Red and Blue Politics
Offering analysis on the politics of yesterday, today, and tomorrow
The Supreme Court Appointment Battle is a Lose-Lose for Obama
Following the unexpected death of associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, the political battle to name a successor has become expectedly heated.
While President Obama has a chance to appoint...
Friday Thought Experiment: Judicial Branch Doctrines
In the spirit of more Obamacare litigation at the Supreme Court and the weekend right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to explore a few principles that have become entrenched in the American judicial system...
How Broad is the Constitution’s Guarantee on Firearms Ownership?
Gun ownership in the United States is one of the most hotly contested debates. Widely accepted jurisprudential doctrine guarantees one’s right under the Constitution’s Second Amendment to
Democracy, Rule of Law, and History: Factors Playing Into Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Litigation
The 2014 Supreme Court term is shaping up to be more dramatic and eventful than the previous. As some have pointed out, last year’s “blockbuster” case was a non-constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act that virtually did not affect...
Supreme Court Obamacare Litigation Part III
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear yet another challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare). This time, the case challenges the IRS's interpretation of the statute, which allows individuals to enjoy subsidies in health care...
Corporate Personhood: Should Corporations be Afforded Constitutional Rights?
One of the most fervent debates in American politics today is the notion of corporate personhood. Proponents believe that corporations should be afforded the constitutional rights individuals enjoy as corporations are an extension of people...
The Inevitability and Reluctance of Gun Litigation
A United States district court judge on Saturday
that the ban in the nation’s capital against concealed handguns in public is unconstitutional as it violates the Second Amendment. To provide a brief background and overview...
The Difference Between the Supreme Court Building’s Buffer Zone and Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones and the False Sense of Unanimous Decisions
Many of the Supreme Court decisions from the October 2013 term contributed to widespread furor and even originated a new term by pundits designed to shed light on the “partisanship” of the Court – “faux-nimity” – which was used to describe decisions...
The Contraception Mandate Challenge - Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: Statutory v. Constitutional
The Supreme Court yesterday handed down a 5-4 ruling on ideological lines in their decision in
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby
) that closely held for-profit companies can be exempt from the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) requirement...
What the Unanimous Decision Protecting Cell Phone Privacy Can Foretell About Potential NSA Surveillance Litigation
Civil libertarians and privacy activists alike have cheered the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court on Wednesday limiting cell phone searches by law enforcement officials. In
Riley v. California
The Last Ditch Obamacare Challenge
The Supreme Court decided yesterday to announce opinions today in addition to its June Monday-Thursday arrangement as to not go beyond the month of June. Arguably the most anticipated ruling(s) from the October 2013 term is the...
Kagan v. Scalia: Which Analogy Most Correctly Applies to Congress's Statute on "Straw Purchasers?"
Can a qualified citizen, who is not specifically prohibited by law, legally purchase a firearm for another qualified citizen? The
Supreme Court ruled on Monday
, yes. In what are called straw purchases, petitioner challenged his arrest in...
NSA Wins Again: District Judge Dismisses Challenge to Controversial Metadata Collection
If one is keeping score, it's NSA - 2, challengers - 1. Earlier this week, a federal district judge in Idaho agreed with the government and dismissed a challenge brought against the NSA's bulk collection of data. Judge B. Lynn Winmill, a Clinton...
Prayer in Government
Tradition, among a few other principles such as the definition of coercion, and lack of diversity or willingness among regional religious institutions, was the basis for the Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday to uphold prayer at municipal meetings. In...
Does Congress Have an Accountability Problem?
What would the founders of the United States think if they saw the broad authority of administrative agencies today? Congress has delegated much regulatory power to administrative agencies to carry out certain functions for which Congress...
The Future of AUMF and Guantanamo Detainees: Did Justice Breyer Just Push the Argument Forward?
president’s authority in war-making power and detention of enemy combatants has been a hotly contested issue for some time and many lawmakers are looking to either repeal or revise (not renew) the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). The drawdown...
Does Democracy Have a Constitutional Limit?
In a plurality
opinion released by the Supreme Court yesterday
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action
(that was pulled in four different directions) the Court upheld a ban in Michigan against affirmative action, albeit for various...
US Authority to Kill US Citizens Abroad: The Water Just Got Muddier
For some time, the policy of the US government to kill American citizens abroad who take up arms against the US has been called into question for potential constitutional violations. In an opportunity for some clarity on the matter, a federal district court judge yesterday...
McCutcheon v FEC: Conservatives Right for Wrong Reasons, Liberals Wrong for Right Reasons
The national fervor over the Supreme Court's decision this week in
McCutcheon v FEC
was divided quite evenly among partisan lines. Conservatives praised the Roberts court while liberals voiced their furor for a ruling that "eviscerates campaign finance laws." Each side...
Supreme Court's Campaign Finance Decision: America's Democracy Paradox
Already many young Americans are discouraged to exercise their right to vote because they believe their votes do not count. Unfortunately, rulings such as the one handed down by the Supreme Court today will provide further discouragement. Today the Supreme Court...
Religion in Business: Do Companies Have a Right to Deny Service?
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appeased much of the country when she decided to veto a much disputed
in her state, which sought to "not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" and strengthen religious freedom in the state...
Is the Second Amendment Really in Jeopardy?
Among supposed Constitutional rights under attack by President Obama and his administration, the Second Amendment may be at the top of the list. Conservatives and liberals alike feel as though their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms...
New Targeting Allegations Against the NSA
report conducted by the
New York Times
from earlier this month
, the NSA snooping saga has shifted to allegations of spying on businesses, more specifically, American law firms. According to documents obtained through the Edward Snowden...
Fundamental Rights within the Constitution and Confines of Common Society
Same-sex marriage is making national headlines once more. In Virginia, federal district court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, an Obama appointee,
struck down the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage
. The common threads in recent...
Bulk Collection of Metadata: Constitutional but Beyond Statutory Authority?
Of the Edward Snowden leaks, the majority of Americans are concerned about the scope in which the United States government is collecting information regarding their phone records. The government has maintained collecting swaths of metadata...
Contraception and Religious Exemption
Chief Justice John Roberts was the hero of the Obama Presidency with his influential Constitutional ruling of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His argument that the individual mandate is a "tax" will go down in...
Differences Between NY and DC District Court NSA Rulings and What's Next for Metadata Collection
Yet another twist has been written into the ongoing soap opera involving the NSA's metadata and surveillance program. Less than two weeks after a District of Columbia federal district court judge ruled the NSA's telephony metadata program was...
The Fallout of DOMA and the Future of Same-Sex Marriage Suits
Justice Antonin Scalia has proven to be an accurate prognosticator regarding the impact of the decisions of his colleagues on the Court.
, federal district court Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage...
What is Privacy? Federal Judge Rules on NSA Program
Yesterday, a District of Columbia federal district court judge issued a much anticipated and controversial ruling on the NSA's bulk metadata program used to collect information from cell phones in
Klayman v. Obama...
Should the Chevron Doctrine Be Done Away With? Questions Concerning the Administrative State
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases which have the potential to shake up the current administrative state. It is important to provide a background to the underlying precedents and implications of these cases being heard. In a 1984 landmark case...
What are the Limits to Corporation Personhood?
Breaking news out of Washington today: the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the cases of
Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby
Conestoga Wood Specialists Corp v. Sebelius
The Court is set to examine whether provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring...
Court-Packing or Exercising Constitutional Authority?
It appears the nuclear option has reared its ugly head yet again. Again, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats are upset with Republicans for blocking two judicial nominations by President Obama in the last two weeks. President Obama is trying to fill vacancies on the DC Circuit...
Sovereign Supremacy and the Hierarchy of International Law: An Examination of Bond v. United States
International law is a tricky and enigmatic subject. Nations pass treaties for various reasons; in some cases, for trade purposes and in others, for keeping certain fundamental rights safe in regions where governance may not be as sound...
Transparency and the Supreme Court
In today's Washington which is plagued by partisanship, volatility, and high tension which grinds the wheels of governing to a near standstill, the Supreme Court seems to be the only branch of government working effectively. Their ratings in polls among American voters
Judicial Review: Checks and Balances
The longstanding precedent of judicial review is now entrenched into our political system. That is not to say it has escaped controversy. Judicial review was established in the landmark case Marbury v. Madison in 1803...
City of Arlington v. FCC: Federalism
Federalism has been the root of nearly every major political battle in United States history spanning from the Civil War to Obama Care. The issue of federalism is entrenched in our society and has caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth...
The 14th Amendment: Equal Protection?
Aside from the commerce clause, the 14th amendment to the United States Constitution could be the most broadly interpreted element in constitutional law. The 14th amendment spans across several issues...
A President's Long Lasting Impact
One way the President of the United States can impact the political and legal spectrum long after they have left office is their appointments of federal judges. Through the precedent of judicial review set back in 1803, we have seen...
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