National Newswatch

Justices keep hold on secret Russia investigation material

Jul 2 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is denying Congress access to secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation through the November election. The justices agreed on Thursday to hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court order for the material to be turned over to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives. The […]

Supreme Court lifts ban on state aid to religious schooling

Jun 30 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — States can't cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education, a divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. By a 5-4 vote with the conservatives in the majority, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend […]

Supreme Court refuses to block upcoming federal executions

Jun 29 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday refused to block the execution of four federal prison inmates who are scheduled to be put to death in July and August. The executions would mark the first use of the death penalty on the federal level since 2003. The justices rejected an appeal from four inmates who […]

SUPREME COURT NOTEBOOK: Election-year retirement unlikely

Jun 26 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The last time a Supreme Court justice announced his retirement in a presidential election year, most of the current justices were too young to vote. It was 1968, and things didn't work out as planned. The nomination to replace Chief Justice Earl Warren failed in that turbulent year, and no justice has retired […]

Justices boost Trump administration’s power in asylum cases

Jun 25 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday strengthened the Trump administration's ability to deport people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge. Immigration experts suggested the administration would use sweeping language in the majority opinion to bolster broader efforts to restrict asylum. The high court's 7-2 ruling applies to […]

Court rejects Trump bid to end young immigrants’ protections

Jun 18 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, the second stunning election-season rebuke from the court in a week after its ruling that it's illegal to fire people because they're gay or transgender. For now, the young immigrants retain their protection from deportation […]

Simple math suggests complex back story at Supreme Court

Jun 16 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — Supreme Court watchers were left scratching their heads when they learned Justice Neil Gorsuch was the author of Monday’s landmark LGBT rights ruling, but not because the appointee of President Donald Trump might have been expected to side with his conservative colleagues in dissent. Rather, it was a matter of math. Each of […]

Supreme Court says gay, transgender workers protected by law

Jun 15 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court. The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII […]

Justices revive permit for pipeline under Appalachian Trail

Jun 15 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a critical permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail, siding with energy companies and the Trump administration. The justices ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had thrown out the permit for the Atlantic Coast […]

Supreme Court upholds Puerto Rico financial oversight board

Jun 1 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the oversight board established by Congress to help Puerto Rico out of a devastating financial crisis that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, recent earthquakes and damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017. The justices reversed a lower court ruling that threatened to throw the island's recovery […]

Chief justice says pandemic teaches humility, compassion

May 23 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — Chief Justice John Roberts told graduating seniors at his son's high school that the coronavirus has “pierced our illusion of certainty and control" and he counselled the students to make their way with humility, compassion and courage in a world turned upside down. “Humility. The pandemic should teach us at least that," Roberts […]

Trump counting on Supreme Court to block probes, lawsuits

May 22 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump won at least a temporary reprieve from the Supreme Court earlier this week in keeping secret grand jury materials from the Russia investigation away from Democratic lawmakers. The president and his administration are counting on the justices for more help to stymie other investigations and lawsuits. The high court is […]

Supreme Court blocks House from Mueller grand jury material

May 20 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The court's unsigned order granted the Trump administration's request to keep previously undisclosed details from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election out of the hands of […]

Justices fear ‘chaos’ if states can’t bind electors’ votes

May 13 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices invoked fears of bribery and chaos Wednesday to suggest they think states can require presidential electors to back their states’ popular vote winner in the Electoral College. The justices heard arguments on an unusual voting issue that could have important consequences for the 2020 presidential election in an era of […]

Gorsuch, likely key vote, seems to favour Oklahoma tribe

May 11 2020 — Mark Sherman — WASHINGTON — Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared Monday to be a pivotal vote for the proposition that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a question the Supreme Court failed to resolve a year ago. The justices heard arguments by phone in an appeal by a Native American man who claims state […]