The Supreme Court has issued its decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius reviewing the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010). The Court upheld the “individual mandate” as constitutional under the Congress’ power to tax under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1. Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority, in which Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined.
The Supreme Court has issued its decision in Arizona v. United States. The Court invalidated three sections of SB 1070 (Sections 3, 5 (C), and 6) holding that they are preempted by Federal Law. The Court found it could not determine if Section 2(B), which requires police to check the immigration status of individuals detained, was preempted as it had not been yet been construed by the Arizona state courts.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Kennedy, joined by Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. Former Solicitor General, Justice Kagan, did not participate in the decision.
Scotus Blog is a excellent resource for detailed analysis of this decision.
Veteran journalist Mike Wallace died on Saturday at the age of 93. Two of his memorable interviews available on video include Thurgood Marshall (1956) and William O. Douglas (1958).
This morning, Scotus Blog posted a topical listing of all its posts related to the heath care oral arguments.
On Monday, the Supreme Court will begin hearing 5 1/2 hours of oral arguments on the consolidated health care reform law cases. As blog readers are likely aware, under the Rules of the Supreme Court, the Court normally grants no more than one hour for argument, although historically this was not always the case.
Early on, there was no time limit imposed on advocates, and arguments could continue for several days. On March 12, 1849, the Court adopted a rule limiting oral arguments to two hours per side. Since 1970 the half-hour per side limit has been the norm.
Some of the longest Supreme Court arguments include:
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) (5 Days)
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) (9 Days)
Brown v. Board of Education (I) (1952) (3 Days)
Brown v. Board of Education (II) (1955) (4 days)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) (3 days)
United States v. Nixon (1974) (3 hours)
As noted in an earlier post, the Court will expedite access to transcripts and argument audio in next week’s cases.
To learn more about Supreme Court oral argument procedures and history see the Supreme Court Historical Society Website. For more information on the healthcare cases, see Scotus Blog and Oyez.
The U.S. Supreme Court will expedite access to audio recordings and transcripts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases. In yesterday’s press release, the Court announced that these will be available on the Court’s website by 2 p.m. for the morning arguments on March 26-28, and by 4 pm for the March 28 afternoon session.
News organizations reportedly requested permission to broadcast these arguments. The Court has previously denied such requests and prohibits cameras and recording devices in the courtroom.
The Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic, a partnership with Wiley Rein LLP, has been featured in a recent Associated Press story published in a number of news sources including the Washington Post, Fox News.com, and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. GMU students worked on the case Wood v. Milyard (No. 10-9995) argued on Monday.
Briefs for this case, and other Supreme Court cases (October 2003 Term - present), are available on the American Bar Association’s United States Supreme Court Preview page. An audio recording of the argument will be posted on the Court’s Argument Audio page after tomorrow’s Conference. The Court website provides access to argument recordings 2010 – present and Argument Transcripts 2000 – present.
Forty-five years ago, the Supreme Court struck down state prohibition of interracial marriage. At the time, 16 states had laws outlawing marriage between a man and a woman of different races (many more had prohibited interracial marriage at some period before repealing these statues).
In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S.1, 12 (1967), the Court unanimously held Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute unconstitutional:
Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. . . . To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.
As reported in the ABA Journal, a new documentary about the Loving case, The Loving Story, will premier on HBO today.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens, of course, was a prolific chronicler of English law and legal institutions—-warts and all. Dickens’ descriptions of the law and lawyers often did not paint a rosy picture. See this recent New York Times Op-ed piece.
But two centuries later, Dickens remains an influential voice in the legal world. His books are referenced in hundreds of law review articles. Last Term, Chef Justice Roberts began an opinion quoting Bleak House. Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. _, 131 S. Ct. 2594, 2600 (2011).
Happy Bicentennial Charles Dickens!
At a recent event sponsored by the Harvard Law School American Constitution Society, HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It and Jeff Clements, author of Corporations Are Not People shared their views on the the aftermath of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. A video of this discussion is available here.