Joan's Feed
Aug 1, 2014

Q&A: U.S. Justice Ginsburg on Hobby Lobby, gay marriage, retirement

By Joan Biskupic

WASHINGTON D.C. (Reuters) – In an interview with Reuters late on Thursday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 81, was not just defiant about calls for her retirement. A former women’s rights advocate appointed to the court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg also had plenty to say about how the Court’s controversial Hobby Lobby decision highlighted a gender gap among her fellow justices, why gay marriage will continue to face court challenges, and why a woman might not be her ideal successor. Excerpts:

THE GENDER GAP

Q: The Court issued a string of decisions this term that might hurt women, and you’ve complained specifically about the Hobby Lobby case that said for-profit employers can cite religious reasons to opt out of birth control coverage under federal law. Do you think the majority is going backwards, even though there are now three female justices?

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. Justice Ginsburg hits back at liberals who want her to retire

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a message for liberals who have been saying the 81-year-old should step down while Democratic President Barack Obama is in office so he can appoint her successor: Who are you going to get who will be better than me?

Referring to the political polarization in Washington and the unlikelihood that another liberal in her mold could be confirmed by the Senate, Ginsburg, the senior liberal on the nine-member bench, asked rhetorically, “So tell me who the president could have nominated this spring that you would rather see on the court than me?”

Jul 20, 2014

In U.S. gay marriage cases, children emerge in the limelight

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) – With legal battles over gay
marriage simmering across the United States, proponents are
showcasing a group they had once sidelined: children.

Lawyers are recruiting same-sex couples who have children,
putting interviews with kids as young as seven in court filings,
and organizing media events featuring teenagers. In May, for
example, after a Virginia federal appeals court hearing,
16-year-old Emily Schall-Townley told a televised news
conference: “These are my two moms. And this is my family.”

Jun 30, 2014

Analysis – Fault lines re-emerge in U.S. Supreme Court at end of term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sometimes there is no middle ground.

Through much of the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, the nine justices found common if narrow ground to bridge their differences. Many of their high-profile decisions avoided the polarization that defines Washington today. That all changed on Monday, the last day of the nine-month term, with the re-emergence of a familiar 5-4 fault line in a dispute over a U.S. law requiring employers to provide insurance for contraceptives.

For 30 minutes Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative who wrote the majority opinion, and liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the lead dissent, voiced their competing views of the meaning for America of the decision permitting some corporate employers to object on religious grounds to certain kinds of birth control.

Jun 30, 2014

Fault lines re-emerge in U.S. Supreme Court at end of term

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sometimes there is no middle ground.

Through much of the U.S. Supreme Court’s term, the nine justices found common if narrow ground to bridge their differences. Many of their high-profile decisions avoided the polarization that defines Washington today. That all changed on Monday, the last day of the nine-month term, with the re-emergence of a familiar 5-4 fault line in a dispute over a U.S. law requiring employers to provide insurance for contraceptives.

For 30 minutes Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative who wrote the majority opinion, and liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the lead dissent, voiced their competing views of the meaning for America of the decision permitting some corporate employers to object on religious grounds to certain kinds of birth control.

Jun 29, 2014

On eve of court ruling, Americans oppose contraceptive ban: Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage, says a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected on Monday.

In one of the most closely watched cases of the year, the nine-member court will weigh whether for-profit corporations may raise religious objections to a mandate in President Barack Obama’s signature 2010 healthcare law that their insurance cover contraceptives.

Jun 23, 2014

Q&A-U.S. top court upholds basics of Basic v. Levinson decision

WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court
ensured a future for securities class actions on Monday by
leaving intact a 1988 precedent, Basic v. Levinson.

Here are some questions and answers on what distinguishes
Monday’s ruling in the case of Halliburton v. Erica P. John Fund
from the 26-year-old precedent.

Jun 10, 2014

U.S. law firms flock to gay-marriage proponents, shun other side

By Joan Biskupic

(Reuters) – As U.S. lawsuits seeking gay-marriage rights move toward a likely showdown at the Supreme Court next year, major law firms are rushing to get involved — but only on the side of the proponents.

A Reuters review of more than 100 court filings during the past year shows that at least 30 of the country’s largest firms are representing challengers to state laws banning same-sex marriage. Not a single member of the Am Law 200, a commonly used ranking of the largest U.S. firms by revenue, is defending gay marriage prohibitions.

Jun 10, 2014

Insight – U.S. law firms flock to gay-marriage proponents, shun other side

By Joan Biskupic

(Reuters) – As U.S. lawsuits seeking gay-marriage rights move toward a likely showdown at the Supreme Court next year, major law firms are rushing to get involved — but only on the side of the proponents.

A Reuters review of more than 100 court filings during the past year shows that at least 30 of the country’s largest firms are representing challengers to state laws banning same-sex marriage. Not a single member of the Am Law 200, a commonly used ranking of the largest U.S. firms by revenue, is defending gay marriage prohibitions.

Apr 29, 2014

Strange benchfellows, Ginsburg and Scalia star in U.S. courtroom drama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For more than 30 years, liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg and conservative Antonin Scalia have been the odd couple of top U.S. courts, the closest of personal friends and fiercest of judicial foes. On Tuesday their differences played out vividly in a Supreme Court decision over the regulation of air pollution.

In dueling renditions that together lasted about 20 minutes, the two eldest justices on the Supreme Court bench staked out distinct positions on regulatory power.