Supreme Court Review 2014/2015 TERM


A weekly discussion of the U.S. Supreme Court’s most recent opinions, oral arguments and grants of certiorari.

NOW PLAYING... January 24, 2015 Special Episode - The New Gay Marriage Cases

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Special Episode - The New Gay Marriage Cases (01/24/2015)

The Court has granted review to four new gay marriage cases. The cases will address two questions for review by the Court: 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? and 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state? On this episode, we review the parties arguments and consider how the Court might address these questions.

Opinion - Whitfield v. United States - Bank Robbery Forced Accompaniment Provision (01/17/2015)

Whether 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e), which provides a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for a bank robber who forces another person “to accompany him” during the robbery or while in flight, requires proof of more than a de minimis movement of the victim.

Opinion - Police Officers' Mistakes of Law (12/27/2014)

On this episode we review the Court's opinion in Heien v. North Carolina, which considered whether a police officer’s mistake of law can provide the individualized suspicion necessary to justify a traffic stop.

This Week at the United States Supreme Court (12/13/2014)

May the State of Texas refuse an organization's request for a specialty license plate because their design includes the incorporation of a confederate flag? May a state deny funding to an indigent petitioner who has no other means of obtaining evidence of his mental retardation? Did Congress unconstitutionally delegate its legislative power to Amtrak, a private entity, when it enacted Section 207(a) of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act? May a party moving for a new trial based on juror dishonest during voir dire introduce juror testimony about statements made during deliberations that tend to show the alleged dishonesty.

This Week at the United States Supreme Court (12/06/2014)

Are Facebook rants that direct threats at a specific person criminally actionable or does the First Amendment protect such expression? Should a pregnant woman who has been told by her doctor that she can no longer lift heavy boxes at work prevail in a lawsuit against her employer, UPS, who says that they only grant light duty assignments to those who are injured on the job or are disabled. Should a law that directs a minimum ten-year prison sentence for any bank robber who forces a hostage to accompany them be applied to a person who, after attempting to rob a bank, took refuge in the home of a senior citizen and asked them to move nine feet with them into another room of the home? We review the Court's oral arguments this week considering these questions.