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Alex Twinem

The curious case of United States v. Texas

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas, a challenge to President Obama’s 2014 executive action on immigration. Specifically, the case concerns the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) policies. These policies would allow certain undocumented immigrant…

An original voice: Scalia’s many contributions to the law

Since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13, much has been written about the Justice and his effect – both in life and in death – on the Supreme Court. This has included poignant tributes from colleagues, former law clerks and lawyers; recollections of Justice Scalia’s most memorable quotes; predictions about what will happen in…

When ‘The Nine’ become ‘The Eight’ (or ‘The Seven’ or ‘The Six’…): When Supreme Court Justices recuse themselves, and why it matters

The practice of Supreme Court recusal has been receiving national attention following oral arguments in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association. The case, which concerns the federal government’s authority to regulate the price of energy, was already noteworthy in its own right. Because the Court’s decision seriously implicates billions of dollars in revenue for energy companies, it has been described as “a case whose importance is hard to over-estimate.”

Goodbye, Newman: Why the Supreme Court doesn’t always take the big cases

As a general matter, it’s not a simple thing to get the Supreme Court to hear a case. We don’t often know how the Court makes those decisions, but it’s safe to say that your odds of getting the Supreme Court to hear your case are about one in a hundred. That said, the Court is much more likely to hear a case if, as was the case here, the U.S. Government is the one asking, and the Court often does step in on highly publicized cases (see, for instance, the recent marriage equality and Affordable Care Act decisions).

Kim Davis and the Power of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court (and conventional wisdom) would say that everyone does have to follow the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution. But challenges to that view – from history, legal scholars, and modern Kim Davises and Ted Cruzes – abound.
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