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Opinion analysis: Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines applies to the states

The Supreme Court today ruled that the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines applies to the states. The decision is a victory for an Indiana man whose luxury SUV was seized after he pleaded guilty to selling heroin. It is also a blow to state and local governments, for whom fines and forfeitures have become […]
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February 20, 2019/by Amy Howe

Live blog of opinions (Update: Completed)

We live-blogged as the Supreme Court released its opinions in Dawson v. Steager and Timbs v. Indiana. The transcript of the live blog is available below and at this link.

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February 20, 2019/by Andrew Hamm

Wednesday round-up

This morning, in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, the justices will consider whether a trademark licensee retains any rights under a licensing agreement when the licensor goes bankrupt. Ronald Mann previewed the case for this blog. Cecelia Bruni and Brady Plastaras have a preview at Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute. Yesterday the […]
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February 20, 2019/by Edith Roberts

Argument preview: Justices to consider whether First Amendment applies to public-access channels

Next week the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case involving free speech and public-access television channels. Although the issue may sound somewhat obscure, internet giants like Facebook and YouTube are paying close attention, fearing that the court’s ruling could have ripple effects that limit their ability to control their content. The First […]
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February 19, 2019/by Amy Howe

Argument analysis: Justices seem divided about government right to challenge patents in administrative process

The justices have a light calendar this week, with only two arguments. If the first argument of the week (Return Mail Inc. v. U.S. Postal Service) is any guide, they’ve spent their extra time focusing carefully on the relatively thin session. At first glance, Return Mail is a simple statutory case, involving another in a […]
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February 19, 2019/by Ronald Mann

A “view” from the courtroom: Back to the bench for Justice Ginsburg

The court is returning to the bench this morning after its usual four-week winter recess. The recess, marked by noteworthy “shadow docket” actions on the death penalty, abortion rights and other matters, may have offered more news than the relatively sleepy February sitting. Today, though, the press section is filling up, and it is not […]
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February 19, 2019/by Mark Walsh

Argument transcript

The transcript of oral argument in Return Mail Inc. v. United States Postal Service is available on the Supreme Court’s website.
 

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February 19, 2019/by Andrew Hamm

Justices take up Clean Water Act case, rebuke Texas court in death penalty case

Last Friday the justices added the dispute over the decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census to their merits docket. Today they issued more orders from last week’s conference, granting review in another case and throwing out – for the second time – the death sentence of a Texas inmate who […]
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February 19, 2019/by Amy Howe

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