U.S. Supreme Court

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, says he will support moving forward with President Trump's upcoming election year nomination to the Supreme Court.

Romney issued a statement Tuesday that he intends "to follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President's nominee, and if the nominee reaches the Senate floor he intends "to vote based upon their qualifications."

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has raised the profile of a case that marks the latest existential threat to the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case the week after the general election in November.

Democrats are raising alarms about the future of the law without Ginsburg. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking on ABC's This Week Sunday morning, said that part of the strategy by President Trump and Senate Republicans to quickly fill Ginsburg's seat is to help undermine the ACA.

When President Trump learned Friday night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died, he told reporters she was an "amazing woman." Later, in an official statement, he called her a "titan of the law." And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., wrote in a statement that he would bring a vote for a new justice to the floor, Trump did not weigh in.

Follow NPR's coverage of Ginsburg's death and the political aftermath here.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz addresses supporters in Houston after winning re-election in 2018.
Julia Reihs / KUT

President Donald Trump on Wednesday named U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as a potential nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says that her cancer has returned and that chemotherapy is yielding positive results. In a statement, she said that her most recent scan, on July 7, "indicated significant reduction of the liver lesions and no new disease."

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is back in the hospital, this time to treat a possible infection. She spiked a fever Monday night, according to a press release from the Supreme Court, and on Tuesday underwent an endoscopic procedure to clean out a bile duct stent that was inserted in August.

The procedure was done at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore after Ginsburg was first evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Updated at 5:35 p.m.

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court stood by its most recent abortion-rights precedent Monday, delivering a major defeat to abortion opponents who had hoped for a reversal of fortunes at the court with the addition of two new Trump-appointed justices.

By a 5-4 vote, the court struck down a Louisiana law that was virtually identical to a Texas law it invalidated just four years ago. Chief Justice John Roberts cast the fifth and decisive vote.

Shelby Knowles / The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an initial bid by state Democrats to expand voting by mail to all Texas voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

UT Austin grad Kevin Robles is a DACA recipient
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

When recent UT Austin graduate Kevin Robles woke up Thursday morning, he checked his phone, saw the breaking news notification and felt some of the fears he’s been holding the last few years dissipate. 

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

In a major rebuke to President Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked the administration's plan to dismantle an Obama-era program that has protected 700,000 so-called DREAMers from deportation. The vote was 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the opinion.

Abortion Providers Want Supreme Court To Restore Some Services During Pandemic

Apr 11, 2020
A Planned Parenthood office in Austin with a mural of a woman holding a globe on the side of it.
Julia Reihs / KUT

In what has been an ongoing legal dispute over Texans' access to abortion during the new coronavirus pandemic, abortion providers on Saturday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take emergency action to restore “essential, time-sensitive medication abortion services.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a Texas-led challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the justices said Monday, marking the third major case in which former President Barack Obama's landmark health law has earned the scrutiny of the country’s highest court.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider whether employers should be allowed to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage to their workers because of moral or religious objections.

A billboard on Interstate 20 outside of Waskom displays an anti-abortion message.
Ben Fenton / The Texas Tribune

Three Texas towns recently voted in favor of anti-abortion ordinances, extending the reach of a campaign to create “sanctuary cities for the unborn” across the state.

For the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has heard a major gun-rights case. But the drumroll of anticipation seemed to fade, as the debate in the high court Monday focused almost exclusively on whether the case should be dismissed as moot.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a highly anticipated set of cases that threatens the legal status of some 700,000 young immigrants — often called DREAMers — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's a program that President Trump tried to rescind seven months after taking office, only to have the lower courts block his action.

A decision in the latest court case to threaten the future of the Affordable Care Act could come as soon as this month. The ruling will come from the panel of judges in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments in the Texas v. Azar lawsuit.

An estimated 24 million people get their health coverage through programs created under the law, which has faced countless court challenges since it passed.

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens, whose Supreme Court opinions transformed many areas of American law during his 34 year tenure, died at the age of 99 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., of complications following a stroke he suffered Monday.

Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed Stevens' death in a statement from the Supreme Court.

Claire Harbage / KUT

Local officials said they were encouraged by a Supreme Court decision today that essentially blocks a citizenship question from being added to the 2020 census.

Legislative districts in Virginia that the Supreme Court previously said were racially gerrymandered have to remain in their redrawn form, the court said Monday, giving Democrats in the state a victory.

The majority decision was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who noted that because the entirety of state government wasn't suing to keep the fight going — the case was brought by the state's GOP-controlled House — then it is throwing the case out.

Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Rancorous Supreme Court Nomination Fights Go Back Further Than You Think

May 15, 2019
Marion S. Trikosko/Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

From Texas Standard:

When there's a vacancy on the Supreme Court, a president has the opportunity to fill that slot with someone who shares his or her political perspective and values. As a result, the president cements a legacy. But nominations can spark backlash from a opponents, which happened when Lyndon Johnson nominated Abe Fortas for chief justice as Johnson was finishing up his term as president in the late 1960s. Some conservative senators vowed to prevent the lame-duck president from pushing through his nominee. This happened more than 50 years ago, but it's an echo of what's happening today with our current president, his Supreme Court nominees and Congress.

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

From Texas Standard:

On Tuesday, a new Texas Department of Criminal Justice policy went into effect, banning any religious adviser from being in the execution chamber with an inmate. The decision came after the U.S. Supreme Court, last week, postponed the execution of Patrick Murphy, a member of the Texas Seven group.

The court said his execution had to wait until Texas decided on its policy about the presence of spiritual advisers during executions. The state had originally denied Murphy’s request to have a Buddhist priest, which Murphy appealed because Texas had allowed advisers from other faiths to be in the execution chamber. In his opinion, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote that Texas needed to find a way to accommodate all faiths so as not to discriminate, or allow no advisers at all. TDCJ decided on the latter.

Two Supreme Court decisions just hours before a scheduled execution. Two decisions just seven weeks apart. Two decisions on the same issue. Except that in one, a Muslim was put to death without his imam allowed with him in the execution chamber, and in the other, a Buddhist's execution was temporarily halted because his Buddhist minister was denied the same right.

The two apparently conflicting decisions are so puzzling that even the lawyers are scratching their heads and offering explanations that they candidly admit are only speculative.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the execution of a Buddhist inmate on death row because prison officials wouldn't let his spiritual adviser be present in the execution chamber, even though they provide chaplains for inmates of some other faiths.

The U.S. Supreme Court has for the second time struck down the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' way of determining if a death row inmate is intellectually disabled and eligible for execution.

Lynda Gonzalez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Ever since two important cases struck down gun restrictions in Washington, D.C. and Chicago – rulings that essentially protected gun ownership in the home – a question has remained as to whether it's legal to carry guns in public. But now, the Supreme Court is planning to review a case dealing with that very question; it's known by the shorthand "New York State Rifle."

Adam Winkler is a professor at UCLA School of Law who specializes in American constitutional law and the Supreme Court. Winkler says the case challenges a New York City ordinance that limits where people with permitted guns can bring them into public; they can bring them to specified gun ranges, for example.

The federal courthouse in downtown Austin on July 1, 2015.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Keeping track of federal court cases can be confusing even for reporters whose job it is to follow this stuff, let alone the general public.

Updated at 12:12 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not taking part in Monday's oral arguments before the court.

The 85-year old liberal justice underwent surgery for cancer last month and also recently broke several ribs after a fall.

Ginsburg had not missed a day of arguments since she was confirmed to the court in 1993.

Despite not physically being at the court, she will be participating in the cases by reading the briefs and the transcripts of the oral arguments.

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