Posts Tagged ‘supreme court’

  • The Curious Silence of Clarence Thomas

    According to New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Toobin, “As of this Saturday, February 22nd, eight years will have passed since Clarence Thomas last asked a question during a Supreme Court oral argument. His behavior on the bench has gone from curious to bizarre to downright embarrassing, for himself and for the institution he represents.” Toobin offers […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Women Lawyers Allowed to Practice Before U.S. Supreme Court

    “On February 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed legislation allowing women to be admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Belva Lockwood became the first woman admitted to practice under the new law on March 3, 1879.” From Jurist.com Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Roosevelt Announces Court Packing Plan

    By 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was becoming increasingly frustrated after the Supreme Court struck down several pieces of “New Deal” legislation intended to alleviate the worst problems of the depression.  FDR felt the best response was simply to make the current Supreme Court majority into a minority.  There is no constitutional provision for […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First session of first Supreme Court

    The first Supreme Court met on February 1st, 1790. The first appointees were John Jay (Chief Justice), John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson. They met in the Royal Exchange Building in New York. The court would not have real power until John Marshall took over and Marbury v. Madison was […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Roe v. Wade Decided

    On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued one of the most famous and controversial legal decisions of our era.  Justice Harry Blackmun authored the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.  At the time, news of the decision was pushed off the front page of many newspapers when former President Lyndon B. […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: US v. E.C. Knight Decided

    January 21, 1895. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act was passed by Congress in 1890 to stop large monopolies from controlling commerce.  The justification for the Sherman Act was the Commerce Clause.  In US v. E.C. Knight, 156 U.S. 1 (1895) the ability of the Sherman Act was heavily curtailed.  The Supreme Court made a distinction between […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Thurgood Marshall becomes First Black Supreme Court Justice

    Thoroughgood “Thurgood” Marshall started work as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on October 2nd, 1967. Marshall had been nominated by Lyndon Johnson after a distinguished career in civil rights, including arguing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 for the NAACP. As a child, Marshall had attended a segregated school that sentenced […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Sandra Day O’Connor Joins the Supreme Court

    Sandra Day O’Connor Joins the Supreme Court, September 25, 1981 On September 25, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor joined the Bench.  She had been nominated by Ronald Reagan, and was the first woman ever to become a Justice.  O’Connor would become a very important swing vote on many decisions, such as Lawrence v. Texas and Bush […] Read more...
  • New and Notable: My Beloved World

    My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor Call Number: KF8745.S67A3 2013 From the Publisher: An instant American icon — the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court — tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Homer Plessy is Arrested – Leads to “Separate but Equal”

    On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy was arrested when he refused to leave a “whites only” train car in New Orleans. Plessy went to court on the basis that the law (1890 Louisiana state law for racially segregated facilities) had violated his Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The case went to the Supreme Court, and […] Read more...