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SCOTUS February Sketches

After sketching Justice Ginsburg’s return to the bench on the first day of the Court’s February sitting I wimped out the second day because of a little bit of snow. I’m not nearly as tough as RBG. I’m also way more lazy which is why I’m only now getting it together to lump all the rest of February’s sketches into this one post.

Last week’s argument calendar started off with a First Amendment public-access TV case, Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck . . .

On Tuesday an argument on the constitutionality of a sex-offender law, United States v. Haymond . . .

. . . and lunch.

The big argument of a quiet month came on Wednesday in The American Legion v. American Humanist Associationan establishment clause case over a giant cross shaped WWI memorial in Bladensburg, Md, just outside DC.

Also on Wednesday, Justice Kagan had the opinion in a major death penalty case, Madison v. Alabama.

And, as if we needed further proof that RBG is no slouch, Justice Ginsburg on Monday announced her second and third opinions since returning to the bench, one of which was a case that she participated in through the briefs and argument transcript while recuperating from cancer surgery at home.

 

 

 

 

 

The Come To Jesus Court

I used to have a naive belief that the courts were there to protect the rights of individuals and minorities but a couple of recent Supreme Court decisions show how mistaken I was. Two weeks ago in Schuette, and yesterday in Town of Greece, Justice Kennedy has come to the defense of the poor put-upon, oppressed by a hypersensitive minority, majority.

In a deeply divided plurality opinion the Court endorsed prayer at town-board meetings even if they almost exclusively invoked the name of Jesus – after all the town is majority Christian – as long as they don’t ” . . . threaten damnation, or preach conversion”.

All you others, stop whining.

Garrett Epps has it very well here.