FROM Lisa McElroy
Should immigrants facing deportation be able to post bail? Today in the case Jennings v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court pondered whether immigrants facing deportation should be in detention facilities indefinitely or whether they should be eligible for bond hearings that could lead to their release. The case concerns legal permanent residents who’ve been convicted of crimes and asylum seekers.
Can the Supreme Court work indefinitely without nine justices? The Supreme Court has been short a justice since Antonin Scalia died in February. While Senator John McCain walked back a statement that the Senate will block any Supreme Court nominee that Clinton might put forward, Senator Ted Cruz raised the prospect of Republicans fighting to keep the seat vacant. This week, Cruz said there is precedent for the court having fewer than nine justices.
Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restriction Laws The Supreme Court handed down a decision that could limit states’ rights to regulate abortion for years to come. In a 5-3 decision Monday, the justices struck down Texas’ strict anti-abortion laws. Now the door is open to challenge similar laws across the country. What will happen in other states? And what happens next in Texas, where nearly two dozen abortion clinics have closed in the past three years?
Supreme Court Divided in Police Seizure Decision The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can seize evidence during unconstitutional traffic stops in some cases. If suspects have outstanding arrest warrants, the court says, cops can search their cars, even if they stopped them for no reason. The 5-3 decision revealed a sharp divide between the conservative and liberal justices. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a blistering dissent saying her colleagues in the majority weakened the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches, which would cause more discrimination against minorities. How might the decision affect everyday citizens?
SCOTUS Non-Decision in Contraceptive Case Highlights Court’s Vacancy The Supreme Court issued a non-decision Monday in a case about contraception, the Affordable Care Act and religious freedom. At issue was whether Obamacare’s mandate to provide free birth control is a substantial burden on a religious organization. The eight justices asked the two sides to work out a compromise in the lower courts. The unanimous decision to send the case back to the appellate level is an attempt to avoid a 4-4 deadlock. And it highlights how the court’s empty ninth seat has become an issue as the term winds down and Congress continues to refuse to hold a hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland.
SCOTUS Rules on Pregnant Woman’s Workplace Case The U.S. Supreme Court decided yesterday in favor of a pregnant woman who sued her employer for putting her on unpaid leave. Peggy Young asked UPS if they would accommodate her because she couldn’t lift heavy boxes, and they said no. Her manager reportedly told her that "she was too much of a liability" to work as a driver or be given another job temporarily. The Supreme Court's 6-3 decision in her favor doesn’t rule on the merits of Young’s case, but ensures that she gets to argue her claim before a lower court. What could the ruling mean for Young and future cases?
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.
Accusations of lying fly between James Comey and White House During his testimony Thursday, former FBI Director James Comey accused President Trump and other White House officials of lying when they said the FBI was in disarray and its staff had lost confidence in him. President Trump’s lawyer said Comey was wrong -- that the president never asked for his loyalty, and never asked him to back off the investigation into former NSA director Michael Flynn.