District Courts - U.S. Judicial Branch

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  • The unexpected death of Justice Scalia throws a wrench into an already volatile 2016 election and what happens next will largely depend on a variety of factors and political calculations made by President Obama and the Republican controlled Senate.Here are some scenarios that can happen as the President and Senate battle it out over who will replace the late justice.
  • "They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed." And just like that, marriage equality is the law of the land.Today is a day millions of our citizens--both gay and straight--will never forget.
  • 2014 was a great year for liberals. Marriage equality is sweeping across the nation, the federal courts now have a majority of liberal jurists, America's foreign policy is being reshaped in Obama's image, and both red and blue states voted to choose if they wanted to legalize a plant. Democrats may have lost the Senate, but their priorities surely won in 2014.
  • What should happen if someone threatens to kill you on social media? Are they protected by the First Amendment right guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech, or are they breaking the law? We will soon know now the answer after the Supreme Court rules on a case that may have far reaching ramifications well beyond the single case they are hearing.
  • An investigation by CNN has exposed that the National Republican Congressional Committee and Super PAC's associated with Republican candidates in the 2014 election cycle set up fake Twitter accounts to share internal polling data, which seems to violate campaign finance laws in the post Citizens United world.
  • When is it time to throw in the towel and accept that the tide has turned? Napoleon must have asked himself this very question after being humiliated in the Battle of Waterloo and summarily exiled for the remainder of his life. It's also the same question many anti-gay marriage activists must be asking themselves after the Supreme Court refused to wade back into the gay marriage debate.
  • A recent survey conducted by the Public Policy Center of Pennsylvania asked over 1,400 American adults to do a simple task that every elementary school child should know, which is to name the three branches of our federal government. The results leave me more than a little frustrated and despaired. Over one third of respondents could not name the three branches of government.
  • In 1819, the Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward ruling recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural born citizens to contract and to enforce contracts. In Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining Co. v. Pennsylvania (1888) SCOTUS ruled that under the designation of ‘person’ that corporations are included in the 14th Amendment.
District Courts Opinion & News Articles
  • One of my former history professors, Dennis Mitchell, recently released a history book entitled, A New History of Mississippi. "Mississippi," he says, "is a place and a state of mind. The name evokes strong reactions from those who live here and from those who do not, but who think they know something about its people and their past." Because of its past, as described by Anthony Walton in his book, Mississippi: An American Journey, Mississippi "can be considered one of the most prominent scars on the map" of these United States. Walton goes on to explain that "there is something different about Mississippi; something almost unspeakably primal and vicious; something savage unleashed there that has yet to come to rest.
  • The registered Democratic voter who sued to force his party to pick a new Senate nominee in Kansas did not appear at a Monday hearing for the case, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported, and the judges hearing it are now considering whether the lawsuit can continue without him.
  • Vacancies at district courts are so high right now that they're "breaking with historical patterns" and burdening the judicial system like never before, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. The report, which analyzed data on district court vacancies and judicial workloads since 1992, spotlights differences in the pattern of judicial vacancies under President Barack Obama and under other recent presidents.