Vox‘s intrepid photographer Miles Gavin Meng made his way to the Supreme Court yesterday morning as justices heard the oral arguments in the case United States v. Edith Windsor (2013), the case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law banning federal benefits for same-sex couples. Protestors took the opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to the bigoted law on the court grounds.
Posts Tagged “Supreme Court”
Mar 28 2013
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Jun 29 2012
Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare law requiring most Americans to pay a penalty if they fail to purchase insurance, in a historic moment for President Barack Obama’s legislative efforts. The vote was 5 to 4 with traditionally conservative Chief Justice G. John Roberts Jr. supporting four other liberal-leaning justices.
Obamacare polarizes Democrats and Republicans across the nation. Do you support the Supreme Court’s decision?
Take the second poll after the jump
Oct 08 2010
On the Docket, Georgetown’s Supreme Court society, made its first trip of the semester to the high court this week. The group of ten students camped on Monday and Tuesday nights to secure seats for the oral arguments in Snyder v. Phelps.
After Fred Phelp‘s virulently anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church protested the private funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Synder, who was killed in Iraq four years ago, Snyder’s family sued the church for defamation and the “intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
As a “captive audience,” the family argues, and the church’s free speech should be limited, even though protesters stood outside of the 1000-foot radius established by Congress.
“No matter which way the court goes, it’s going to be a dramatic rewriting of the First Amendment, [which] the court has not categorically supported,” Parul Aggarwal (SFS ’12), On the Docket treasurer, said. “I believe that the captive audience theory applies even at one thousand feet.”
Mar 03 2010
Mike Sacks, a third-year student at the Georgetown University Law Center, set a peculiar goal for himself at the start of this year’s Supreme Court term—to be the first one in line for a seat at every major argument, or First One @ One First, as the title of his blog boasts in a reference to the Supreme Court’s location.
Vox wasn’t aware of this, but apparently, waiting in line outside the Supreme Court Building to get one of the few, highly-coveted seats available to SCOTUS enthusiasts is a pretty popular sport. The New York Times caught up with Sacks just after his hopes to be the first one at One 1st all term long had been crushed by two gun rights supporters who flew in from California to watch a big gun control case go down. Sacks had arrived at 8 a.m. on a Monday, 26 hours before the case was set to begin. The Californians, shown above with a moping Sacks, had been there since before dawn.
Along the way, NYT also found a person who had been hired through Craigslist for $250 by an anonymous SCOTUS follower to hold a seat for 19 hours. Dick Heller, famous for bringing landmark the case against the District of Columbia that affirmed the right for individuals to carry firearms for private use, jacked Sacks’ seat. And, according to Sack’s blog, sometimes, the ABA Journal provides pizza.
May 26 2009
Not actually that tricky
It looks like a Georgetown Law student, Sarah Levien Shullman, cracked the Supreme Court code. A few of years ago, while in her second year at GU Law, Shullman posited that the number of questions the justices act can serve as a predictor of which side will win the case, according to the New York Times. Looking at 10 cases, she determined that the lawyer who was asked more questions was less likely to win.
Her study made it all the way up to Chief Justice John Roberts, who did some follow-up research of his own with a somewhat larger sample of cases and found the hypothesis worked.
Now, Shullman’s theory has been corroborated by a in-depth study from the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy which looked at 2,000. The new study found Shullman’s observation about the relative number of questions asked was indeed a solid predictor of the Court’s ultimate ruling, finding furthermore that the greater the difference between the number of questions asked to the two sides, the more solidly the theory held.
May 15 2009
1/3 of these guys? For one event? Not too shabby…
For any budding lawyers among us, Georgetown Law Center is hosting a pretty damn impressive program next Wednesday. “Striking the Balance: Fair and Independent Courts in a New Era,” an all-day symposium, features a wide array of legal celebrities, including three former or current Supreme Court Justices (even the rather reclusive David Souter).
Big names include:
Not in D.C. or not willing to schlep over to the Law Center campus? All remarks besides Souter’s will be broadcast online.
May 07 2009
With alum Antonin Scalia (COL ’57) and Samuel Alito, whose daughter attends Georgetown, the Supreme Court already has a sizable Georgetown-block. But, with the retirement of Justice David Souter, the court could get even Georgetown-ier. Here are the Hilltop-approved possible replacements:
On the shortlist: Diane Pamela Wood Currently a federal judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, Wood worked as an assistant professor at Georgetown from 1980-81. She worked with President Obama at the University of Chicago and, along with Judge Sonia Sotomayor and incoming Solicitor General Elena Kagan, is often mentioned as a front-runner for the seat.
Potential pick: Margaret McKeown (LAW ’75). This Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals judge holds both a juris doctorate and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Georgetown. Although she’s not mentioned as frequently as Wood, McKeown is typically listed in the top 15 or so.
Long-shot: Lisa Madigan (COL ’88). Current Attorney General for Illinois and Georgetown alum, Madigan gained national attention earlier this year during the Blagojevich scandal. While she hasn’t made it onto many shortlists, Slate’s Supreme Court guru Dahlia Lithwick did include her as a potential candidate.
Jun 26 2008
Supreme Court strikes down Washington’s handgun ban. Sad stuff for DC, but how much gun crime did the gun ban deter, considering that Maryland and Virginia gun stores are only a Metro train away? It was probably more useful for getting charges against people wanted for other stuff, Wire-style.
On the bright side, I guess this means we can all go to more firing ranges.
Nov 20 2007
The Supreme Court announced today that it will consider a challenge to Washington, D.C.’s strict gun ban laws, marking the first time the Court will consider the basic meaning of the 2nd Amendment. We’re glad the court took up the case, but we hope they follow the rest of the advice in our recent editorial on the subject, which urges the Justices to uphold the ban. Given the rightward lean of the court, it’s hard to say if the justices will agree with our interpretation, but as the Times notes, “court-watchers who try to predict outcomes in advance do so at their peril.” Right.
The Voice has covered the controversy since the get-go last spring and into this fall’s decision by Mayor Adrian Fenty to appeal the case. No doubt we’ll keep you posted on this issue; look for Voice reporters to be in the court for oral arguments in the case, expected this spring.