Mark Joseph Stern Profile picture
Senior writer @Slate. Courts and the law. Do you have a link to the ruling?
EricStoner Profile picture 🇺🇦🇺🇲☕️Coffee&Robots🤖🌊🇺🇦🇺🇲 Profile picture Ken Tancrous Ⓥ 🌱 eDo Profile picture Jeanie Horine Profile picture 21 added to My Authors
May 23 9 tweets 4 min read
The Supreme Court's first decision of the day is a surprisingly good, unanimous ruling in Morgan v. Sundance. There will be more opinions.
supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf… Kagan's opinion rejects a special rule in arbitration cases, developed by some lower courts, that essentially gave civil defendants a mulligan if they initially waived their right to arbitration then later said, actually, no, we want to arbitrate! supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf… Image
May 20 6 tweets 2 min read
In November 2020, Ginni Thomas emailed Arizona lawmakers urging them to apply the "independent state legislature doctrine"—which Clarence Thomas has endorsed—to overturn the results of the election. washingtonpost.com/investigations… The conflict of interest between Ginni and Clarence Thomas has never been greater. While Clarence was applying the "independent state legislature doctrine" from the bench, Ginni was using the exact same theory to try to overturn the 2020 election. Just breathtaking corruption.
May 17 6 tweets 2 min read
I am frankly horrified by the possibility that Salah Czapary might wind up on the DC Council. Until YESTERDAY, his campaign chair was a Republican climate change denier whose father was one of Trump's most corrupt and depraved appointees. There are so many red flags here. Czapary's campaign chair was also a fellow at the Claremont Institute—a white supremacist hate group that played a MAJOR role in Trump's coup, denies climate change, opposes birthright citizenship, and promoted Pizzagate conspiracy theorists. slate.com/news-and-polit…
May 16 10 tweets 4 min read
The Supreme Court's first decision of the day is Patel v. Garland. By a 5–4 vote, the court prohibits judicial review of fact findings that underlie a denial of relief from deportation. Gorsuch dissents with the liberals.

More opinion(s) to come.
supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf… Image Patel v. Garland illustrates the power of a 6–3 conservative majority: Even when one conservative justice joins the liberals—as Gorsuch did here—it doesn't change the outcome.
May 15 4 tweets 2 min read
This decision is especially ghastly in light of the news that the 18-year-old Buffalo shooter purchased his semiautomatic rifle legally. Trump judges around the country are pushing hard to grant 18-year-olds a constitutional right to purchase these weapons. Violent crime is closely linked with age, and criminality appears to peak around age 17. Granting 18-year-olds a constitutional right to buy assault weapons—as Trump judges are eager to do—will likely result in more gun homicides and mass shootings. scs.org/wp-content/upl…
May 14 4 tweets 3 min read
A Trump judge just BLOCKED most of Alabama’s new law criminalizing gender-affirming health care for minors, holding that the ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy likely violates the constitutional rights of both parents and children.

Ruling here: documentcloud.org/documents/2201… The court rejects Alabama’s assertion that gender-affirming care for minors is experimental and dangerous, instead deeming them “well-established, evidence-based treatments” whose prohibition violates parents’ constitutional right to direct their children’s medical care.
May 13 4 tweets 2 min read
The Texas Supreme Court's split decision today (1) lifts the statewide injunction prohibiting Texas officials from investigating or punishing any parents who provide gender-affirming care to their children, but (2) upholds the injunction as it applies to the named plaintiffs. In other words, the plaintiffs in this case—parents of a transgender child plus a doctor who provides health care to transgender minors—remain protected. But the statewide bar against investigations into families and doctors in the same situation is now gone.
May 11 7 tweets 2 min read
The 5th Circuit just reinstated Texas Republicans' ridiculous law prohibiting social media companies from "censoring" their users based on "viewpoint" and subjecting these companies' own speech to intrusive, ongoing government regulation. This is nuts. capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/872/bi… The 5th Circuit is so desperate to punish Twitter for alleged anti-conservative bias that it has let Texas throw out the First Amendment and abolish social media companies' right to free speech and association. Absolutely wild stuff going on at this court.
May 5 4 tweets 1 min read
Here is Louisiana’s new fetal personhood bill—which House Republicans just voted out of committee 7–2—making abortion a crime of homicide “from the moment of fertilization” and allowing prosectors to charge patients with murder. legiscan.com/LA/text/HB813/… Republicans told us for years that they would never punish women who get abortions. Now that Roe’s about to fall, they’re racing to authorize the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of abortion patients for murder. theadvertiser.com/story/news/202…
May 4 5 tweets 2 min read
There is literally no accountability or transparency at the Supreme Court—no internal watchdog to guard against misconduct, no enforceable ethics rules, no public oversight, nothing.

Which is why the "investigation" into Monday's leak is already a sham. slate.com/news-and-polit… Federal agencies are overseen by independent watchdogs that monitor compliance with the law while battling waste, fraud, and abuse and protecting whistleblowers.

The Supreme Court, by contrast, has continually rejected the very concept of accountability.
slate.com/news-and-polit…
May 4 9 tweets 6 min read
This is a really smart piece from @JHWeissmann on Republicans' legitimate reasons to fear the Dobbs leak slate.com/news-and-polit… Best one-sentence summary of Alito's draft opinion, from @AdamSerwer. "Grandiose and contemptuous, disingenuous and self-contradictory, with the necessary undertone of self-pity as justification." theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
May 3 12 tweets 4 min read
Alito's draft opinion overturning Roe and Casey approvingly cites Clarence Thomas' debunked claim that abortion is a tool of eugenics against Black people.
politico.com/f/?id=00000180…
slate.com/news-and-polit… Alito's draft opinion explicitly criticizes Lawrence v. Texas (legalizing sodomy) and Obergefell v. Hodges (legalizing same-sex marriage). He says that, like abortion, these decisions protect phony rights that are not "deeply rooted in history." politico.com/f/?id=00000180…
Apr 22 4 tweets 1 min read
Clarence Thomas regularly calls for radical shifts in the law by fixating on conservative professors' trendy new academic scholarship, which is unveiled with the religious fervor and certainty of Moses descending Mount Sinai to reveal the 10 Commandments. slate.com/news-and-polit… Originalism is meant to offer more stability than "living constitutionalism." But in Thomas' hands, it is a tool of radical destabilization. The justice is continually updating his interpretation of the Constitution and demanding an immediate, wholesale repudiation of precedent.
Apr 21 10 tweets 6 min read
The Supreme Court's first opinion of the day is in Boechler v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Unanimous opinion by Barrett.
supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf…

There will be more opinion(s), which could come from any of the justices. Image The Supreme Court's second opinion of the day is in U.S. v. Vaello Madero. Kavanaugh's opinion for the court upholds the denial of certain Social Security benefits to residents of Puerto Rico. Only Sotomayor dissents.

More opinion(s) to come! supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf… Image
Apr 18 6 tweets 2 min read
Another Trump judge issues another nationwide injunction while pretending to be wary of its legality. Hard to overstate the brazen hypocrisy here. Who should decide whether air passengers must wear masks: A federal agency staffed with experts accountable to the president, who is accountable to the people? Or a 35-year-old Trump judge in Tampa?
Apr 15 7 tweets 3 min read
The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case engineered to return Christian prayer to public schools. It features some of the most unscrupulous and dishonest lawyering I've ever seen before SCOTUS. It's built on a series of brazen lies. slate.com/news-and-polit… Coach Kennedy was not punished for "quiet, private prayer." He insisted on leading huge Christian prayer circles at the 50-yard line while performing his official duties, which team members (understandably) felt coerced into attending.
slate.com/news-and-polit…
Apr 14 5 tweets 2 min read
A bunch of studies have shown that easing restrictions on public carry increases overall homicide rates—and, specifically, gun homicide rates. More guns, more deaths. And the Supreme Court is about to create a constitutional right to concealed carry. nytimes.com/2022/04/12/us/… Texas doesn't require a permit for public carry anymore, but when it did, convictions for deadly conduct were *five times higher* for permit holders than for non-permit holders. Carrying a gun in public can transform a minor conflict into a murder.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
Apr 7 4 tweets 2 min read
Here is the 5th Circuit's decision lifting the injunction on Biden's COVID vaccine mandate for executive branch employees.

By a 2–1 vote, the panel found that the district court lacked jurisdiction under the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2158… Every reporter who tweeted about this decision without providing a link to the opinion should be deeply ashamed of themselves!
Apr 6 5 tweets 2 min read
On Monday, Amy Coney Barrett said Americans should "read the opinion" to decide if a Supreme Court decision sounds like law-free policymaking.

Today, the Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision against the Clean Water Act—without issuing an opinion.
Today's shadow docket decision revives a Trump administration rule that subverts the Clean Water Act by restricting the ability of states and tribes to block projects (like pipelines) that will damage the environment and illegally diminish water quality.
Mar 31 6 tweets 3 min read
In recent days, I've focused on the abrupt resurgence of homophobia within the mainstream GOP. But it's important to remember that the flood of anti-trans hate from the right never stopped. Trans people face a horrific assault on their fundamental rights every single day. #TDOV Much of the gay community stopped paying attention after Obergefell. But for the trans community, the attacks have only ramped up in the last few years. Transgender Americans have had to plead for allyship and warn what's on the horizon for the LGBTQ community. #TDOV
Mar 31 11 tweets 6 min read
In his decision blocking most of Florida's new voter suppression bill, Judge Mark Walker explicitly calls out other courts—including SCOTUS—for putting the right to vote "under siege" by "gutting" the Voting Rights Act. s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2156… Image After quoting MLK (below), Judge Walker writes:

"Federal courts would not countenance a law denying Christians their sacred right to prayer, and they should not countenance a law denying Floridians their sacred right to vote." s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2156… Image