US Supreme Court Posts

US Supreme Court Upholds Dual-Sovereignty Doctrine

The United States Supreme Court upheld the dual-sovereignty doctrine today in Gamble v. United States, reasoning that the doctrine “is not an exception to the double jeopardy right but follows from the Fifth Amendment’s text. The Double Jeopardy Clause protects individuals from being ‘twice put in jeopardy’ ‘for the same offence.’ As originally understood, an ‘offence’ is defined by a law, and each law is defined by a sovereign. Thus, where there are two sovereigns, there are two laws and two ‘offences.’ Gamble attempts to show from the Clause’s drafting history that Congress must have intended to bar successive prosecutions regardless of the sovereign bringing the charge. But even if conjectures about subjective goals were allowed to inform this Court’s reading of the text, the Government’s contrary arguments on that score would prevail.”

Justice John Paul Stevens on the Past and the Future

John Paul Stevens Looks Back on Nearly a Century of Life and Law, but Worries About the Future: (“John Paul Stevens spent more than a third of his near-century on Earth at the Supreme Court, where he often was on a different page from a majority of his fellow justices. * * * ‘It happens so often that you have to get used to losing,’ Stevens, 99, said during an interview this last week at his condominium here, just steps from the Atlantic Ocean. My batting average was probably pretty low.’ * * * But one particular loss lingers and, Stevens says, brings grim reminders almost weekly: the court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which found the Second Amendment protects a right to individual gun ownership unrelated to possible military service. * * * ‘Unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Court announced during my tenure on the bench, Stevens writes in his new memoir,‘The Making of a Justice.’“)

Justice Roberts Denies Partisanship

Roberts, Leader of the Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority, Fights Perception That It Is Partisan: (“In his first 13 years on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s main challenge was trying to assemble five votes to move the court to the right, though there were only four reliably conservative justices. * * * Now he faces a very different problem. With the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and his replacement by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, the chief justice has the votes he needs on issues like abortion, racial discrimination, religion and voting. At the same time, he has taken Justice Kennedy’s place as the swing vote at the court’s ideological center, making him the most powerful chief justice in 80 years.”)

Divided Senate Confirms Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court

Senate Confirms Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court Nomination: (“The Senate voted to confirm Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as the Supreme Court’s 114th justice on Saturday by one of the narrowest margins in the institution’s history, as police stood guard and protesters’ shouts of ‘shame, shame’ echoed through the Senate chamber. * * * The 50-to-48 vote capped off a brutal confirmation fight that underscored how deeply polarized the nation has become under President Trump, who has now successfully placed two justices on the nation’s highest court, cementing a conservative majority.”)

Brett Kavanaugh: A Few Articles

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh?  A Supreme Court Reading Guide: (“President Trump proposed a replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy. Here, the best reporting to date on the Supreme Court nominee.”)

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