Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, right, watched as Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne defended Proposition 200, a state law that requires additional proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. O’Connor was on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel that rejected the law.
The case is Arizona v. The Inter Tribal Cuoncil of Arizona
Lyle Denniston writes about it here.
When anthrax started showing up in the mail shortly after 9/11 it was detected in the Supreme Court as well. The Court kept to its schedule by moving a few blocks away to convene in the D.C. Circuit’s ceremonial courtroom.
I’d been looking for this sketch for several years thinking it had been lost, but in fact had matted and framed it for exhibit and never returned it to the files. I found last week while moving stuff to storage. It shows Solicitor General Ted Olson arguing in Adarand Constructors v. Mineta. Seated in the foreground are NYT’s Linda Greenhouse, left, and NPR’s Nina Totenberg.
CNN story on the Court’s move is here.
Notables of the civil rights movement sat in the audience as the Supreme Court yesterday heard arguments in a major challenge to the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder.
From 1965 when President Johnson signed it into law to the election of the first African-American president, the Voting Rights Act has been the most important and successful civil rights law ever passed. So successful that a slim majority of the Court seem to think that its most important part, Section 5, is so outdated it’s no longer constitutional.
Justice Scalia,below, to Solicitor General Verrilli on why the were no votes against the 2006 reauthorization in the Senate, “I think that’s attributable to a phenomenon that has been called the perpetuation of racial entitlements.”
Bob Barnes has WaPo story here.
Maryland and 27 other states have laws that permit the taking of a DNA sample, usually by cheek swab, at the time of arrest, much like fingerprinting a suspect. Maryland’s high court vacated the conviction of Alonzo King whose DNA, taken during an unrelated arrest in 2009, linked him to a 2003 rape. On Tuesday the Supreme Court heard arguments in Maryland v. King.
NYT’s Adam Liptak writes about it here.
I drew this from a great little scale model of the courtroom on exhibit on the ground floor of the Supreme Court building. For something like this you have to get a head start. I’ll finished up on argument day.
A sad day yesterday as a tearful Jesse Jackson Jr. pleaded guilty in a courtroom filled with friends and family, including his father, Jesse Jackson Sr.
The Judge who accepted Jackson’s plea, Robert L. Wilkins, had, while a student at Harvard Law, supported the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson Sr., and offered to recuse himself. Neither side thought that necessary.
Shown above, Jackson is at the lectern flanked by his lawyers. Supporters and family are in the background, while government prosecutors sit in the right foreground.
Jackson’s wife, and former Chicago alderman, Sandi Jackson also entered a plea for hiding income. She is shown here with her lawyer, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Dan Webb.
She too wept …
Chicago Sun-Times story here.
Chief Justice Roberts stopped by the press room Tuesday morning to welcome back reporters. He said the Court would be announcing quite a few opinions, so be prepared to work through lunch.
Below are sketches of arguments the Court heard in Bowman v. Monsanto.
Monsanto sells its brand of genetically engineered soybean seed to farmers with the stipulation that they will not replant the crop seed. Indiana farmer Vernon Bowman abided by Monsanto’s rules when he planted his first crop, but for a second late-season crop he decided to plant seed purchased from a grain elevator figuring much of it would seed grown from Monsanto’s Rounup resistant strain. He was right, but Monsanto sued.
Bowman’s lawyer, Mark Walters, had a hard time convincing Justices that once Monsanto sold its seed the patent was exhausted. ”The Exhaustion Doctrine permits you to use the goods that you buy,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. “It never permits you to make another item from the item that you bought.”
Monsanto’s lawyer Seth P. Waxman said the company “never would have produced what is, by now the most popular agricultural technology in America” if the patent had been so easily exhausted.
WaPo story here.
The blog Today’s Inspiration this week posted a fascinating 1968 Famous Artists Magazine interview with artist-reporter Franklin McMahon who died last March. It is worth a read. McMahon was one of the greatest practitioners of visual journalism. He knew how to find a story and sell it to editors. As far as I know the only trial he covered was the 1955 trial for the murder of Emmett Till. The images posted here are from that trial.
This is McMahon’s sketch of Till’s uncle, Mose Wright, pointing to one of the defendants in the courtroom.
And this is the same moment serruptitiously captured from a different angle by photographer Ernest Withers.
To his defenders former CIA officer John Kiriakou is a whistleblower who revealed the use of torture on terror suspects, but the government says that when he leaked the identity of a covert agent he was motivated by ego and money, seeking to “raise his media profile”.
In a deal with prosecutors Espionage Act charges were dropped and Kiriakou became only the second person ever convicted under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Also part of the deal was a prison sentence of 30 months instead of the eight years he faced under sentencing guidelines.
Supporters who signed a letter to President Obama asking that the sentence be commuted include NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake and Government Accountability Project director Jesselyn Radack who were seated in the courtroom today.
WaPo story here.
A large group of lawyers from the National LGBT Bar Association were introduced by Paul Smith before being sworn in to the bar of the Supreme Court.
Openly gay lawyers practice before the Supreme Court, but yesterday marks the first time lawyers have been identified as LGBT Bar members at the ceremony. The times they are a changing.
Tagged with: LGBT
Posted in Supreme Court