U.S. Supreme Court

2:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Poll: Most Texans Still Don't Want You to Mess with Them

A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found while Texans are becoming more liberal on some issues, most agree they don't want people messing with Texas.

A recent poll from Public Policy Polling found 78 percent of Texans agree:

Don't Mess with Texas.

Nine percent say people should mess with Texas, and 13 percent are unsure.

Read more
1:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Says Silence Can Be Used Against You in Trial

The court's decision in Salinas v Texas means a suspects silence during questioning can be used against them if the suspect doesn't specifically invoke his or her 5th amendment rights.

With all the coverage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions last week regarding affirmative action, the Voting Rights Act and same-sex marriage, it’s not surprising some of the court’s other decisions didn’t receive as much attention, including one case that originated in Texas: Salinas v Texas.

 That decision is expected to have a big impact on the rights of criminal suspects on trial. 

Read more
8:00 am
Sun June 30, 2013

How This Week's 3 Big Supreme Court Decisions Affect Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on three cases this week that affect Texans.

This week was a busy one for the U.S. Supreme Court. It ruled on cases involving three major issues: affirmative action, same sex marriage and voting rights. 

All three of these cases have national implications, but they also mean changes for Texans, too. 

Read more
5:47 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Changes to the Voting Rights Act: What Texans Need to Know

The Supreme Court struck down a section of the Voting Rights Act, which could lead to less scrutiny in redistricting maps in the future

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its second big decision of the week, striking down part of the Voting Rights Act. Supporters praised the decision, calling it a step forward in eliminating antiquated aspects of the law. Opponents of the decision say it makes it easier to discriminate against minorities.

Read more
12:31 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

DOMA Struck Down: What’s Next for Same-Sex Couples in Texas?

A rally at the Texas Capitol in May, when the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.
Tyler Pratt, KUT News

Update: The U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on two same-sex marriage cases today means those unions will now be recognized by the federal government. In separate cases, the court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and the state of California can now resume efforts to legalize same sex marriage.

But neither of these rulings will directly affect Texas residents. 

“The ruling today was limited in the sense it didn’t extend to strike down defense of marriage acts that exist on state level," says Chuck Smith, executive director of Equality Texas.

Texas’ own Defense Against Marriage Act will remain on the books. Gov. Rick Perry signed the law in 2003.  In 2005, the state legislature also passed a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. If that amendment were repealed, it would need two-thirds approval by the state House and Senate. It would then go to voters for final approval. 

Same sex marriage is legal in 12 states and the District of Columbia. 

Read more
Voting Rights Act
5:39 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Voting Rights Act Partially Overturned; Texas Implements Voter ID Law


The Supreme Court has overturned a portion of the Voting Rights Act. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says this morning’s decision means a Texas voter ID law "will take effect immediately." Scroll down for updates. 

The high court struck down Section 4 of the act, which establishes a formula to identify portions of the county (primarily the South) where changes to elections must be approved by the Department of Justice. That was to ensure minority voting rights weren’t infringed upon.

From the court's opinion:

"Coverage today is based on decades-old data and eradicated practices. The formula captures States by reference to literacy tests and low voter registration and turnout in the 1960s and early 1970s. But such tests have been banned for over 40 years. And voter registration and turnout numbers in covered States have risen dramatically."

The court didn’t do away with Section 5 of the act – the portion that allows the Department of Justice to reject state laws it sees as discriminatory. Instead, the court says the new standards should be created, instead of the expanded coverage called for under Section 4.  

Read more
8:17 am
Mon June 24, 2013

How the Supreme Court Could Rule on Affirmative Action at UT

This week, the US Supreme Court is expected to rule on UT v Fisher, the case that questions whether it is constitutional to consider race in the college admissions process.

Update: It turned out the Supreme Court went in an entirely different direction - returning the ruling to a lower court, essentially on a technicality. 

Read more here: Supreme Court Punts on Affirmative Action’s Merits; Returns Ruling to Lower Court

Original Post: This week, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down three major decisions that will affect Texans—including Fisher v. University of Texas.  That case asks the question if it’s constitutional to consider race in the college admissions process.

Read more
Supreme Court
10:57 am
Mon June 17, 2013

High Court Strikes Ariz. Voting Law Requiring Proof Of Citizenship

Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund Director of Litigation Nina Perales (from left), MALDEF lawyer Luis Figueroa, Georgetown University law professor Jon Greenbaum and San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman Terry Rambler talk with reporters outside the U.S. Supreme Court after attending oral arguments in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council et al. in March.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:55 am

The Supreme Court is looking to make the final stretch of the 2012 term a dramatic one: While the justices knocked out five opinions today, none of them were the major ones we've been looking forward to. As we've told you before, we're waiting for:

Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

Read more
Supreme Court
12:21 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

No Decisions Yet On The Most-Anticipated Supreme Court Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene during a U.S. Supreme Court hearing earlier this year.
Art Lien Reuters / Landov

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 9:32 am

There's no big news again today from the U.S. Supreme Court — which is sort-of big news in itself because it means we're still waiting for the justices' decisions on these major cases:

-- Fisher v. University of Texas, a key test of affirmative action in higher education.

Read more
Supreme Court
9:37 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Collection Of DNA

The U.S. Supreme Court building
Zhang Jun Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:24 pm

By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested.

Read more
3:27 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Post-Conviction Appeals

In a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that will allow those convicted of crimes to appeal on the basis of inadequate defense

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a case that could help people already convicted of crimes appeal their convictions in federal court.

Read more
Supreme Court
10:28 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Case Against Farmer

Vernon Hugh Bowman, who took his case to the Supreme Court, lives outside the small town of Sandborn, Ind.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 9:50 am

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Indiana farmer infringed on Monsanto's patent when he planted soybeans that had been genetically modified by Monsanto without buying them from the agribusiness giant.

Read more
gay marriage
10:33 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Votes May Be There To Strike Down DOMA, But There's A Big 'If'

Demonstrators gathered again outside the Supreme Court Wednesday as the time approached for another case to be heard about issues related to same-sex marriage.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 1:52 pm

(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)

There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.

But there's a big "if."

As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.

Read more
6:56 am
Wed March 27, 2013

Day 1 Didn't Tell Us Too Much About Day 2 Of Same-Sex Marriage Cases

An artist's sketch of the scene inside the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 10:22 am

As we wait for the Supreme Court to convene again at 10 a.m. ET and begin the second of two historic days of oral arguments focusing on legal issues surrounding same-sex marriage, there's a natural question:

Did Day 1 — a case about California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage — tell us much about how the justices will tackle Wednesday's case?

NPR's Nina Totenberg told us Tuesday that the short answer is no.

Read more
gay marriage
10:25 am
Tue March 26, 2013

At First Of Gay-Marriage Cases, Skepticism About Whether Court Should Weigh In

The line was long Tuesday outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as spectators came to hear the oral arguments about California's Proposition 8.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 1:45 pm

(Our most recent update was at 12:50 p.m. ET.)

Read more
8:54 am
Tue March 26, 2013

'Faith and Family,' 'Light the Way to Justice' Rallies at Capitol

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments starting today, in two cases related to same-sex marriage.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today over same-sex marriage, here in Austin, people on both sides of the issues surrounding the cases will gather at the Capitol. 

Governor Rick Perry is expected to be the featured speaker at the "Faith and Family" rally in support of so-called "traditional values."

Read more
4:57 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

50th Anniversary of Court Appointed Legal Council Celebrated at Capitol

Gideon v. Wainwright determined courts have to supply legal counsel in criminal cases when requested.

The Texas Capitol celebrated the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright today, the Supreme Court case that determined courts have to supply legal counsel in criminal cases when requested.

Bruce Jacob, a professor at the Stetson University College of Law, presented the history at the Capitol Monday. Jacob was the Assistant Attorney General of Florida during the Gideon v. Wainwright case. He argued against Gideon, on behalf of Wainwright.

Read more
6:45 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Administration Asks Supreme Court To End Calif. Gay-Marriage Ban

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 7:47 am

The Obama administration has filed a friend of the court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down California's ban on gay marriage as a denial of "equal protection under the law." But the brief does not call for the abolition of all state bans on same-sex marriage.

The case now before the high court tests the constitutionality of California's Proposition 8, a referendum narrowly passed by voters in 2008 that reinstituted a ban on gay marriage.

Read more
10:27 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Supreme Court Weighs Future Of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court on Wednesday weighs the future of a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:48 am

Once again, race is front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. And once again, the bull's eye is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, widely viewed as the most effective and successful civil rights legislation in American history. Upheld five times by the court, the law now appears to be on life support.

Read more
4:48 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to campaign-finance laws that could open the door to further money in politics beyond what Citizens United achieved.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 5:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

Read more