supreme-court

Supreme Court Strikes Down State Ban on Polling Place Apparel
Century-old Minnesota law is similar to those in about nine other states

UNITED STATES - APRIL 12: U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington on Thursday, April 12, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down Minnesota’s ban on political apparel worn by voters when they cast ballots as a violation of the First Amendment, ruling that the state’s definition of what can’t be worn at the polling place is too vague.

In a 7-2 opinion, the majority found that while the state’s election judges can strive to enforce the statute in an evenhanded manner when they decide what is political when they screen individuals at the entrance to polls, there are no “objective, workable standards.”

Opinion: Supreme Court Resurrects the ‘Purge,’ and McConnell Saw It Coming
Majority leader’s power move is paying off for GOP as court reaches into the voting booth

A man protests in front of the Supreme Court in January during oral arguments in a voter roll purge case out of Ohio. The court’s ruling this week breathes new life into suppression efforts, Curtis writes. (Win McNamee/Getty Images file photo)

It was a brilliant and, opponents would say, devious move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Stall, obstruct and block President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court replacement for the late Antonin Scalia.

That pick, Judge Merrick Garland, once a thoroughly acceptable and moderate choice to many Republicans, never had a chance in a ramped-up partisan atmosphere. Instead, the next president, Donald Trump, appointed conservative Neil Gorsuch, with immediate and long-lasting repercussions, this week reaching into the voting booth.

Supreme Court Sides With Ohio’s Voter-Purge Law
Liberals cry voter suppression

Voters wait in line to vote at Hazelwood Central High School on Nov. 8, 2016, in Florissant, Missouri. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

A divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that Ohio’s law for removing voters from registration rolls does not violate federal laws to protect people who simply choose not to vote, a decision that voter rights advocates say could lead to disenfranchisement across the country.

A 5-4 opinion, written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and joined by the court’s conservative wing, could pave the way for other states to use a similar system for keeping their voter rolls up to date.

Voters Challenge Ohio Congressional Map as Partisan Gerrymander
Supreme Court expected to rule on similar cases before term ends in June

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty represents the 3rd District, which the lawsuit says is “shaped like a snowflake.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups and Ohio voters filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court readies decisions in similar cases about whether maps can be rejected if they entrench an advantage for one party.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeks a new congressional map for Ohio. But it almost certainly comes too late in the 2018 election cycle to affect districts ahead of the November vote. Ohio already held its primary election under the current map on May 8.

Court Sides With Employers Over Workers in Arbitration Case
Gorsuch: Court not free to substitute economic policies for those chosen by people’s representatives

Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court Justice nominee, right, opens the door for Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., before a meeting with Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in the Dirksen Building last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled Monday that arbitration clauses in employment contracts can prevent workers from pursuing class-action lawsuits on minimum wage and overtime disputes, prompting some justices to call for congressional action to protect workers’ rights.

In the 5-4 opinion, the conservative justices sided with corporate interests to find that Congress, in a 1925 law, instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their own terms. That includes terms that require individual — and not class — proceedings.

All the Voter ID Laws in May Primary States, Explained
Primary season ramps up, state requirement vary to cast ballot

Voting signs are posted at the early voting polls at One Judiciary Square in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More states in recent years enacted voter ID laws requiring people to provide some form of proof that they are who they say they are before casting a ballot. Courts across the nation continue to judge, while Republicans say these laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud and Democrats argue the laws create barriers to voting and disenfranchise minority voters.

Either way, if you plan to vote this May, here’s what you need to bring:

Analysis: 3 Contradictions From Trump Team on Stormy Daniels Payment
What did the president know? When did he know it?

A sign at Little Darlings Las Vegas advertises an upcoming performance at the strip club by adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels on Jan. 25. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump and one of his new attorneys admit he reimbursed his longtime fixer for a payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a striking reversal from what the president said just a few weeks ago. But team Trump’s attempts to clear up the matter is full of contradictions.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, now one of the lead attorneys on Trump’s personal legal team, told Fox News on Wednesday night the president repaid fixer and attorney Michael Cohen for $130,000 he transmitted to Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) in return for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter when Trump was a reality show star.

Texas Congressional Map Comes Under Supreme Court Scrutiny
Voter rights advocates worry the court could hand states a shield

Texas’ 35th District, represented by Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, is at the center of a gerrymandering case before the Supreme Court on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could not only require Texas to redraw its congressional districts, but give states a way to defend against claims of gerrymandering.

This is the third case the justices will hear this term about how states draw legislative maps to gain a political advantage. Cases from Wisconsin and Maryland focus on whether those maps can be too partisan. The Texas case is a more traditional challenge to how state lawmakers draw the lines using voter data.

Congressional Gridlock Plays Central Role in Internet Tax Case
Supreme Court could reshape online commerce nationwide this term

Senate Budget Chairman Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a bill on the online sales taxation issue last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a major internet sales tax case, and it won’t be the first or last time the justices will try to figure out whether gridlock in Congress plays a role in their decision.

But usually the gridlock is not quite on this scale. The Supreme Court could reshape online commerce nationwide when it decides this term whether to overturn its 1992 ruling that bars states from collecting sales tax from out-of-state vendors.

Judiciary Chairman Calls Firing Mueller ‘Suicide’ for Trump
Grassley warns president against firing Mueller or Sessions, notes potential Supreme Court vacancy

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley has a word of caution for President Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley is warning President Donald Trump against removing Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The Iowa Republican’s defense of Sessions, who faced criticism for recusing himself from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, seemed in part because Grassley thinks his committee may be facing the prospect of a Supreme Court nomination later in 2018.