It's a major day for the Supreme Court. It's not only the first day of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings, but also the last day of the court's term and the end of Justice Stevens' tenure on the bench. But before the court breaks for the summer, there are four remaining cases on which the judges are expected to rule.
On Friday, thousands of emails written by Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan were released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Observers of the court from both sides of the aisle spent the weekend scrutinizing the new documents, searching for clues about her legal history.
There is still a lot that is unknown about President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan. The question remains as to whether her positions as solicitor general can tell us what she'd be like as a Supreme Court judge.
The Supreme Court hears a case today seeking to determine if the free speech rights of people who sign a ballot petition are violated if those names and addresses are publicly disclosed. In the case of Doe v. Reed, people who signed a ballot petition to end same-sex domestic partnerships argue they will be subject to harassment and retaliation if the state allows their personal information to be disclosed. Today's case is just one of several the Supreme Court is hearing regarding the constitutional scope of free speech and the First Amendment.
CONGRESS TAKEOUT: Health care reform has been signed into law. Now what? Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich lays out the next steps in the Senate and the courts.
JUDICAL TAKEOUT: Since President Obama nominated law professor Goodwin Liu to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals, there's been a firestorm of criticism and praise for his pick. Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor Slatemagazine looks at what this progressive choice could mean for potential Supreme Court nominations.
LISTENERS ON THE NEXT BIG ISSUE: By email, on the web and over the phone Takeaway listeners weigh in with their reaction to Sunday's historic vote in the House and weight in on what Congress should tackle next.
During his State of the Union Address, President Obama called out the Supreme Court for its ruling that allowed corporations to spend money on ads for political candidates. At the time, Justice Alito rolled his eyes and mouthed "not true." The scene caused a stir as different branches of the government pointed fingers at each other. Yesterday, Chief Justice John Roberts broke the silence and shot back, telling a group of University of Alabama students that the incident was "very troubling."
In what will certainly be looked back upon as a landmark and highly controversial decision, the Supreme Court reversed longstanding restrictions on campaign finance yesterday: specifically, laws restricting corporations and corporate money during election season.
The man who calls himself the 'mastermind' of the 9/11 terror attacks is heading to trial in U.S. federal court. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four of his alleged co-conspirators will be moved from Guantánamo Bay to face trial in lower Manhattan – just blocks away from the World Trade Center site. We speak to Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick about some of the challenges involved in such a trial. We also hear from attorney Jonathan Hafetz, co-editor of "The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law." Hafetz represents Mohamedou Slahi, a Guantánamo detainee who may also be headed to the same civilan court.
The Supreme Court begins its annual term this morning with a packed agenda. Among other cases, they'll be hearing about gun rights, dog-fighting videos, corporate political contributions and the First Amendment. Plus, it's Justice Sonia Sotomayor's first day on the job, and there are rumors that Justice Stevens is on his way out. For more, we turn to Dahlia Lithwick, Supreme Court correspondent and senior editor at Slate Magazine.
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor. She is President Obama's first appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and if she is confirmed she will make history as the first Hispanic on the high court. Joining us for a preview of the confirmation process is Dahlia Lithwick. She is the senior legal correspondent for Slate and joins us from Washington, DC.
"There's not much on the record that's going to hurt her. She really is, like it or not, a pretty pedestrian moderate, technical, mainstream, fairly moderate liberal judge. She's basically David Souter." —Dahlia Lithwick, senior legal correspondent for Slate, on Sonia Sotomayor
For more on Sonia Sotomayor, watch the video below.
President Obama is about to announce his Supreme Court pick: Sonia Sotomayor, the first American of Puerto Rican descent to be appointed to the Federal bench in New York City, now in the Appeals Court of the 2nd Circuit. Judge Sotomayor earned a reputation as a sharp, outspoken and fearless jurist, someone who does not let powerful interests bully, rush or cow her into a decision. For more about the potential Justice we turn to Jenny Rivera, who clerked for Judge Sotomayor in the Southern District of New York Court in 1992 and is now a professor at the City University of New York Law School and the Director of the Center for Latino and Latina Rights and Equality. We are also joined by Slate Magazine's Senior Legal Correspondent Dahlia Lithwick.
President Obama is expected to announce that he will fill retiring Justice David Souter's seat on the high court with Sonia Sotomayor. She would be the first Hispanic member of the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is a self-described "Newyorkican" who grew up in housing projects in the Bronx after her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. She attended Princeton University and Yale Law School before becoming a prosecutor and a federal judge. She also has a bipartisan background, having been appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush and then nominated to the appeals court by Bill Clinton. And did we mention that she helped end the baseball strike? For more about the potential Justice we turn to Slate Magazine's Senior Legal Correspondent Dahlia Lithwick.
Justice David Souter's retirement gives President Obama the chance to start reshaping the Supreme Court. Who's on Obama's short list? And what are the quialities that make someone a high-impact justice? Joining the Takeaway are Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times and Dahlia Lithwick, senior legal correspondent for Slate . They discuss what role the new justice could play.
"The ability to persuade, to slightly modify your view in order to get a fifth vote, that's a critical quality, almost more important than your own jurisprudential view." —Dahlia Lithwick of Slate Magazine on nominees for the Supreme Court
Facebook, the incredibly popular social network, hit massive protests when they changed their terms of service to indicate that they owned all content posted on their site by users. This would include photographs, poems, and messages. Tens of thousands of the social network's users joined online protest groups to denounce the change in policy. While initially trying to defend the change, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, ended up announcing a return to its previous terms of service. For an overview of the problem we are joined by Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick and University of Virginia media professor Siva Vaidhynathan.
"I think parents need to teach their kids that information is forever." — Slate Magazine's Dahlia Lithwick on the recent change in terms on Facebook
While you certainly hope your teen isn't sending explicit photos of themselves over their cellphone, if they were, would you want them to get slapped with felony pornography charges? Six kids in Pennsylvania were charged with dissemination and possession of child pornography when the girls sent nude photos to their boyfriends over their cellphones. If convicted these kids may have to register as sex offenders. This has Dahlia Lithwick, legal affairs correspondent for Slate Magazine, up in arms. Also weighing in is Siva Vaidhynathan, media professor at the University of Virginia.
An internal Justice Department report released yesterday found that a former senior official routinely used an ideological litmus test in filling what were supposed to be apolitical posts, and then lied to a Congressional panel investigating the practice. Slate Senior Legal Correspondent Dahlia Lithwick joins us to examine why the official won't be prosecuted, and looks at the larger trend of not holding Bush Administration officials accountable.
In its final weeks the Bush Administration has issued a federal rule that allows health care workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable. Doctors and nurses have had the right to opt-out of providing abortions for decades, but this new rule is much broader. Slate's senior legal correspondent, Dahlia Lithwick, gives The Takeaway the rundown.
"A doctor who objects to abortion need not tell a patient that he's seen something on her scan that suggests there is a problem with a fetus."
— Dahlia Lithwick on new healthcare regulations