Supreme Court Spikes Pennsylvania GOP’s Final Hopes Over New Map
Court-drawn map to take effect for 2018 midterms

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on December 1, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers to block a new congressional map ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

The decision to turn down the application for stay killed the GOP’s final hope to block the lines drawn by the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court after it ruled the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s 2011 map represented an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

Legislators, Advocates Prepare Ahead of Abortion Case
California law on crisis pregnancy centers stirs free speech debate

Supporters and opponents of abortion rights rally outside the Supreme Court in June 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and advocacy groups are readying themselves for a highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court case that will determine whether a California law violates free speech for so-called crisis pregnancy centers.

On March 20, the nation’s highest court will begin oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. At issue is the constitutionality of a California state law that requires crisis pregnancy centers to post signs explaining that the state offers subsidized family planning services including abortion.

Supreme Court Considers Voter Fashion Sense
Make America Great Again hats, Black Lives Matter t-shirts among issues

When is a hat a hat? The Supreme Court is considering whether hats and t-shirts constitute political speech in voting polling stations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court grappled Wednesday on where to draw a line when it comes to voters who want to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat, a “#resist” T-shirt, a “Parkland Strong” button or other political messages when they cast ballots.

A century-old Minnesota law, similar to those in about nine other states, prohibits voters from wearing clothes with political messaging related to an election or ballot question. The state wants to keep the dignity, decorum and solemnity of polling places.

Orrin Hatch and Staff Have a Day in Court
Utah Republican swears in staffers to Supreme Court Bar

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch had himself a full day at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch used some old connections to get a prime seat at Supreme Court arguments Tuesday — and the Utah Republican also snagged some front-row seats for two staffers who worked on legislation at issue in the case.

Hatch, 83, has been a senator since 1977, and that makes him the second-longest serving member. But almost 10 years before that, in April 1967, he became a member of the Supreme Court Bar, Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock said.

Supreme Court Backs Congressional Power to Affect Lawsuits
Chief Justice Roberts, Gorsuch dissent in the decision

The Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not overstep into the power of federal courts. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday backed the power of Congress to pass legislation that would affect ongoing litigation, ruling that a law about Michigan land and its use as a Native American casino did not violate the Constitution.

In a 6-3 opinion, the court found that Congress did not overstep into the power of federal courts with a law to end a lengthy court battle over the Interior Department’s decision to take that tract into trust for the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians.

Justices Debate Waiting for Congress in Privacy Case
Several lawmakers have filed legislation to address pending Microsoft case

Supreme Court justices mused whether they should wait for Congress to act rather than settle a case before it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Three Supreme Court justices on Tuesday pondered waiting for Congress to pass a new privacy law to resolve a major case about whether email service providers must comply with warrants even if data is stored outside the United States.

During oral arguments that pitted tech giant Microsoft against the government, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor asked why Congress wasn’t better suited to resolving the dispute.

Senators Warn Union Case Risks Supreme Court’s Reputation
Conservative high court majority appears likely to rule against unions

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer speaks at a rally outside the Supreme Court on Jan. 11, 2015, as the court heard arguments in a case involving 10 California teachers who said they had a First Amendment right not to pay fees to a union. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court appears set to overturn a decades-old precedent and deal a financial blow to Democratic-aligned unions that represent teachers and other public-sector employees in a major case with blatant political overtones.

Ahead of oral arguments Monday, two Democratic senators sent the justices this message: The Supreme Court’s reputation is at stake, and overturning the 1977 ruling will further erode the public’s confidence that the federal courts are neutral and above politics.

Justices Air Differences on Value of Congressional Reports
High court appears as divided as ever on giving weight to legislative history

While the Supreme Court agreed unanimously on Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections, justices disagreed on the reliability of congressional committee reports. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An opinion Wednesday shows the Supreme Court is as divided as ever on whether congressional committee reports should be used to help understand what Congress meant when drafting and enacting a law.

All the justices agreed that the 2010 Dodd-Frank law only protects whistleblowers who tell the Securities and Exchange Commission about corporate wrongdoing. But the decision became a platform for justices to air their judicial philosophies about the long-contested idea of whether to give weight to legislative history.

Justices Reject Challenge to Waiting Period for Gun Purchases
‘The right to keep and bear arms is apparently this Court’s constitutional orphan’

The Florida shooting has sparked protests, such as this one near the White House over the weekend, calling for gun control.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Trump Likely Has Authority To Extend DACA Deadline, Experts Say
Competing camps within administration further complicate murky situation

Immigration rights demonstrators march in September from the White House to the Trump International Hotel and the Justice Department to oppose President Trump's decision to end the DACA program. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Legal experts dispute a claim from some senior Trump administration officials that President Donald Trump lacks the legal authority to extend his own deadline for ending an immigration program that protects nearly 700,00 people from deportation.

Senior White House and Cabinet officials in recent days have sent mixed messages about whether Trump could merely amend a September executive order that gave Congress until March 5 to legalize the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.