Supreme Court Expedites Access to Transcripts and Audio for Health Care Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court will expedite access to audio recordings and transcripts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases.  In yesterday’s press release, the Court announced that these will be available on the Court’s website by 2 p.m. for the morning arguments on March 26-28, and by 4 pm for the March 28 afternoon session.

News organizations reportedly requested permission to broadcast these arguments. The Court has previously denied such requests and prohibits cameras and recording devices in the courtroom.

GMUSL Supreme Court Clinic in the News

The Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic, a partnership with Wiley Rein LLP, has been featured in a recent Associated Press story published in a number of news sources including the Washington Post, Fox, and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.  GMU students worked on the case Wood v. Milyard (No. 10-9995) argued on Monday. 

Briefs for this case, and other Supreme Court cases (October 2003 Term – present), are available on the American Bar Association’s United States Supreme Court Preview page.  An audio recording of the argument will be posted on the Court’s Argument Audio page after tomorrow’s Conference.  The Court website provides access to argument recordings 2010 – present and Argument Transcripts  2000 – present.

Love and the Constitution

Forty-five years ago, the Supreme Court struck down state prohibition of interracial marriage. At the time, 16 states had laws outlawing marriage between a man and a woman of different races (many more had prohibited interracial marriage at some period before repealing these statues).

In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S.1, 12 (1967), the Court unanimously held Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute unconstitutional:

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. . . . To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.

As reported in the ABA Journal, a new documentary about the Loving case, The Loving Story, will premier on HBO today.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence”*

Today marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens, of course, was a prolific chronicler of English law and legal institutions—-warts and all. Dickens’ descriptions of the law and lawyers often did not paint a rosy picture.  See this recent New York Times Op-ed piece.

But two centuries later, Dickens remains an influential voice in the legal world.  His books are referenced in hundreds of law review articles.  Last Term, Chef Justice Roberts began an opinion quoting Bleak House.  Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. _, 131 S. Ct. 2594, 2600 (2011).

Happy Bicentennial Charles Dickens!

*Great Expectations

Harvard Law School Event on the Impact of Citizens United

At a recent event sponsored by the Harvard Law School American Constitution Society, HLS Professor Lawrence Lessig, author of Republic Lost:  How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It and Jeff Clements, author of  Corporations Are Not People shared their views on the the aftermath of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  A video of this discussion is available here.