supreme-court

Supreme Court to Revisit Internet Sales Tax Ruling
Bipartisan group of lawmakers want previous decision overruled

From left, Sens. Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois want the Supreme Court to overrule a decision that prevented states from collecting sales tax on internet purchases. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide whether businesses must collect sales tax on online transactions in states where they don’t have a physical presence, in a case closely watched by lawmakers, states and online retailers.

The case gives the justices a chance to reshape internet commerce, something Congress hasn’t done since the high court last ruled on the issue in 1992. Back then, the court barred states from collecting sales tax from vendors that were out of state.

Supreme Court Split on Ohio Voter Purge Law
Case could have consequences for this year’s midterms

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty, second from right, joined rallygoers outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday to protest the Buckeye State’s voter purge law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court appeared divided along familiar lines Wednesday as the justices considered how states such as Ohio can remove voters from registration rolls without violating federal laws to protect people who simply choose not to vote.

The case could affect this year’s elections and how states determine who remains on the lists of eligible voters. The justices will decide the case before their term concludes at the end of June, but did little Wednesday to foreshadow how they ultimately would rule.

Kennedy’s Tough Questions Add Layer to Wedding Cake Arguments
Spirited arguments lasted longer than expected Tuesday

Lydia Macy, center, of Berkeley, Calif., holds a sign outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday as arguments were being on heard on whether a Colorado baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is protected by the First Amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As a divided Supreme Court on Tuesday forcefully questioned where to draw a line between religious liberty and anti-discrimination laws in the case of a Colorado baker who declined to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, the justice likely to be the deciding vote appeared torn over how to rule. 

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy expressed reservations about a decision that would allow Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips to refuse to create wedding cakes for gay and lesbian couples because of his religious beliefs.

For the Love of Literature: Durbin Has Formed Relationships Over Books
The Senate’s go-to bookworm has countless reading buddies

Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., has a book in there somewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Georgetown student and bookworm named Dick Durbin worked at Discount Books and Records in Dupont Circle in the mid-1960s. 

The store is gone now, but that same bookworm is still handing out books — now to senators, presidents and Supreme Court justices.

Judgment Days for Judicial Nominees
Several factors will affect schedule for Senate confirmation of judges

The Republican president and Senate have a chance to reshape the judicial branch, but several factors will determine how things stack up . (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senators face a lengthy list of President Donald Trump’s judicial picks, but consideration of the nominees could be affected by three significant factors: an extensive backlog of vacancies, Republican leaders’ willingness to continue altering chamber traditions, and the Democrats’ lack of motivation to aid GOP efforts to remake the judiciary.

There are 121 vacancies at the U.S. District Court level and an additional 21 vacancies on federal appeals courts, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Court Appears Divided in High-Stakes Gerrymandering Case
Apparent swing vote Anthony Kennedy offers few clues in arguments

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears oral arguments Tuesday in a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court appeared deeply divided during oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could determine the fate of partisan gerrymandering across the nation, as one attorney suggested a wrong move by the court could cause the country “to lose faith in democracy, big time.”

Paul Smith, who represents the Wisconsin voters who challenged a Republican-drawn legislative map in the case now before the court, urged the justices to step in and allow federal courts to stop partisan gerrymandering.

Trump Looms Large Over New Supreme Court Term
Nation’s highest court set to hear gay rights, redistricting and immigration cases

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court are pictured earlier in 2017. (Rex Features via AP Images)

For a Supreme Court that guards against being perceived as political, the new term starting Monday is poised to show just how President Donald Trump and Republicans have shaped what will happen in the courtroom.

The court avoided high-profile contentious cases and otherwise laid low during partisan fights over the seat left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans went to historic lengths to block President Barack Obama’s pick for Scalia’s seat for months until the presidential election.

Podcast: High Court to Weigh In on Gay Rights, Redistricting and Immigration
The Week Ahead, Episode 72

Members of the US Supreme Court are photographed on Thursday. (Rex Features via AP Images)

CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger drills down on the cases before the Supreme Court this new term and the justices who may tip the scales.

Show Notes:

New High Court Term, Same No-TV and Tape-Delay Rules
Arguments will be invisible, and hard to hear, even for member of Congress with eyes on landmark redistricting case

Cameras still won’t be allowed in the U.S. Supreme Court and arguments will continue to be on a tape-delay. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Supreme Court term starting next week promises to be among the most consequential in years, but it’s guaranteed to be as invisible as ever to the American citizenry.

The campaign to get cameras in the courtroom has almost totally foundered. Instead, some open-government advocates have started campaigning to simply hear oral arguments in real time  — so far, also with no success.

Trump Issues Revised Travel Restrictions on Eight Countries
Targeted nations are not satisfying new vetting standards, president says

The new restrictions on travelers from eight countries go into effect Oct. 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a revised travel ban targeting citizens of eight countries, adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to a list of nations the administration says pose a threat to national security.

Restrictions will remain on the majority-Muslim countries of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Sudan was dropped from the list of countries originally targeted by sections of a March 6 executive order that expired Sunday.