The nine justices who preside over the Supreme Court of the United States hand down over seventy opinions each year, some destined for obscurity, while others are foundational to the direction of the nation. The court has been involved in almost all of the major issues of contemporary America, from affirmative action to guns rights and health care – the court is inescapable.

Major Decisions – 2014

Case
Result
Comments
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. 5-4 Ruled that closely held firms with religious objections don’t have to pay for their employees’ contraceptives
Harris v. Quinn 5-4 Ruled that home-care workers who don’t want to join a union don’t have to pay union fees
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission 5-4 Struck down some limits on how much individuals can contribute to political campaigns
Riley v. California 9-0 Barred police searches of suspects’ cell phones without a warrant
NLRB v. Noel Canning 9-0 Curbed the power of presidents to make appointments when the Senate is in recess

Currently Reading:

Uncertain Justice

With the Supreme Court more influential than ever, this eye-opening book tells the story of how the Roberts Court is shaking the foundation of our nation’s laws

From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change, and technological progress mean that the court’s decisions on key topics—including free speech, privacy, voting rights, and presidential power—could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government. Tribe—one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers—and Matz dig deeply into the court’s recent rulings, stepping beyond tired debates over judicial “activism” to draw out hidden meanings and silent battles. The undercurrents they reveal suggest a strikingly different vision for the future of our country, one that is sure to be hotly debated.

Filled with original insights and compelling human stories, Uncertain Justice illuminates the most colorful story of all—how the Supreme Court and the Constitution frame the way we live. (From Amazon.com)


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