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Questions tagged [us-supreme-court]

For questions related to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

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Besides Sudan, have any other foreign countries argued before the Supreme Court of the United States?

This term the Supreme Court ruled in the case Republic of Sudan v. Harrison, in which a foreign country, namely Sudan, appeared before the Court to argue its case. Has this ever happened before?
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Given Shapiro v. Thompson, why are US states allowed to charge higher tuition fees to new residents?

If I'm reading Shapiro v. Thompson correctly, US states are not allowed to require a period of residence before providing welfare benefits to US citizens. But doesn't this mean that charging different ...
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Do people born in unincorporated US territories have a constitutional right to non-citizen nationality?

In Downes v. Bidwell, the Supreme Court concluded that the Citizenship Clause does not apply to people born in unincorporated territories of the United States. Instead, if they had no other claim to ...
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Can the Supreme Court perpetually deny petitions for certiorari?

What, if anything, prevents the Supreme Court from perpetually denying all petitions for certiorari?
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Source of Supreme Court's authority to overrule prior Supreme Court decisions

If the Supreme Court is the final authority, where does the authority of future Supreme Courts come from, to overturn prior results? Wouldn't past and future courts be of equal authority?
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Can a judge/justice file a lawsuit and bring a case to their own court? What happens then?

Can a judge or justice (I'm interested in both) file a lawsuit that would normally fall under their own court's jurisdiction? What happens in such a scenario? I'm especially interested in the answer ...
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Can the US Supreme Court hear an appeal from State Supreme Court w/o a federal question?

Is it a matter of choice that the US Supreme Court will reject a case from a State Supreme Court that does not have a federal question or are there binding jurisdictional requirements that would ...
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Textualism and originalism

In the context of interpreting the U.S. Constitution, what is the distinction between textualism and originalism? Are the two approaches applied much outside of the U.S. in other contexts?
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Could the Supreme Court prohibit abortion? (And other misconceptions about overturning Roe v Wade)

Here's my layman's understanding of Roe v Wade: A state had a law prohibiting abortion; That law was challenged all the way up to the Supreme Court; The Supreme Court found a right to abortion in the ...
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Can a Supreme Court Justice be recalled?

Hypothetically, an individual has been nominated by the President to fill an open position on the US Supreme Court. The Senate has held committee hearings, the entire Senate has advised and consented,...
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Which Supreme Court justices have been the most anti-intellectual property? [closed]

Which Supreme Court justices, present or historical, have ruled the most against intellectual property rights?
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The five-year statute of limitations on lying to Congress

Part of the point of bringing someone before Congress is that they're forced to tell the truth or risk perjury charges. However, the charges only seem to apply if Congress can quickly dig up proof of ...
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What is the precedent for what a Supreme Court nominee can or cannot say during their hearing with the Senate Committee on the Judiciary?

Senators have asked Brett Kavanaugh about a wide number of issues these last two days. A number of exchanges have become very predictable: Q: How do you feel about a past decision? A: It is precedent....
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Have Supreme Court cases with multiple subsequent reaffirming decisions been overturned?

Suppose Supreme Court decision A is subsequently reaffirmed in decisions B and C. Have there ever been situations where the court later overturns A, despite B and C?
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Washington v Davis in How To Get Away With Murder

In How To Get Away With Murder S04E13, a character says In Washington v. Davis, your predecessors decided that even if a law has a discriminatory effect, it is unconstitutional if that was not ...
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Would overturning Raich affect Filburn?

If SCOTUS decided that Gonzales v. Raich abuses the commerce clause to ridiculous proportions and overturns it, would they necessarily have to overturn Wickard v. Filburn also?
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When was pretrial detention first declared constitutional?

I assume that early on in American history, pretrial detention was at some point challenged for its constitutionality. Is that the case? I have also heard that pretrial detention is illegal as a ...
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Can a judge give a direct order to a police officer?

I'm a layperson. I have seen judges tell police officers to take an action (ex.evict someone or handcuff a defendant). Are police officers required to follow instructions from judges? I've always ...
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Why are the promises President Trump made on the travel ban not relevant to determine whether the executive order itself is constitutional?

Today (26th of June 2018), the SCOTUS decided that the Sept. 2017 Executive Order banning travelers from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States (the "Travel Ban") does ...
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What did Colorado say in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission that Kennedy found to be “neither tolerant or respectful”?

In today's decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission Justice Kennedy said the treatment of the baker was "neither tolerant or respectful". ...
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Why is sports gambling not considered interstate commerce?

It is generally agreed that the United States can prohibit intrastate sales of goods it feels might affect interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause. How does intrastate gambling differ? ...
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Appeal from state's Supreme Court

MY anal retentive state state supreme court, refused acceptance of my appeal because the certificate of service was wrong. I sta stated the party would be notify through the E filing system but there ...
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What case was it where Clarence Thomas sided with the liberal justices in order to remain consistent with a previous ruling?

I have a memory of a case but I can't seem to find it. What I remember is that there was a case in which the court split along partisan lines. Then, a few years later, a similar case came before the ...
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What did SCOTUS signify by 'metaphysical doubt'?

Legal Writing in Plain English (2nd edn, 2013). po. 214 Bottom - 215 Top. Link to old edition. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not sufficiently probative, summary judgment is proper....
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Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris

In 1989, Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris unanimously declared New York City’s Board of Estimate Unconstitutional, as it violated the “one man, one vote” principle derived form 14th ...
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What is the history of rules requiring prosecutors to disclose evidence?

I was surprised to discover that Brady v. Maryland was decided as recently as 1963. Not knowing enough about the context in which it was decided, I am having trouble understanding exactly what ...
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Can the federal government force state/local governments to share resources with neighbouring states/localities?

There is an increasing amount of tension between multiple states associated with essential resources like water. Here's a link - https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2789784 . If a state tries to build a ...
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After US Supreme Court overturns precedent, are old cases revisited?

Hypothetical scenario: 1950: government uses method A to convict John Doe of crime B, SCOTUS upholds conviction 1990: government uses method A to convict Jake Smith of crime B 2000: government ...
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Is this an exercise of the US Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction?

I was checking the US Supreme Court’s website for recent opinions and came across one for State of Montana v. State of Wyoming and State of North Dakota. This opinion looks very different than the ...
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What is the significance of dissenting opinions in appellate court decisions?

Appellate courts often hear cases en banc and decide them by simple majority of the judges on the bench. The majority will typically sign a single "per curiam" decision, which constitutes the ...
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U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876) decision

Background According to my textbook: In Cruikshank ... the [Supreme] Court ruled that voting rights remained a state prerogative unless the state itself violated those rights. So long as the civil ...
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Who would declare a law unconstitutional if the Supreme Court couldn't?

Let's say the US Congress is passing a law. They are afraid that it would be declared unconstitutional in court, so they add an addendum saying "It is illegal for the Supreme Court to try this ...
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How could Korematsu be overturned?

The US Supreme Court Case Korematsu (1944) ruled that the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry was legal out of concern for national security. This case is now generally regarded as a ...
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How do 'suicide pacts' relate to the US Constitution? [closed]

Justice Jackson's dissent in Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949): This Court has gone far toward accepting the doctrine that civil liberty means the removal of all restraints from ...
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Arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Oral arguments were recently held before the supreme court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The discussion was almost exclusively about the 1st amendment's free speech ...
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Why can some states choose to reject the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

In the United States, the US Supreme Court established the Turntable Doctrine, in R.R. Co. v. Stout, 84 U.S. 657. As I understand it, In general, if a person is injured while trespassing on someone’s ...
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Why did Judge Bazile issue a ruling on the Loving case years after the case was closed and appeal deadlines had passed?

Everything in Hollywood's historical movies is true, right? OK, There are known counterexamples..... The recent film Loving is about the case in which Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter, who resided ...
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Contradictory rulings by two circuit courts?

How often do two circuit courts issue contradictory legal opinion (my layman's understanding is that they would tend to use the earlier opinion as precedent, so that shouldn't happen too often?) If ...
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Are there any situations where SCOTUS is required as first step?

As far as I know, when the cases are heard by Federal judiciary, they are first heard by lower level courts, and only get escalated to SCOTUS once appealed from a ruling by a circuit court. Is that ...
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Why did the US Supreme Court hear this case?

An op-ed entitled A Major Church-State Ruling That Shouldn't Have Happened claims that In Trinity v. Comer, there was no remaining dispute between the actual parties As I understand it, courts ...
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Where to find brief for Jaffe vs Roberts

I am interested in finding the brief of the petitioner in the US Supreme Court case "Robert J. Jaffe, Petitioner v. John G. Roberts, Jr., Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the United States, et al." ...
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USA Supreme Court and Congress response

I was viewing this video, which is the Crash Course on Government and Politics #22 : judicial Decisions The teacher says: "[Supreme Court] justices might be influenced by congress because they ...
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What would happen if an attorney was incapacitated near the start of Supreme Court oral arguments?

Presenting oral arguments at the Supreme Court seems like a high-pressure situation that usually applies to older attorneys. What would happen if, near the beginning of oral arguments, lead counsel ...
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Is there a list of SCOTUS decisions by “side”?

Is there a source that lists all SCOTUS decisions for, say, the past 25 years, which names justices in the majority, versus dissenting justices (even better, separated by written opinion so that ...
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Can you go to the Supreme Court just to get a stay on a TRO?

Right now State of Washington v. Trump is, as I understand it, still a district-level case. Judge Robart issued a TRO against the order, and the DoJ appealed for a stay on the TRO. The district court ...
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How does one supreme court case set the standard for all following cases?

I was reading about forced arbitration clauses, or class action wavers, which are a type of contract of adhesion which can come with some products and services. Historically, these were deemed ...
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Are SCOTUS justices required to recuse themselves when their appointment is after briefs have been filed in the case?

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court announced a schedule change for Gloucester School Board v. G.G., which would push the due date for respondent's merits brief as far back as Febuary 23, 2017. The ...
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Is it illegal for public figures to knowingly state a falsehood?

Here is an excerpt from this article in the New York Times: The Supreme Court established the First Amendment principles that govern the country’s libel laws in 1964, with its unanimous decision in ...
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Is there any mechanism to enforce judicial recusal?

Is there any mechanism to force a judge to recuse him/herself from a case? (I mean above and beyond filing a motion and leaving the decision to the judge him/herself to decide?) For example, Justice ...
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What do the dissents argue in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt?

Here is a the text of the supreme court decision on June 27, 2016 in which the court decided 5-3 to strike down a Texas law placing restrictions on abortion providers. I have skimmed through it and ...