supreme-court

Photos of the Week: Not really recess week
The week of Oct. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photojournalists

Alison Malone, right, and Marco Ruiz dance while waiting in line to enter the Supreme Court on first day of the new session of the court on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Justices debate overtaking Congress on LGBTQ protections
Justice Stephen Breyer called the role of Congress ‘the elephant in the room’ during arguments on three cases

Protesters block the street in front of the Supreme Court as it hears arguments on whether gay and transgender people are covered by a federal law barring employment discrimination on the basis of sex on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court grappled Tuesday with whether and how far to get in front of Congress in determining whether a 55-year-old civil rights law covers discrimination on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Justice Stephen Breyer called the role of Congress “the elephant in the room” during arguments on three cases about how to apply Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a country that has changed drastically since its initial passage. The cases hinge on if the court decides whether discrimination “on the basis of sex” includes whether the person is attracted to the same gender or identifies as the opposite of what they were assigned at birth.

Congressional inaction drives LGBT rights case at Supreme Court
Court to hear arguments over whether protections based on ‘sex’ apply to gay, lesbian and transgender workers

A case before the Supreme Court on Tuesday could have sweeping social implications since 28 states have no express protections for LGBT employee rights. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court confronts a major civil rights issue Tuesday over how broadly the justices should read the word “sex” in a 55-year-old anti-discrimination law — and a key aspect is Congress’ current push to clarify that the law covers LGBT individuals.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits private companies from discriminating against employees on the basis of “sex,” seen at the time as a historic step for women’s rights.

Are LGBTQ workers protected by the Civil Rights Act? Supreme Court will decide

A sign welcomes visitors to the front steps of the Supreme Court in Washington. The Court will hear arguments on LGBTQ workers' rights, Oct. 8, 2019 (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a trio of cases regarding LGBTQ workers' rights as they pertain to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Under Title VII, workplace discrimination "on the basis of sex" is prohibited, and the ruling from the Supreme Court will determine whether LGBTQ individuals, particularly those who are transgender, are covered under these rules.

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion law case
Joins other high-profile issues for the fall term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.

The Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case since the departure of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the arrival of President Donald Trump’s newest appointee, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide this term whether Louisiana can require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a case watched closely by advocates on both sides of the abortion debate.

The politically explosive topic joins a slew of other high-profile issues for the court’s new term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.

The Supreme Court is ready for its close-up
Political Theater, episode 95

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her fellow Supreme Court justices are political issues themselves, a topic for discussion in the latest Political Theater podcast. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hot topics? The Supreme Court’s got ’em this term. LGBTQ rights. Guns. Immigration. Abortion. 

The first Monday in October marks the start of the high court’s term each year, providing the titles of a 1981 Walter Matthau-Jill Clayburgh feature film — “First Monday in October” — and a short-lived CBS television drama with James Garner and Joe Mantegna, “First Monday.”

2020 census affects more than representation, billions at stake
The census influences more than $800 billion in federal government spending and business decisions

Protesters hold signs at rally in front of U.S. Supreme Court after ruling on census was handed down. In Alaska, census results drive tens of millions of dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to Native American communities to help build up housing that is lacking. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Less than 300 miles from the Arctic Circle, Toksook Bay, Alaska, has about 600 people, a dozen or so streets and averages a high of 12 degrees in January, the month the 2020 census will begin there.

The responses among Alaska Natives in Toksook Bay and throughout the state could have a huge impact on the future of their community, not just in terms of political representation but whether they have a roof over their heads.

Sen. Susan Collins dismissed Republican’s effort to scrap Kavanaugh after accuser’s testimony, new book says
Maine Republican wanted to hear Supreme Court justice nominee’s side of the story before moving on from him

Sen. Susan Collins delivered what is considered the decisive vote that sent Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Susan Collins declined to back a Republican colleague’s effort to desert then-Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a woman who accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her gave an emotional account of the alleged incident and the effect it has had on her life, according to a new book.

Collins was confronted by an unnamed Republican senator who had devised a proposal to withdraw his support of Kavanaugh, who was seen as a flawed nominee amid sexual misconduct allegations. In exchange, he would promise to support whomever President Donald Trump nominated in Kavanaugh's place, according to conservative writers Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino, who detailed the story of the newest Supreme Court Justice's confirmation in their new book “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.”

How the GOP won by losing on census citizenship question
CQ on Congress podcast, Episode 159

Protesters hold signs at a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which on June 27, 2019 blocked a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

GOP-held states with growing immigrant populations, Texas, Florida and Arizona, are more likely to gain House seats following the 2020 Census, as well as additional federal funding, if a citizenship question remains off, as the Supreme Court ordered on June 27. In this episode of the CQ on Congress podcast, CQ Roll Call reporter Michael Macagnone and Bryce Dietrich, a fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, discuss why Republican lawmakers continue to back President Donald Trump's plan to add it.  

‘A court without a middle’: Supreme Court term signals changes ahead
The five conservative justices sent signals they want to undo long-standing precedents they think were wrongly decided

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on September 4, 2018. Kavanaugh’s first Supreme Court term on the bench . (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court started its term last October amid the political divisiveness of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation process and with a much more private battle among the justices unfolding through the last day of the term Friday.

The departure of former Justice Anthony M. Kennedy after a decade as the court’s ideological axis, and the arrival of a more conservative Kavanaugh, sparked a new dynamic among the justices and a burst of writing as they staked out legal territory.