Category «Supreme Court»

Mifepristone is under scrutiny in the courts, but it has been used safely and effectively around the world for decades

A flurry of court rulings in April 2023 has left the future of the abortion pill mifepristone in question. For now, a U.S. Supreme Court decision on April 21 allows the drug to remain accessible without additional restrictions as the merits of the case are weighed in lower court proceedings. Depending on the outcome, the pill could face a ban or tightened restrictions on its usage, a possibility that has many health care providers concerned. Grace Shih, a family physician practicing in Washington state, explains the science behind mifepristone as well as its safety and efficacy in medication abortions.

Subjects: Food & Drug Law, Health, Healthcare, Legal Research, Privacy, Supreme Court, United States Law

What Supreme Court’s block of vaccine mandate for large businesses will mean for public health: 4 questions answered

The U.S. Supreme Court on January 13, 2022, blocked the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-test mandate, which applied to virtually all private companies with 100 of more employees. But it left in place a narrower mandate that requires health care workers at facilities receiving federal funds to get vaccinated. The ruling comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates continues to soar throughout the United States as a result of the omicron variant. Debbie Kaminer, a professor of law at Baruch College, CUNY, explain the ruling’s impact.

Subjects: Civil Liberties, Education, Employment Law, Healthcare, Legal Research, Supreme Court, United States Law

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues September 29 2018

Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health/medical, to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Note – three significant highlights of this week’s column: Be careful about what you post on social media [really]; Overruling Constitutional Precedents; and If Your Data is Found on the Dark Web, Firefox Monitor Will Let You Know.

Subjects: Big Data, Civil Liberties, CRS Reports, Cybercrime, Government Resources, Health, KM, Privacy, Search Engines, Social Media, Supreme Court

Google Books is not Alexandria redux

Chris Meadows revisits a subject, Google Books, that has been the focal point of legal action, disagreement within the publishing and library communities, and basically an issue lacking closure concerning the end product. Meadows reiterates the Second Circuit finding on Google Books and fair uses in his response to the continued quest of some groups to restore the “Library of Alexandria.” Please also see his related article, Oh Lord, please don’t let Google Book Search be misunderstood.

Subjects: Copyright, Courts & Technology, Legal Research, Libraries & Librarians, Open Source, Supreme Court

Negotiating Justice: The New Constitutional Spectrum of Plea Bargaining

Ken Strutin focuses on the impact of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, and the upcoming appeal in Burt v. Titlow in regard to placing plea bargaining front and center on the national stage. As a result, they have divided practitioners and scholars into two camps: (1) those who consider the rulings to be a new statement in the law of plea bargaining and right to effective assistance of counsel; and (2) those who believe they are only a restatement of established principles. These cases have generated interest in the centrality and regulation of plea bargaining, the ethics and effectiveness of defense counsel as negotiator, the oversight of prosecutors regarding charging decisions, sentence recommendations and pre-trial discovery, and the scope of federal habeas corpus review and remedies. Ken’s article is a comprehensive annotated guide to high court opinions, scholarship and commentary regarding the themes addressed by the Supreme Court in Lafler and Frye as well as their implications for the administration of criminal justice.

Subjects: Constitutional Law, Court Resources, Criminal Law, Features, Legal Research, Supreme Court, United States Law

Masters of Illusion: The Supreme Court and the Religion Clauses

Frank S. Ravitch, Masters of Illusion: The Supreme Court and the Religion Clauses. (New York University Press, 2007) ISBN 978-0814775851

The issue of neutrality is one that Ravitch takes issue with. In fact, his second chapter baldly proclaims that “Neutrality, whether formal or substantive, does not exist in the religion clause context,”. He goes on to observe that “Claims of neutrality cannot be proven. There is no independent neutral truth to baseline to which they can be tethered. This is important because it means that any baseline to which we attach neutrality is not neutral, and claims of neutrality built on these baselines are by their nature not neutral.” Ravitch is similarly suspicious of hard originalism, finding that originalist analysis often ends up in a “battle of the framers”. Observing that, “short of inventing a time machine and bringing a cadre of pollsters from Gallup back in time, it is unlikely that we will ever know what the framers intended about the wide array of specific issues confronting courts in the religious clause context”.

Taken together, the ideals of neutrality and originalism are two major bulwarks of religious clause interpretation in modern federal jurisprudence. Examining contemporary issues such as the display of crosses on public grounds, the display of the Ten Commandments and school prayer, Ravitch illustrates their weaknesses, noting that, “the current approach of relying on often unsubstantiated interpretive devices … has not led to great clarity or a better understanding of religion clause interpretation. Claiming that original intent or neutrality supports a position is not the same as proving it, and when one’s evidence for these approaches can be easily countered by judges or commentators who hold a different perspective, the likelihood of confusion is greater.”

Contending that “multiple, narrow principles of interpretation can lead to more clarity, consistency, and coherence in religious clause interpretation”, Ravitch draws upon the work of Philip Bobbitt in advancing the use of what Ravitch terms the “modal approach” in order to find a more equitable and just approach to the interpretation of the religion clauses. Ravitch advances the use of principles such as separationism, accommodationism, liberty, equality, “soft” originalism (defined as the broad intent of the framers) and pragmatism as narrow, cooperative principals rather than broad, exclusionary ones in order to lead to ” better, or at least more realistic, legal reasoning”.

In contrast to Slack’s approachable, journalistic style, Ravitch writes in a manner more characteristic of legal scholarship. His prose is dense, closely reasoned and in places difficult. However, this book will undoubtedly find a place in a specialist collection, particularly in a law school collection that focuses on religion clause jurisprudence. Slack’s more accessible style and clear manner of writing makes this book suitable for both the specialist and the general audience.

Subjects: Supreme Court

After Hours: Taste of the Nation Comes to Brooklyn / Meet Cuke Skywalker / Mail Order Wine

Kathy Biehl is the food writer for Diversion magazine and the former longtime dining critic for the Houston Business Journal. She has reviewed restaurants as well for the Houston Press, Time Out New York, My Table and the TONY Guide Eating & Drinking 2000. Her food writing has received awards from the Association of Food Journalists and the Houston Press Club. She is also the author of the Research RoundUp and Web Critic columns, co-author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Internet Research , and an attorney admitted to practice in Texas and New Jersey.

Subjects: After Hours, E-Commerce, Food, Supreme Court