Low-key days at Supreme Court may be ending soon

National Court News

The Supreme Court began its term with the tumultuous confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, followed by a studied avoidance of drama on the high court bench — especially anything that would divide the five conservatives and four liberals.

The justices have been unusually solicitous of each other in the courtroom since Kavanaugh's confirmation, and several have voiced concern that the public perceives the court as merely a political institution. Chief Justice John Roberts seems determined to lead the one Washington institution that stays above the political fray. Even Roberts' rebuke of President Donald Trump, after the president criticized a federal judge, was in defense of an independent, apolitical judiciary.

The next few weeks will test whether the calm can last. When they gather in private on Jan. 4 to consider new cases for arguments in April and into next term, the justices will confront a raft of high-profile appeals.

Abortion restrictions, workplace discrimination against LGBT people and partisan gerrymandering are on the agenda. Close behind are appeals from the Trump administration seeking to have the court allow it to end an Obama-era program that shields young immigrants from deportation and to put in place restrictive rules for transgender troops.

Related listings

  •  Supreme Court sets high bar for medical device lawsuits

    Supreme Court sets high bar for medical device lawsuits

    National Court News 12/01/2018

    The tiny balloon was supposed to stretch open a blocked artery on Charles Riegel's diseased heart. Instead, when the doctor inflated the balloon, it burst.The patient went on life support but survived. His lawsuit against the manufacturer of that art...

  • No holiday respite for Trump's criticism of nation's courts

    No holiday respite for Trump's criticism of nation's courts

    National Court News 11/28/2018

    dispute over the independence of America's judiciary, with Roberts bluntly rebuking the president for denouncing a judge who rejected Trump's migrant asylum policy as an "Obama judge."Trump, still seething over that Monday ruling, began his Thanksgiv...

  • Lawyer for WikiLeaks’ Assange says he would fight charges

    Lawyer for WikiLeaks’ Assange says he would fight charges

    National Court News 11/21/2018

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not willingly travel to the United States to face charges filed under seal against him, one of his lawyers said, foreshadowing a possible fight over extradition for a central figure in the U.S. special counsel&rs...

Legal groups argue in court against Trump asylum ban

Legal groups suing the Trump administration over its ban on asylum for anyone who illegally crosses the U.S.-Mexico border have argued their case before a federal judge in San Francisco. U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar did not immediately rule Monday on the groups' request to stop the administration from enforcing the ban.

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Nov. 9 that says anyone who crossed the southern border would be ineligible for asylum. That would potentially make it harder for thousands of people who enter the U.S. to avoid deportation.

Trump issued the proclamation in response to the caravans of migrants that have started to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border. The American Civil Liberties Union quickly sued, saying U.S. law makes clear that people can seek asylum regardless of how they enter the country.