U.S. Supreme Court

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.

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