Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:39 pm
Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent in a case this week involving the death penalty in Alabama was not aimed at public opinion, but it could be Exhibit A for why the nation's judiciary is falling in the public's estimation.
Sotomayor wrote a 12-page dissent when her colleagues refused to review the state's law that allows judges to overrule jury decisions on whether a defendant should be executed. She called it "an outlier" that might contradict the Constitution.
Plaintiffs in the Prop. 8 case, react on steps of the Supreme Court, June 26, 2013, after justices cleared the way for the resumption of same-sex marriage in California. From left: Jeff Zarrillo, Paul Katami, David Boies, Sandy Stier and Kris Perry.
Credit AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Michael Knaapen, left, and his husband John Becker, right, embrace after the Supreme Court struck down a federal provision denying benefits to legally married gay couples in front of the Supreme Court, June 26, 2013.
Credit AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Gay rights advocate Vin Testa waves a rainbow flag in front of the Supreme Court at sun up in Washington, DC, June 26, 2013.
The Supreme Court has recently heard cases on everything from same sex marriage to DNA evidence. Marcia Coyle’s new book, "The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution," delves into the landscape of the the Supreme Court under chief justice John Roberts. David Hyde sits down with Coyle to find out what makes the highest court tick.
A legislator in Washington state says she will revive a bill that would make it easier for police to collect DNA samples. That’s in the wake of a US Supreme Court ruling Monday. The five-to-four ruling upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA samples at the time of arrest from people who are charged with certain violent crimes or sex offenses.
King County Executive Dow Constantine traveled to New York earlier this month to pitch pro basketball's return to Seattle. We’ll hear where things stand in the quest for an NBA franchise. We’ll also talk about investment in King County parks, renewable energy and the latest County business. Have a question for the King County Executive? Call us at 206.543.5869 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NPR's Nina Totenberg: On what happens if the court declines to decide.
(We most recently updated the top of this post at 1:45 p.m. ET.)
There seem to be four solid votes on the Supreme Court — and possibly a fifth — to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act that bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages, NPR's Nina Totenberg told us after Wednesday's oral arguments before the nine justices.
But there's a big "if."
As in: There's possibly a 5-vote majority to strike down the law if the court first decides it should even issue an opinion.