Tag Supreme Court

Rethinking the History of Religious Freedom

Robert Louis Wilken— In the Supreme Court case Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 1940, that upheld compulsory pledging of allegiance to the U.S. flag in schools, Justice Felix Frankfurter, writing for the majority, said: “Centuries of strife over the erection of particular dogmas as exclusive or all-comprehending faiths led to

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The “Seriatim Practice” of the Supreme Court

Paul W. Kahn—   We can imagine a state in which courts issued judgments without explanation. The need to settle disputes requires some form of adjudicatory mechanism; it does not necessarily require explanation of the decisions. When there is explanation, the form of presentation has varied over time. The American

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On “Chefs,” Wedding Cakes, and Corporate Personhood

Kent Greenfield— I was driving the other day with my kids in the car. Henry, like most five-year-olds, is full of questions. “Where do people come from?” “If you could be any animal, what would it be?” “When is my Thor Halloween costume going to arrive?” But this day, his

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Closing the Courthouse Doors to Challenges to the Trump Presidency

Erwin Chemerinsky— The first weeks of the Trump presidency demonstrate that the federal judiciary must be available as an essential check to enforce the Constitution. Already many lawsuits have been filed against President Trump and his administration, such as for violating the “emoluments clauses” of the Constitution, for the travel

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The Children of the Amistad

Benjamin N. Lawrance— March 9 marks the 174th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision U.S. v Amistad, one of the most celebrated U.S. “freedom suits.” Since the case’s conclusion in 1841, the charismatic leadership of Cinqué (Sengbe Pieh) and the rhetorical prowess of former President John Quincy Adams and others

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Has the Supreme Court Evolved with the Times?

Anna Harvey— On October 19, 1789, John Jay took the oath of office to begin serving as our nation’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The canonical story about Jay’s service as Chief is that he resigned from the bench in 1795 to serve as New York’s second governor (after

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Floyd Abrams: Friend of the First Amendment

Olivia Gall— A few weeks ago, I visited a restaurant where an employee acted very rudely towards me. Fuming, I went home and wrote a scathing Yelp review about the establishment.  Satisfied that justice had been served and that the entire online community could be made aware of the horrible

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