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The Economist. Today's News: Dec. 6, 2016. How President Trump Could Reshape the Supreme Court—and the Country. At least half of the country was surprised by Donald Trump’s victory on election night, and Washington is now scrambling to guess how he will lead in the White House and abroad. But the most lasting effect of the Trump presidency could be his power to shape the Supreme Court, where he has one vacancy to fill now and the possibility of more in the years ahead. Just how could President Trump reshape the highest court—and the country? If Trump sticks to the list of proposed justices he released during the campaign, the court is likely to look and act similarly to that of any other Republican president.

But that doesn’t mean Trump’s appointees won’t have the opportunity to shape the Constitution now and for decades to come. Story Continued Below We’ve already heard what kinds of justices Trump plans to appoint. But Trump’s appointee might be more willing to enforce limits on congressional and presidential power than Scalia himself. US election: What's at stake for Supreme Court?

Image copyright Getty Images For Donald Trump, the election is "all about the Supreme Court". And his opponent has said the issue of the court raises the "central issue" of the election. So what is at stake? It's unusual that an election is fought with a space on the Supreme Court for a judge. The death in February of Antonin Scalia, one of the conservative justices, has made the future of the court a rallying point for many Republican voters.

His absence means the Supreme Court, which serves as the final arbiter on matters of great political and social consequence, is now balanced 4-4 between liberals and conservatives. President Barack Obama has nominated a replacement but the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to consider it. And with three of the eight remaining justices over the age of 70, the next president could get to nominate more than one. Meet the Supreme Court justices The biting wit of Justice Antonin Scalia So what are the key issues? Abortion Gun rights Gay marriage. Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court. Conservatives who are sticking with Donald Trump Donald TrumpBiden: Trump comments 'textbook' sexual assault 'Saturday Night Live' features women mocking Trump Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court MORE despite the groping accusations against him are stressing the importance of having a Republican president make the next appointment to the Supreme Court.

Trump is facing mounting allegations of inappropriate sexual touching in the wake of a leaked 2005 tape where he brags about kissing women and grabbing their genitals. While some Republicans have rescinded their endorsements of Trump, many more are standing by him — and they say the possibility of Hillary Clinton Hillary Rodham ClintonConservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court Trump asks: Can you believe I lost women voters 'based on made up events'? Vote House Republicans out MORE making Supreme Court appointments is a big reason why. “What’s at stake here is bigger than Donald Trump,” Rep. Sen. Boehner. The Supreme Court’s Dramatic Left Turn. In October, this Supreme Court term looked like it could be a disaster. The Court had taken review of cases involving multiple hot-button issues that typically divide conservatives and liberals, and, as has been the case since 1972, the Court’s conservatives outnumbered its liberals. Abortion, affirmative action, public-union dues, President Obama’s immigration initiative, voting rights, and the Affordable Care Act (again) were all on the chopping block.

Many observers predicted this would be the year the Roberts Court showed its full conservative strength, and the only question that remained was how devastating the results would be. Then Justice Antonin Scalia died, and everything changed. There was no longer a conservative majority; instead, the Court was evenly divided, 4 – 4, between conservative and liberal justices. Lawyers preparing for their Court appearances changed their arguments; pundits adjusted their predictions. The Court did deadlock in some cases. In oral arguments for the Texas abortion case, the three female justices upend the Supreme Court’s balance of power.

Allison Shelley/Getty Images When the Supreme Court last heard oral arguments in a landmark abortion case, it was April 1992, the case was Planned Parenthood v Casey, and Sandra Day O’Connor was the lone female justice. Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate, and hosts the podcast Amicus. Twenty-four years later, there are three women on the court. And if you count Justice Stephen Breyer as one of history’s great feminists—and I do—then you can view the arguments in this term’s landmark abortion case, Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, as creating a neat 4–4 split. On one side, you have a group of testy male justices needling a female lawyer for Texas clinics about whether it was even appropriate for them to hear this appeal. On the other, you’ve got four absolutely smoking hot feminists pounding on Texas’ solicitor general for passing abortion regulations that have no plausible health purpose and also seem pretty stupid.

Sotomayor is back: “I'm sorry. The Second Amendment Was Never Meant to Protect an Individual’s Right to a Gun. In common with the other big rightward swerves by the Roberts Court, the 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller was an aggressive exercise in mendacity. By upending the well-established meaning of the Second Amendment, the Court made the country less safe and less free. It did this under the guise of a neutral and principled “originalism” that looks to the text as it was first understood back in 1791 by the amendment’s drafters and their contemporaries. Heller’s 5–4 majority decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, was less in sync with the founding generation than with the top priority of a powerful interest group closely aligned with the Republican right.

The decision declared, for the first time, that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to a gun, at least for self-defense in the home. We may be approaching another moment of reckoning. Supreme Court takes case claiming racial gerrymandering in Virginia. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Virginia case that could clarify how much consideration of race is permissible when legislatures or other bodies redraw district lines. The justices announced Monday that they will wade into a legal challenge to Virginia's 2011 redistricting for the state House of Delegates. Civil rights groups and Democrats criticized the GOP-led process for packing too many African-American voters into so-called majority-minority districts.

"This case gives the Supreme Court the opportunity to further clarify how exactly to determine whether race has been taken into account too much in the drawing of district lines," said Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at University of California at Irvine. "It's kind of a Goldilocks problem. You must take race into account somewhat to comply with the Voting Rights Act, but if you take into account too much the racial considerations you can get in trouble as well.

The case accepted Monday, Bethune-Hill v. Jeffrey Rosen's 'Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet' and American Politics Today. Louis Brandeis, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court exactly 100 years ago, was America’s greatest critic of bigness since Thomas Jefferson. Denouncing big banks as well as big government as symptoms of what he called a “curse of bigness,” Brandeis was determined to diminish concentrated financial and federal power, which he viewed as a menace to liberty and democracy.

He is also the Jeffersonian prophet who has been most consistently vindicated. The “people’s lawyer,” who predicted the stock-market crash of 1929, was a ferocious critic of economic and political consolidation in an earlier age of “too big to fail.” More than any other Supreme Court justice, he shows the importance of translating values of privacy and free speech in an age of technological change. So why hasn’t Brandeis been invoked more frequently in the U.S. presidential election? Part of the reason may be that Americans live in a Hamiltonian world—and not only thanks to the hit musical.

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For Harry Reid, the Supreme Court Vacancy Offers One Last Fight. Supreme Court and Abortion. (Well worth watching the video in the New York Times link above!) On Tuesday 1 March 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt regarding the HB2 law in Texas. This law requires abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges and hospital like facilities – in requiring this it would make many of the State’s abortion clinics close. Some have argued that this is what Texas is trying to achieve by the implementation of this law. It is worth noting that the debate is largely over ‘undue burden’ – i.e. whether the closure of these clinics would mean that it would be almost too difficult for women in the State to get an abortion.

This is useful to students in a plethora of ways. It also has clear uses for Unit 3 – the day of the oral hearings in Court saw considerable protests outside of the Court. Like this: Like Loading... The Death of Antonin Scalia. The death of Scalia made headlines across UK and US media outlets, and dominated Twitter as the story broke. It’s importance should be clear to students of Politics and we don’t intend to write lots of stories on this. But, a few points need drawing out that are useful. The summary below is not exhaustive but until Obama nominates someone and the dust has settled a little more, here are the initial thoughts: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Like this: Like Loading... The Guardian view on the US supreme court: divided they stand | Editorial | Opinion. The combination of America’s Manichean party politics and the United States supreme court’s pivotal importance in managing the battles they generate is frequently volatile. But the weekend death of Antonin Scalia has been truly explosive. It transforms the 2016 US presidential election at a single stroke. Mr Scalia would have found this an ironic tribute.

In life he stood for small government, rooted in and respectful of the “originalist” tradition that he articulated. But that is not the world that Mr Scalia, who was incomparably the most intellectually influential American judge of his era, actually leaves behind. This argument is no Washington sideshow to the presidential contest.

Mr Obama has indicated that he will not be rushed into attempting to fill the vacancy. For the present, the reality is that American politics is deeply polarised, that the conservative movement is the dominant polariser, and that the supreme court reflects that reality. Obama's Supreme Court short list. The unexpected passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia immediately set lawyers and politicians talking about who would get the nod from President Barack Obama to fill Scalia's slot. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow to not confirm any nominee during the remainder of Obama's term creates an awkward dynamic around any potential pick.

Story Continued Below Whoever is nominated will have to consider the possibility of being in limbo for a year or more, if the Senate fails to act during the election year. However, that person might also have a leg up on being nominated by Hillary Clinton, if she wins the nomination and the general election in November. “It certainly is a lot for a person to take on to be the nominee in this heated political climate,” said Elizabeth Wydra of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center. Here are a look at some of the leading possibilities to be Obama's third nominee to the U.S.

Sri Srinivasan D.C. Paul Watford Patricia Ann Millett. The battle over replacing Justice Scalia is just the start of a war over the Supreme Court. By Richard L. Hasen February 15 at 7:00 AM Lesa Curtis of Westchester, N.Y., right, who is pro agency fees and a former president of her union, rallies outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, as the court heard arguments in the 'Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association' case. The justices were to hear arguments in a case that challenges the right of public-employee unions to collect fees from teachers, firefighters and other state and local government workers who choose not to become members.

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Richard L. It is tempting to think of the fight to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court as the battle defining the future of the Supreme Court for the next generation. Washington Post reporter Robert Barnes explains where the Supreme Court stands after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and how the vacant seat will impact the presidential election. But that assumes that the other members of the Court remain the same. Cruz vows to filibuster any Obama nominee to replace Scalia. Republican presidential candidate Sen.

Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) participates in the South Carolina Faith and Family Presidential Forum in Greenville, S.C., on Friday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) Ted Cruz vowed Sunday to filibuster any nomination made by President Obama to replace the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. "Absolutely," he said on ABC's "This Week" when asked if he would block any nominee named by Obama this year.

"This is a 5-4 court," the Texas senator said. Campaign 2016 Email Updates Get the best analysis of the presidential race. You’ve signed up for email updates on this story. Please provide a valid email address. Cruz and presidential rival Sen. Cruz dismissed the notion that the Senate has an obligation to consider an Obama nominee since the presidential election is still about nine months away. Rubio, speaking on CNN, praised Scalia. Still, not every member of the Republican presidential field is adamant that the Senate should not consider an Obama nominee this year.

If Republicans block Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, he wins anyway. Antonin Scalia is gone – now an epic political battle looms large | Law. News of the death of supreme court justice Antonin Scalia had barely started making smart phones buzz with alerts on a quiet holiday weekend before one Senate staffer vocalised what all of Washington was already wondering. “What is less than zero?” Asked the communications director for Utah Republican Mike Lee on Twitter. “The chances of Obama successfully appointing a supreme court justice to replace Scalia?”

It might seem shocking that the political classes were already speculating how much opposition Congress will put in the way of the president’s replacement, before news of a 79-year-old man’s death had even been officially confirmed. Yet if there is anything that will test to destruction what little bipartisan spirit is left in US politics, it is a vacancy on the supreme court bench in the final few months of a presidency loathed by many of the very senators who have to ratify a new appointment – with a minimum of 60 votes. There are risks for Republicans in the Senate in delaying. Supreme Court to hear Challenge against Obama’s Immigration Executive Actions. Supreme Court avoid guns. The Supreme Court and Federal-State Relationships.

Supreme Court justices

Attitudes to court. Significant cases. Why the Robert McDonnell case is a threat to the Constitution. Obamacare. Gay marriage ruling.