The US Supreme Court has cleared the way for the first executions of federal prisoners in 17 years. Several executions were delayed after a judge ruled on Monday that there were still unresolved legal challenges against the justice department. The condemned prisoners have argued that lethal injections constitute “cruel and unusual punishments”. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 that “executions may proceed as planned”.
A public Senate hearing is scheduled for next week on a sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford will testify. Ford claims Kavanaugh assaulted her over 30 years ago, accusations Kavanaugh calls ‘completely false.’ President Trump said he expects a ‘little delay’ in Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation.
Trump administration cited executive privilege to withhold more than 100,000 pages of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s time spent as a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration. The decision comes days before Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings on Tuesday. Senate Democrats question the reviews being led by lawyers for the Trump administration and Bush.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who provided key votes for same-sex marriage, abortion, and affirmative action announced his retirement on Wednesday, which will be effective on July 31st. Kennedy’s retirement provides President Trump with his second opportunity to nominate at justice and cement a conservative majority for decades to come. Trump said he will begin the replacement search immediately.
The Supreme Court made a 5 to 4 decision on Tuesday to strike down a law allowing the government to deport some immigrants who commit a serious crime. The Supreme Court also struggled to make a decision about laws regarding internet retailers and sales taxes, saying the case presented ‘a whole new set of difficulties.’
Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court with a 50-48 vote on Saturday after a debate which divided the nation. Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite sexual misconduct allegations sparked a conversation about class, gender, and privilege in the US. Kavanaugh was sworn in by Court by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Justice Anthony Kennedy.
The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that companies can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together and taking a stand on workplace issues. Critics say it could make it more difficult to file workplace complaints such as discrimination and sexual harassment. The decision could affect 25 million employment contracts.
The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh took place on Thursday, with Kavanaugh claiming his innocence and accuser Christine Blasey Ford saying she is ‘100%’ certain of her allegations. The hearing took nearly nine hours with a vote on Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination scheduled for Friday morning.
The Supreme Court upheld congressional and state legislative districts in Texas on Monday, reversing rulings which said districts violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against voters based on race. The Supreme Court ruled with American Express, saying they did not violate antitrust laws in a case with implications for internet markets.
In a rare moment of direct criticism, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rebuked President Trump on Wednesday for the president’s description of a federal judge who ruled against his asylum policy as “an Obama judge.” “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. Within hours, the president fired back on Twitter, launching an unusual conflict between the executive and judicial branches.