First Amendment

In Carney v. Adams the Supreme Court held unanimously that James Adams lacked standing to challenge a Delaware constitutional provision that requires that appointments to Delaware’s major courts reflect a partisan balance.

Delaware’s Constitution states that no more than a bare majority of members of any of its five major courts may belong to any one political party. It also requires, with respect to three of those courts, that the remaining...

In a 5-4 decision in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Cuomo, the Supreme Court has prevented New York’s governor from enforcing certain restrictions on attendance at religious services due to COVID-19. Until this decision, the Supreme Court had allowed all challenged stay-at-home orders which it reviewed on an emergency basis to remain in effect. The Chief Justice dissented as did Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan.     

The...

In the Supreme Court’s first non-COVID-19 related emergency case regarding a state election requirement relevant to the 2020 presidential election, Justice Breyer refused to overturn a state court decision which allows Maine to use ranked-choice voting.

Maine statute describes ranked-choice voting as a “method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in...

In Andino v. Middleton the Supreme Court has continued its trend of striking down judge-made changes to state election laws in response to COVID-19. The Supreme Court froze in place a district court order which prohibited South Carolina from enforcing its ballot witness requirement. But the Court stated that any ballots received within...

For the last 50 years the Supreme Court has leaned right. But there has always been an unreliable conservative “swing” Justice at the center of the Court. First, Justice Powell, then Justice O’Connor, next Justice Kennedy, and most recently (and very briefly) Chief Justice Roberts.

If Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed the Court is likely to have five reliable conservative votes in the big, controversial cases (Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett). Chief Justice Roberts’ vote will no longer matter, and...

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