U.S. Supreme Court

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.  Dr. Chartock also discusses Saturday's accident in Schoharie, New York that killed 20 people.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the expected vote in the U.S. Senate today regarding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

A judge has rejected an argument from lawyers for a Vermont man facing a second federal death penalty trial that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling should be used to declare his potential punishment unconstitutional.

Groups Mobilize For Supreme Court Nominee Battle

Jul 10, 2018
Picture of a judge's gavel
WikiMedia Commons

National groups both for and against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh are pouring money into ads. And progressive groups, saying they could be outspent, are embarking on a mass mobilization they believe will prove more fruitful than money. One of the progressive groups is focused on New York.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court Monday evening. Dr. Chartock also discusses the upcoming NATO meeting, which begins Wednesday in Brussels. 

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses President Trump's potential Supreme Court nominees. The president is expected to announce his pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy at 9 p.m. Monday. Dr. Chartock also discusses the resignation of England's Brexit Secretary David Davis.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Monday's interviews by President Trump of possible Supreme Court justice nominees. Dr. Chartock also discusses German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to reverse her stance on migrants. 

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on President Trump's pending nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Dr. Chartock also discusses Sunday's presidential election in Mexico.

The transformation of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Trump era is about to enter a new chapter. Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is 81, announced that he will retire at the end of the term Wednesday. Kennedy had been a frequent swing vote in the court’s 5-4 decisions in recent years. WAMC’s Ian Pickus spoke with Brad Hays – associate professor of political science at Union College — about Kennedy and the high court. 

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding workers' rights. Dr. Chartock also discusses Gina Haspel, who was sworn in Monday as CIA Director.

Spring is a busy period for the Supreme Court.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays continues his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The U.S. Supreme Court hasn’t ruled on gerrymandering since 2004. Now, with the 2020 Census looming, the nation’s highest court has decided to take up the issue of Republican-drawn legislative districts in Wisconsin. WAMC’s JD Allen spoke with Paul Mark — a Democrat from the 2nd Berkshire District who chairs the Massachusetts state House Committee on Redistricting — about how the Supreme Court decision could affect the states. 

       President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is getting a lot of scrutiny today.

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. 

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  The death of Antonin Scalia led to a political standoff in a matter of hours.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the late jurist must be replaced ASAP. 


The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week on a case that could have a big impact on unions, especially in the public sector. A teacher in California objects to paying union fees for activities which she does not support. A Supreme Court ruling in 1977 upheld those so-called fair-share fees, to support the benefits all union members receive under collective bargaining. For more on the case, and what it could mean for the labor movement, we spoke with attorney Mike Billok, a labor and employment expert with the law firm Bond, Schoeneck and King

  The Supreme Court wrapped up its term last month by deciding several important cases.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays delves into the decisions with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday against Environmental Protection Agency rules that limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants.  The decision is being panned by many in Vermont who say the court is backing business interests.


A conservative Christian law group has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to strike down New Hampshire's 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics.

High courts are in the news this week, as justices hand down major decisions before their summer recess. Three decisions in particular have made headlines nationally and in the region. From contraception to unions to hydro-fracking, each of these rulings has sparked a powerful response from all sides.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck a limit on the total amount individuals can donate to political campaigns. In a hastily organized protest, about a half-dozen people held placards at one of Plattsburgh’s busiest intersections.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems likely to strike down a Massachusetts law setting a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics.

Liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings about the law during arguments at the high court Wednesday. They questioned the size of the zone and whether the state could find less restrictive ways of ensuring patient access and safety.

No one has been prosecuted under the 2007 law, which state officials and clinic employees have said has resulted in less congestion outside the clinics.


The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments one week from today in a case challenging a Massachusetts law that establishes a protest-free zone around abortion clinics.  Thirty groups have filed briefs in the case including Planned Parenthood.

What’s the worst thing the U.S. Supreme Court has done in two decades?

Joseph Paul Franklin Put To Death

Nov 20, 2013

White supremacist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin has been put to death in Missouri. It was the state's first execution in nearly three years.

The 63-year-old Franklin targeted blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing rampage from 1977 to 1980. But he was sentenced to death for just one of the killings — a sniper shooting outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue in 1977.

Alan Chartock

WAMC political observer Dr. Alan Chartock talks about the World Series, whether or not there should be television cameras in the U.S. Supreme Court and the latest in the New York City mayoral contest.

NY Official Pushes Feds To Recognize Gay Marriages

Jul 19, 2013
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New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is wielding the power of the state's $160 billion pension fund to urge President Barack Obama to order federal agencies in every state to recognize gay marriages performed in New York.

It could be a big push in DiNapoli's effort to get major companies that do business with the fund to adopt anti-discrimination measures in providing benefits for gay couples.

Vermont U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy says he will call hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee to see if legislation can be written to protect minority voting rights that many feel were threatened after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Voting Rights Act.

Congressman Paul Tonko
Congressman Paul Tonko

In a speech being lauded by environmental activists, yesterday President Barack Obama announced several proposals to limit pollution that is contributing to climate change. The policies include the establishment of carbon pollution standards for power plants and increased funding for clean energy technology over the coming decades.

For reaction to the speech WAMC spoke with Representative Paul Tonko of New York’s 20th District. Before discussing climate change we asked Tonko for his reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

We've seen two historic rulings today from the U.S. Supreme Court concerning gay marriage - the striking down of the federal Defense of Marriage Act and a ruling clearing the way for same sex marriages to resume in California.

WAMC's Ray Graf spoke with Lynn Faria, deputy executive director with Empire State Pride Agenda, for reaction to the decisions.