U.S. Supreme Court

Updated at 2:47 p.m. ET

Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed Friday as the 113th justice to serve on the nation's highest court. The final vote was 54-45, mostly along party lines.

TDCJ/Abby Livingston

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear the Texas death penalty case of a Honduran national who is arguing that a federal appeals court wrongly denied him resources to investigate and provide evidence of substance abuse and mental illness.

TDCJ/Abby Livingston

From the Texas Tribune:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate Tuesday, sending his case back to the appeals court and invalidating the state's current method of determining if a death-sentenced inmate is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. Texas' method relies on decades-old medical standards and a controversial set of factors.

Screenshot via PBS NewsHour

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is taking questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee today. If confirmed, the federal appeals court judge would fill a seat left vacant for more than a year, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

Abby Livingston/Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate Tuesday, sending his case back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and invalidating the state's current method of determining if a death-sentenced inmate is intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution. Texas' method relies on decades-old medical standards and a controversial set of factors.

The cellphone video is vivid. A Border Patrol agent aims his gun at an unarmed 15-year-old some 60 feet away, across the border with Mexico, and shoots him dead.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case testing whether the family of the dead boy can sue the agent for damages in the U.S.

Between 2005 and 2013, there were 42 such cross-border shootings, a dramatic increase over earlier times.

When the country elects a Republican president, and there's an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court, that president will nominate a conservative to fill the seat. The question is: What kind of a conservative?

There are different kinds of conservative judges, from the pragmatist to the originalist. Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee, is a self-proclaimed originalist.

USCapitol/Flickr (Government Work)

From Texas StandardThis story originally aired on Nov. 11, 2016, and has been updated throughout.

Most parts of a president’s legacy are murky. It can be hard to identify an administration’s long-term effect on the economy or the environment, but the Supreme Court is a different story.

Jeff Kubina/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died while on vacation in Safter, out in west Texas, it shook the court as few events have since his rise to the bench in 1986. His vacancy has left the nation’s highest court ideologically divided, and politicians at odds over a replacement.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday hears a case that questions intellectual disabilities and the death penalty — specifically, what standards states may use in determining whether a defendant convicted of murder is mentally deficient.

Guy Gorek/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In late October, before President-elect Donald Trump won the electoral college, he released his plan for his first 100 days in office.

BootBearWDC/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in the case of Duane Buck, a convicted Texas murderer who was sentenced to die after an expert witness testified that Buck was more likely to commit violent crimes in the future because he is black.

With the presidential election just five weeks away, all discussions about the U.S. Supreme Court focus on the unfilled vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the likelihood of more vacancies to come. Speculation about the most likely justice to retire centers on 83-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But in an interview with NPR, she didn't sound like a woman eager to retire.

Envios/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Supreme Court tied Thursday morning in a ruling on the legality of President Barack Obama’s immigration program.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Spencer Haywood, NBA/ABA Legend and Hall-of-Famer.

Haywood will always be remembered as the guy who opened the door for underclassmen college basketball players to leave college early to enter the NBA, thereby creating the "Spencer Haywood rule."

Supreme Court to Take Up Two Texas Death Penalty Cases

Jun 6, 2016
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, via Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two Texas death penalty cases next term, both related to crimes that occurred in Houston, the high court revealed Monday.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said this week, "Eight, as you know, is not a good number for a multi-member court."

To wit: Texans are waiting for a Supreme Court decision over state abortion restrictions this session, but the court isn’t at full-strength after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia last year. This raises the possibility of a potential stalemate. And a tie among the highest court in the country doesn't get a do-over – it just means the lower court ruling stands.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

With oral arguments before the nation's highest court today, the Supreme Court justices are tackling what could be one of the most important abortion cases in decades. Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is a challenge to HB 2, the Texas law that requires abortion facilities meet the standards of surgical centers and abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Now, the Court is down one justice and at an ideological 4-4 split, so what will a ruling mean from the eight-justice Court?

 


Chris Maddaloni/ The Texas Tribune

In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.

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