perfectly encapsulated the feelings of millions by challenging Trump's call to stop Muslims from entering the U.S.

In response, Trump questioned the Khan's motives and religion, even though they are Gold Star parents whose son was killed in Iraq. Today, Donald Trump is president and Khizr Khan is the author of a new book, "An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice" – just out in paperback. He has also written a book for young readers entitled, "This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father."

Khan was in Albany, New York to participate in New York State Writers Institute's Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany.

With the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court has never before been more central in American life. It is the nine justices who too often now decide the controversial issues of our time—from abortion and same-sex marriage, to gun control, campaign finance and voting rights.

The Court is so crucial that many voters in 2016 made their choice based on whom they thought their presidential candidate would name to the Court. Donald Trump picked Neil Gorsuch—the key decision of his new administration. The next justice—replacing Anthony Kennedy—will be even more important, holding the swing vote over so much social policy. Is that really how democracy is supposed to work?

David A. Kaplan is the former legal affairs of Newsweek, where he covered the Court for a decade. His other books include "The Silicon Boys," "The Accidental President," and "Mine’s Bigger." A graduate of Cornell and the New York University School of Law, he teaches courses in journalism and ethics at NYU.

His new book is "The Most Dangerous Branch: Inside the Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution."

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the New York Times editorial, which discusses the "resistance" within the Trump Administration. Dr. Chartock also discusses day two of the Senate confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The struggle to desegregate America's schools was a grassroots movement, and young women were its vanguard. In the late 1940s, parents began to file desegregation lawsuits with their daughters, forcing Thurgood Marshall and other civil rights lawyers to take up the issue and bring it to the Supreme Court. After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, girls far outnumbered boys in volunteering to desegregate formerly all-white schools.

In "A Girl Stands at the Door," historian Rachel Devlin tells the remarkable stories of these desegregation pioneers. She also explains why black girls were seen, and saw themselves, as responsible for the difficult work of reaching across the color line in public schools. 

Rachel Devlin is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University.

Rep. Peter Welch
photo provided

President Trump’s influence on the Supreme Court could be felt for decades.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont Representative Peter Welch continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

President Trump is set to announce his choice for a new Supreme Court justice replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy who he’s said could eventually result in the reversal of the abortion rights case Roe v. Wade. New York has had legal abortion since 1970, three years before the landmark Supreme Court ruling. But advocates, and many Democratic politicians, say it’s not enough, and it could become an issue in this year’s governor’s race.

U.S. Supreme Court
WikiMedia Commons

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on union fees, labor leaders and politicians who rely on union support, have reacted with angry words. Some elected officials have signed executive orders and introduced legislation in reaction to the 5-4 ruling. But as WAMC’s Brian Shields reports, one legal expert believes the Supreme Court has had the final say.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Courts Stand Up For Impunity

Jun 27, 2017

In one of the last cases to be decided this term of Court, the Supreme Court described the death of Sergio Hernandez as “a tragic cross-border incident.”[1] Indeed. I want to make clear that I care deeply about this case. Several friends and I helped write an amicus brief to the Court about it.[2]

U.S. Supreme Court
WikiMedia Commons

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is awaiting a confirmation vote by the full Senate, but Democrats have secured enough votes to filibuster. A vote is expected Friday. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled he will likely change Senate rules to reduce the threshold from 60 votes to a simple majority to get Gorsuch confirmed – the so-called “nuclear option.”

Earlier this month, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In 2006, Judge Gorsuch was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit based in Denver, CO. Gorsuch studied at Columbia, Harvard and Oxford. Here to discuss Gorsuch and the overall Supreme Court is Albany Law School professor and WAMC commentator Steve Gottlieb.

Albany Law's Bonventre Previews New Supreme Court

Jan 31, 2017
Prof. Vincent Bonventre
Albany Law

President Donald Trump will announce his nominee for the Supreme Court this evening, setting up what could be a contentious hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, depending on the choice to fill the vacancy left bt the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Albany Law School Prof. Vincent Bonventre says abortion remains the litmus test for the nominee, for both the right and the left.

The election will have major impacts on the future of the Supreme Court.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock what might happen next.

What does Donald Trump’s election mean for the Supreme Court?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science concludes his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

In The Constitution Today, Akhil Reed Amar, America’s preeminent constitutional scholar, considers the biggest and most bitterly contested debates of the last two decades and provides a passionate handbook for thinking constitutionally about today’s headlines.

Amar shows how the Constitution’s text, history, and structure are a crucial repository of collective wisdom, providing specific rules and grand themes relevant to every organ of the American body politic.

I want to read you a portion of a recent dissent by Justice Sonia Sotomayor in which she explains what I think many do not understand about what happens when police stop people on the street.[1] I will skip her citations but you can read them on the website. She wrote the last part of her dissent for herself alone. I think it is well worth your hearing that portion of her dissent in Justice Sotomayor’s own words:

Last week we discussed the importance of taking political campaigns back from big donors. This week we begin examining the complexity of reinstating limitations without damaging what should be protected speech.

  The Supreme Court has released some of its highly-anticipated rulings — but with only eight justices weighing in.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern — a Democrat from the 2nd district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that Merrick Garland hasn’t gotten a fair shake. 

  With only eight jurists, the Supreme Court has been punting of late.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays talks about this new paradigm with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Senator Chris Murphy
https://www.murphy.senate.gov/

  The Supreme Court is one justice shy of a baseball team.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock he hopes the Merrick Garland standoff doesn’t set a new precedent.

  How did gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry go from unthinkable to inevitable? How did the individual right to bear arms, dismissed as fraudulent by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1990, become a constitutional right in 2008? And what compelled President George W. Bush to rein in many of his initiatives in the war on terror before leaving office, even though past presidents have had a free hand in wartime? We are likely to answer that, in each case, the Supreme Court remade our nation’s most fundamental law.

Yet as the award-winning legal scholar David Cole argues in Engines of Liberty, citizen activists are the true drivers of constitutional change.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  January 20th, 2017. That’s the earliest Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks the next Supreme Court justice should be named.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about her new “SCOTUS” bill. 

  Merrick Garland appears qualified for the Supreme Court, but he’s stuck in limbo.

In today’s Congressional Corner, WAMC’s Alan Chartock continues his conversation with former Deputy Solicitor General of the U.S. Philip Lacovara. 

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

  Will Merrick Garland get a vote in the Senate in 2016?

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the Republicans have gravely miscalculated.

  In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays and WAMC’s Alan Chartock continue their conversation about the Supreme Court’s vacancy.

Should Americans get used to an eight-person Supreme Court?

In today’s Congressional Corner, Alan Chartock is joined by Union College political science professor Brad Hays to discuss the possibility that Antonin Scalia will be replaced.

In 1927 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Buck v Bell that the state of Virginia was allowed to sterilize Carrie Buck, a young woman wrongly thought to be feeble minded. Imbecile: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by NY Times bestselling author Adam Cohen exposes the story of one of the darkest moments in American legal tradition- the Supreme Court’s decision to champion eugenic sterilization of undesirable citizens for the greater good for the country. The 8-1 ruling was signed by some of the most revered figures in American law including Chief Justice William Howard Taft, a former U.S. President and Louis Brandeis, a progressive icon. Oliver Wendell Holmes considered by many the greatest Supreme Court justice in history wrote the majority opinion. 

Republicans are standing firm, saying the next president should nominate the person to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, not President Obama, who is in his final year in office.

  President Obama has more than 300 days left in office.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Congressional Quarterly’s David Hawkings tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the White House intends to nominate a new Supreme Court justice during that time. 

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