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... March 20, 2015 Oral Argument - Are a child’s out-of-court statements to a teacher about child abuse admissible?

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Oral Argument - Are a child’s out-of-court statements to a teacher about child abuse admissible? (03/20/2015)

In all fifty States, certain individuals—most often, teachers, social workers, and medical professionals—have a mandatory duty to report suspected child abuse that they notice in the course of their work. In this case, the Ohio Supreme Court held both that this mandatory-reporting duty turned daycare teachers into “agents of the state for lawenforcement purposes” and that a child’s out-of-court statements to the teachers qualified as “testimonial” under the Confrontation Clause, and thus were inadmissible at trial. We review the Court's oral arguments and consider the parties' arguments on both sides of the issue.

Oral Argument - Did Abercrombie & Fitch Violate Title VII By Refusing to Hire a Woman Wearing a Black Headscarf? (03/12/2015)

On this episode we review the case of 17-year-old Samantha Elauf who was refused a job at Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a black headscarf to her job interview. While at least one of the persons who interviewed her assumed that she wore the headscarf for religious reasons, Ms. Elauf never explicitly told those she interviewed with that she needed to wear the headscarf for religious reasons. The Court must decide whether a Title VII claim may be maintained based on a reasonable assumption on behalf of the employer that a religious accommodation is enough or whether explicit notice from the applicant is required.

Oral Argument - King v. Burwell - Will the Court Avoid Sending Obamacare into a "Death Spiral?" (03/07/2015)

On this episode, we consider the oral arguments this week in King v. Burwell, a controversial case that considers whether a provision of Obamacare that permits the IRS to offer tax credits to individuals who purchase health insurance through an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311" of the Affordable Care Act means that the IRS may not offer tax credits to those who purchased health insurance on exchanges managed by the Federal Government. The future of Obamacare may be at stake.

Special Episode - Disparate Impact Claims Under the Fair Housing Act (02/09/2015)

Are disparate-impact claims cognizable under the Fair Housing Act?

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.