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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Chief Justice Roberts discusses Washington gridlock during visit to Nebraska College of Law

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Chief Justice John Roberts visited the Nebraska College of Law Sept. 19 for a conversational-style talk that generated coverage in local and national media outlets.

Most reports led with Roberts’ remarks on partisan gridlock. Among other things, Roberts lamented that Elena Kagan was confirmed by the Senate in a near party-line vote — and he added that he doubted that fellow justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could survive a confirmation vote in today’s highly partisan environment.

Roberts spoke about the life of a Supreme Court chief justice with some humor — saying, for example, that justices ask “too many” questions of the lawyers appearing in court. Sometimes attorneys are prevented from making their own case when justices use questions to the lawyers as a way to argue legal points among themselves.  He said he sympathizes with the nervousness lawyers feel when they appear before the high court — he said he thinks the sides of the lectern probably have grooves from his fingernails from the days when he was a lawyer arguing before the nation’s highest court.

Roberts confided that the administrative duties of overseeing the court system probably are his least favorite aspects of his job. Shortly after he became chief justice, he said, a colleague came to him and complained that it was too hot in his chambers.  Roberts said he was commiserating with the other justice, when he suddenly realized “he expects me to do something about it!”

Here is a sampling of news articles published about Roberts’ appearance.

ABC news coverage:

http://go.unl.edu/39v7

WABC – New York:

http://go.unl.edu/wnvh

WLS-AM – Chicago:

http://go.unl.edu/jiuv

The Associated Press (Kansas City Star):

http://go.unl.edu/7rh7

Omaha World-Herald:

http://go.unl.edu/7rh7

Lincoln Journal-Star:

http://go.unl.edu/akzt

KETV:

http://go.unl.edu/0ujy

KOLN/KGIN:

http://go.unl.edu/j67w

Nebraska Law Prof: Hobby Lobby ruling opens door to more companies using religion to avoid legal mandates

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday in favor of Hobby Lobby, which had argued religious beliefs prevented it from providing certain birth control insurance coverage to its employees. The Affordable Care Act requires such coverage.

University of Nebraska law professor Eric Berger describes it as an important decision that will attract a good deal of attention.

Some quotes from Berger:

– “The Court held that the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate as applied to closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby violates the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.”

–”Justice Alito, writing for a five-member majority, took paints to paint the decision narrowly but, as Justice Ginsburg argued in her dissent, the opinion can and will be used to say that corporations (and others) can cite religious beliefs to try to exempt themselves from all kinds of legal requirements.”

– “Only time will tell whether those efforts will succeed, but there probably will be a good amount of litigation of this sort, with corporations citing religion to try to avoid legal obligations with which they would otherwise have to comply.”