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In the Courts

Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Wyoming Oil Lease Sale Over ‘Climate Change’

A federal judge blocked all new oil leases auctions in Wyoming Tuesday after finding that the Department of the Interior “did not sufficiently consider climate change” when proposing the lease sales, The Washington Post reports. Washington D.C. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that the government violated federal law and did not fully study the environmental impact of oil development ...

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He’s Been Tried Six Times For The Same Quadruple Murder. Now The Supreme Court Is Involved

Curtis Flowers, a death row inmate, has been tried six times in connection with a brutal quadruple homicide in Mississippi.  Each trial has ended in either a hung jury or a conviction reversed on appeal due to prosecutorial misconduct. The Supreme Court will decide what evidence Flowers can use to argue that the prosecution skewed a jury along racial lines ...

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2A Groups Stunned After Court Allows Sandy Hook Families To Sue Gun Makers

Second Amendment advocacy groups are denouncing a state court decision allowing families of several Sandy Hook victims to sue a gun manufacturer. The manufacturer, Bushmaster Firearms, produced and marketed the XM15, which shooter Adam Lanza used to kill over 20 people.  The Connecticut Supreme Court said the plaintiffs can try and convince a jury that Bushmaster’s marketing campaign for the ...

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Supreme Court Backs Trump Power To Detain Migrants Who Commit Crimes

A deeply divided Supreme Court ruled that immigration authorities can detain noncitizens for possible deportation long after they serve prison sentences for criminal convictions. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had argued that federal law imposes a strict time limit on when government officials can detain aliens for deportation after they are released from jail. Thousands of noncitizens could be ...

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Court-Packing Emerges As Litmus Test In 2020 Democratic Primary

US Supreme Court

A growing number of Democratic presidential candidates are entertaining a push to add seats to the Supreme Court, as Republican success at filling the courts with judicial conservatives has infuriated progressive voters. Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Kirsten Gillibrand have expressed willingness to consider proposals for expanding the composition of the Supreme ...

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Trump Administration Files in Support of Native American Religious Land Use Case

The Department of Justice today filed a Statement of Interest in U.S. District Court in New Jersey supporting a lawsuit by the Ramapough Mountain Indians (Ramapough) that the Township of Mahwah (Township) violated the tribe’s rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person’s Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) by interfering with religious assembly on property the tribe owns in the ...

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Supremes To Decide If States Can Prosecute Illegal Immigrants For Identity Theft

US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether the states can prosecute illegal aliens for using fraudulent information to obtain employment, the justices announced Monday. The case, which arose in Kansas, could feature prominently on the Court’s docket next term, as it touches illegal immigration and will likely be heard as ballots are cast in the Democratic presidential primary. “I am ...

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DC Prepares For A Potential Climate Change Court Battle Against Exxon

exxonmobile sign

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is preparing for a potential lawsuit against ExxonMobil over climate change. Racine’s office alleges Exxon failed to inform D.C. consumers that gasoline combustion contributed to global warming. “Exxon has also engaged or funded efforts to mislead DC consumers” about global warming, Racine’s office wrote. District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine is preparing for potential legal ...

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The Supreme Court May Soon Decide On Transgender Bathrooms In Public Schools

US Supreme Court

A group of Pennsylvania high school students are challenging a school district policy that permits transgender students to use the locker room and bathroom facilities corresponding to their stated gender identity.  The students say that the policy violates federal and state law, including their constitutional right to privacy. The district says they have an important interest in anti-discrimination, and have ...

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Beto Says He’s Open To Packing The Supreme Court

Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke said he is open to adding seats on the Supreme Court during a Thursday campaign stop. Speaking at a coffee shop in Burlington, Iowa, O’Rourke said adding six seats to the high court could curb political dysfunction. “What if there were five justices selected by Democrats, five justices selected by Republicans, and those ten ...

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Is Chief Justice John Roberts Tacking Left?

Chief Justice John Roberts has voted with the liberal justices in recent months on cases touching abortion, asylum and the death penalty. Those votes may not reflect a meaningful change to the chief justice’s legal views. Rather, they could reflect Roberts’s desire to keep the Supreme Court away from division, or an incremental approach to a conservative revival.  Chief Justice ...

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Al Green Breaks With Pelosi — Vows To Force Impeachment Vote

Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green broke with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, vowing to force a vote to impeach President Donald Trump Tuesday. Green, who has previously had two bills to impeach Trump overwhelmingly rejected by the House of Representatives, said in an interview with C-SPAN that he is pushing for a third impeachment vote. This comes one day after Pelosi said ...

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Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments

President Donald Trump has tapped seven of Justice Clarence Thomas’s former clerks for appeals court nominations since taking office. An eighth former Thomas clerk, Neomi Rao, will likely be confirmed in the near future. The justice actively mentors his closely knit network of acolytes.  One credential, in particular, has been a boon to candidates President Donald Trump considers for judicial ...

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Supreme Court Justices Discuss Ethics Code, Televised Cases In Rare Congressional Testimony

US Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts is considering whether the Supreme Court should adopt its own ethics code. The justices in practice follow a set of rules, but there is no institutionalized process that bind the Court.  The justices also discussed televising their proceedings and President Donald Trump’s quarrelsome relationship with the judiciary. Chief Justice John Roberts is considering whether the Supreme ...

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Federal Judge Rules Wilbur Ross Broke Law On Census Question. Supreme Court Might Have To Adjust

A second court ruled against the ongoing dispute to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, in a ruling that accuses Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross of making an arbitrary, capricious decision and breaking the law. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California issued the 126-page ruling Wednesday, citing the administration’s decision to add the question as ...

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