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U.S. Supreme Court

Argentinian Debt Default Heads to U.S. Supreme Court

Long after Argentina rebounded from its 2000-2001 financial crisis, lawsuits over its debt are still working their way through the American courts. Some cases are not yet at the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Buenos Aires Herald reports "the case that is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court is the one that relates to whether Argentina violated an equal treatment clause known as 'pari passu' because it failed to treat all creditors equally." The case is up for the justices to decide whether to grant certiorari. The Second Ciruit ruled Argentina had breached the contractual promise to treat bondholders equally, the Buenos Aires Herald reported.




Citizens United Part 2 Heads to US Supreme Court

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a case that could go even farther than Citizens United in limiting campaign-finance controls in favor of free speech. The case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear this term "involves a law that puts a ceiling of $123,200 on individuals who donate to multiple federal candidates, parties and political action committees during a two-year election cycle," the Chronicle reports. Advocates of overturning the limit argue it violates free-speech rights, but opponents argue such rules better ensure fair elections by controlling the amount of money the affluent can pump into campaigns.


Prop 8 Legal Duo Join Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Suit

Republican lawyer Theodore Olson and Democrat lawyer David Boies, who successfully prosecuted the constitutional challenge to California's ban on same-sex marriage, have joined a case in Virginia that could be a test case in the U.S. Supreme Court to establish the rights of same-sex couples to marry anywhere in the United States, the Washington Post reports. There are many challenges proceeding in many states in the wake of the Supreme Court rulings earlier this year striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and rejecting the standing of the petitioners seeking to keep California's ban intact. Olson and Boies like the Virginia litigation as a test case because Virginia not only bans same-sex matrimony but the recognition of same-sex unions from anywhere else, the Post also reported.

First South-Asian American Becomes Federal Appellate Judge

When Sri Srinivasan was sworn in as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Thursday, he became the first South-Asian American to sit as a federal appellate judge, the Washington Post reports. He may even become a future U.S. Supreme Court nominee: he "joins a court that is often referred to as the nation’s second-highest court because of its rulings on regulatory and separation-of-powers issues. In addition, four of the Supreme Court’s nine justices served on the D.C. Circuit," the Washington Post also reported.

U.S. Supreme Court Set to Hear Arguments in Off-Reservation Casino Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments December 2 in the case of an off-reservation casino in Michigan that is opposed by the state, the Petoskey News reported. The justices will consider whether a state can challenge a tribe’s right to open a casino if the state contends the gaming facility is on land that doesn't qualify as tribal land, Indian Country Today reported this summer:

Justice Scalia Says Judiciary Will Determine Legality of NSA Wiretaps --But He's Not Pleased About It

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in remarks today that the judiciary will ultimately decide the legality of wiretapping by the National Security Agency, but that is not necessarily a good thing, the Associated Press reported. Further, Scalia said that the Supreme Court held in the 1920s that there was no constitutioanl bar to wiretaps "because conversations were not explicitly granted privacy protection under the Fourth Amendment, but then the Warren court recognized '“there’s a generalized right of privacy that comes from penumbras and emanations, blah blah blah, garbage,”' the AP reported. So, instead of the more democratic branches of government directly elected by the people deciding the issue, Scalia said that leaves the judiciary with that ultimatey responsibility, the AP reported.

Opinion: FISA Court Contradicts US Supreme Court's Privacy Jurisprudence

Yochai Benkler, law professor and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, writes in The Guardian that a ruling in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court contradicts recent jurisprudence from the U.S. Supreme Court on security and the constitutional protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. One of the most important implications of Benkler's argument is for FICA no longer to be an ex parte, completely secret court. Creating a role for an adversary to the goverment's surveillance requests has been one of the key reforms suggested for FISC. Benkler says that if FISC was adversarial that the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in United States v. Jones--that it was unconstitutional for law enforcement to place a GPS tracking device on a suspect's vehicle without a warrant-- would not have been ignored by FISC in a decision setting out "why the government's collection of records of all Americans' phone calls is constitutional."

Opinion: Three Ways to Fix the U.S. Supreme Court

CNN has this opinion piece from a Kathryn and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law professor on three ways to improve the United States Supreme Court:

1. end lifetime service

2. televise oral arguments

3. require nominees to "answer hard questions" during their confirmation hearings in the Senate.


Circuit Split On Mandated Contraception Coverage Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

Two separate cases have reached the U.S. Supreme Court seeking certiorari on the mandate that all health insurance cover contraception and other means of ending pregnancies. The Tenth Circuit sided with an employer opposing providing such coverage, while the Third Circuit sided against an employer, according to this clip from The Cardinal Newman Society, which promotes Catholicism. The stage is now set for a circuit split on the tension between women's reproductive rights and religious beliefs.


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