Review Of The Charges

A close look at the law and the allegations suggests that outrage about the Brandon Duncan prosecution may be based on incomplete information. Burt Likko dissects the charges and the law for your review, compares that to the advice of his colleagues, and then finishes his nightcap.

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Minimum Beard, Maximum Deference

Turns out, a Muslim prisoner has a right to grow a beard even if the warden doesn’t want him to. Burt Likko digests today’s big SCOTUS case of Holt v. Hobbs to reveal something about what this means for those of us who aren’t Muslims in prison.

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First Monday 2014

Same cast, brand new season! Burt Likko offers a look at some of the high points of the Supreme Court’s docket for the 2014-2015 Term.

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Casus Contendentes (Now With Update)

Burt Likko wonders whether, despite the unmitigated human rights awfulness that is the nascent would-be state forming in northern Iraq, swallowing our idealism and adopting a strategy of economic containment wouldn’t be a more practical alternative to making war against ISIS.

UPDATE: Reaction to President Obama’s address of September 10.

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No Way To Die In California

A judge recently found that California’s death penalty, as it is administered, is cruel and unusual punishment, serving no identifiable purpose. Digging in to the opinion, Burt Likko finds a perverse conflict: an effort to comply with one part of the Constitution leads to a violation of another.

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2013-2014 Term Recap (Save Two)

It’s the close of the term, and here’s a recap of the major cases from SCOTUS this year. Some surprising results. Some, not so much. Alsotoo: we’re waiting until Monday for the Hobby Lobby and Harris decisions.

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A Switch In Time

Nearly every social conservative who called for the impeachment of Justice Anthony Kennedy after his opinion in Lawrence v. Texas owes the man an apology. Burt Likko explains why in a longish analysis of Monday’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway.

In My Opinion’s Wake

Burt Likko thinks that Citizens United and McCutcheon were correctly decided. But how can he square that conclusion with his recent Ordinary Court opinion?

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Parts II and III: Dissenting and Concurring Opinion

Tim Kowal agrees the Greens have individual standing, but suggests the corporation is the appropriate party to assert their claims.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part III: Justiciability of Individual Claims [Updated]

In Part III of the Ordinary Court’s treatment of the Hobby Lobby case, the Ordinary Justices’ voting pattern shifts, with dramatic results.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part II: Justiciability of Corporate Claims

Part II of the opinion, dealing substantively with whether Hobby Lobby can state a claim for relief under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

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Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Part I: Background and Standards of Law

The first part of the Ordinary Court’s treatment of one of this year’s most-publicized legal cases. To begin, we must understand the factual and legal landscape.