Supreme Court Rules On Ten Commandments

Ken AshfordBreaking News, Constitution, Godstuff, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Ten Commandment displays are not permissible in courthouses. Well, that’s what the headlines are screaming at the moment.  The devil, as they say, is in the details.  For example, is the Decalogue permissible if it is part of a larger display about the origins of law? UPDATE No. 1:  Decision was 5-4, … Read More

Supreme Court Watch

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Monday is going to be fun.  The Supreme Court is expected to hand down the final decisions of the term—one of them dealing with the Ten Commandments—and then, it is widely thought, Chief Justice Rehnquist (who is ailing) will announce his resignation from the bench. And then we’re in for months of wrangling about the replacement nominee. Conventional wisdom is … Read More

Supremes Harsh Our Mellow

Ken AshfordConstitution, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

The case is Gonzales v. Raich (PDF format), better known as the medical marijuana case.  The Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that the federal government can (in effect) outlaw medical marijuana use despite the fact that some states (ten of them) have made it legal. What the case is about is federalism and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  For … Read More

Supreme Court Gets It Right

Ken AshfordConstitution, Godstuff, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

As if on cue in the wake of the Koran desecration debate, the Supreme Court—unanimously—talks about religion and prisoners in this recent ruling: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that a new federal law requiring prison officials to meet inmates’ religious needs is a permissible accommodation of religion that does not violate the separation of church and state. The … Read More

Thoughts On The Nuclear Option

Ken AshfordCongress, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

I have no particular warm spot in my heart for the filibuster.  I don’t particularly loathe it either.  I just view it as one of many silly and arcane congressional rules that has been around for decades, like the entire committee process which can effectively kill bills from even being considered.  If I could make the rules for Congress, I … Read More

The Solomon Amendment

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

The Supreme Court is going to review a lower court decision invalidating the Solomon Amendment. The amendment denies federal funds to schools that do not allow military recruiters on campus. Justices will review a lower court ruling in favor of 25 law schools that restricted recruiters in protest of the Pentagon’s policy of excluding openly gay people from military service. … Read More

Dumb DeLay Quote Du Jour

Ken AshfordRepublicans, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Amazingly, Tom DeLay is going after Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.  Apparently, DeLay is ignorant of the fact that Kennedy was a Reagan appointtee, and while occasionally a "swing vote", he is undisputably right-of-center. But DeLay really steps in the steamy hot Texas cow manure when he says this: “We’ve got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not … Read More

Daffy Dobson

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Apparently the Christian Right Wrong doesn’t think it is batshit enough as it is, so along comes James Dobson to rectify the situation.  If you listen to his recent show here (advance the time stamp to 22:52), you will hear Dobson compare the "black-robed men" (meaning the Supreme Court) to the "men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan". Gee, … Read More

Supreme Court Sez No

Ken AshfordAssisited Suicide/Schiavo, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Breaking news . . . Supreme Court Won’t Hear Schiavo Case 18 minutes ago By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube reinserted, rejecting a desperate appeal by her parents to keep their severely brain-damaged daughter alive.

Schiavo Latest

Ken AshfordAssisited Suicide/Schiavo, Health Care, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Actually, there is remarkably little to say.  The debate rages on, and the debate about the debate rages on.  Meanwhile, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed the lower court’s decision to replace the feeding tube, and the Schindlers are now appealing to the full panel of the 11th Circuit.  The next stop after that, and probably the last … Read More

The Ten Commandments Case

Ken AshfordGodstuff, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

It’s been a long while since I got legal on yo’ ass, but I’m a lawyer and a Constitutional afficando, so it is high time I write something of substance on constitutional law. For a background on the Ten Commandments case being argued in the Supreme Court, read here.  The case (at least the "Kentucky" part of it) involves the … Read More

United States Finally Catches Up (A Little) to the Rest of the World

Ken AshfordCrime, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

After today’s Supreme Court decision, the following countries are now the only ones in the world that execute minors: United StatesCongoIranChinaPakistan Before today’s ruling the following states allowed minors to be executed: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Texas and Virginia. (Number of Red States – … Read More

Good News for Supreme Court Watchers

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

As reported here, law geeks and Supreme Court fans will no longer have to play guessing games. Starting next week, transcripts of Supreme Court oral arguments will give the actual name of the Justice asking the questions from the bench, rather than simply using the word “Question”.