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Major cases of the Supreme Court October 2013 term

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This page is a synopsis of major cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States during its October 2013 term, one which has been described by Irving L. Gornstein, executive director of the Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University, as "deeper in important cases than either of the prior two terms."[1] We understand that inclusion on this list is subjective, and that individuals may prioritize other rulings. Our starting point for choosing which cases to watch this year came from articles published by major news organizations at the start of the term. Below is a short sampling of articles used:

Our goal is to provide readers with an easy understanding of the important aspects of these rulings. For further exploration or information, please visit the Supreme Court rulings included under each case. Cases are listed in the reverse chronological order of the day they were announced.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.; Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell

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The limited ruling in this consolidated case confirmed that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide cost-free access to contraceptives to their female employees violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, as applied only to closely held corporations run on religious principles.

Hearing:

Following an argument on March 25, 2014, the decision of the Tenth Circuit was affirmed, and the decision of the Third Circuit was reversed and remanded in an opinion decided on June 30, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas. Justice Kennedy also filed a separate concurrence. In the Court's opinion, Justice Alito carefully crafted his words to emphasize the fact that this decision was narrow, and applied only to the women's contraceptive coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.[2] Although the all-male majority recognized the government's compelling interest in affording women access to insurance coverage for contraceptives, it was noted that there were other less invasive measures that could be taken in the case of religiously affiliated companies. As to the belief that expanding the definition of corporate personhood to include religion would invite more lawsuits, Justice Alito wrote:

Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs.[3]

As noted by Emily Badger, a Supreme Court correspondent for the Washington Post, the forty-nine-page majority opinion mentioned "women" or "woman" only thirteen times.[4]

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan. Justices Breyer and Kagan together filed a separate dissent. Justice Ginsburg's dissent was an impassioned one, and in it, she called the majority's decision one of "startling breadth."[2] At the time the decision was announced, she gave a very rare reading of a 19-page statement from the bench with respect to her dissent. In it, Justice Ginsburg noted that the Court's decision could open the door to allowing any company to "opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs," a legal "minefield," as she referred to it, and went on to call the majority's reading of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act "immoderate."[5] In her dissent, Justice Ginsburg included a reminder for the majority:

The Court forgets that religious organizations exist to serve a community of believers. For-profit corporations do not fit that bill.[3]

Significance:

Though this decision expanded the notion of corporate personhood to include religious rights "to provide protection for human beings," members of the public found it highly divisive in nature as it reaffirmed the Court's "pro-business" stance.[6] Democratic politicians like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have pledged to restore the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage:[7]

If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will. We will continue to fight to preserve women’s access to contraceptive coverage and keep bosses out of the examination room.[3]

Republican House Speaker John Boehner, however, was very optimistic about the Court's decision, calling it a "victory for religious freedom."[8]

McCullen v. Coakley

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This ruling concluded that given First Amendment interests in free speech, a thirty-five-foot buffer zone surrounding entrances to abortion clinics that restricts access to public ways and sidewalks is not "narrowly tailored" enough to pass constitutional muster.

Hearing:

Following an argument on January 15, 2014, the decision of the First Circuit was reversed and remanded in a 9-0 opinion decided on June 26, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justice Antonin Scalia filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment, which was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas. Justice Samuel Alito filed his own separate opinion concurring in the judgment. In the majority opinion, the Court struck down a Massachusetts law that was enacted in response to prior violence and harassment that occurred outside abortion clinics in the state.[9] The statute called for a thirty-five-foot buffer zone around the entrances to those clinics, but Chief Justice Roberts noted that such an expansive protest-free zone blocked too much speech, seeing as "the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency."[10] The Court then explained that there are other ways to combat the concerns of reproductive healthcare patients:

[T]he Commonwealth has available to it a variety of approaches that appear capable of serving its interests, without excluding individuals from areas histor­ically open for speech and debate.[3]

By taking this path, a "narrow majority" of the Court affirmed that there were other ways to protect those seeking abortions without violating others' First Amendment interests.[11]

Significance:

With its opinion in the McCullen case, the Supreme Court acknowledged that public citizens may peacefully gather outside of abortion clinics without their free speech rights being curtailed. Some, however, like Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation, were uncomfortable with the Court's decision:[11]

This decision shows a troubling disregard for American women, who should be able to make carefully considered, private medical decisions without running a gantlet of harassing and threatening protesters.[3]

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning

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This ruling set out a definitive standard for when federal appointments made by the President pursuant to the Recess Appointments Clause of the Constitution would be considered lawful and constitutional.

Hearing:

Following an argument on January 13, 2014, the decision of the D.C. Circuit was affirmed in a 9-0 opinion decided on June 26, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, who was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justice Antonin Scalia filed a separate opinion concurring in the judgment, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. In the majority opinion, the Court adopted a "unanimous rebuke" of President Barack Obama's recess appointments of officials to the National Labor Relations Board during three-day breaks in the United States Senate's formal business.[12] Per Justice Breyer's opinion, "[t]he Senate is in session when it says it is," meaning that if the Senate is capable of doing work, then the president does not have the authority to make recess appointments.[13] It is only during the Senate's extended breaks from work that such appointments may be made. The Court called the recess clause "ambiguous."[14] Later, in concluding that the term "recess" applied to both intra-session and inter-session recesses, Justice Breyer wrote:[14]

We therefore conclude, in light of historical practice, that a recess of more than 3 days but less than 10 days is presumptively too short to fall within the Clause. ... If a Senate recess is so short that it does not require the consent of the House, it is too short to trigger the Recess Appointments Clause. And a recess lasting less than 10 days is presumptively too short as well.[3]

In Justice Scalia's concurrence, which some have said read as if it were a dissent, he called the power to make recess appointments an "anachronism," further contending that "the majority replace[d] the Constitution’s text with a new set of judge-made rules to govern recess appointments."[12][13] In a rare reading of his concurrence from the bench, Justice Scalia said:[12]

These new rules have no basis whatsoever in the Constitution. They are just made up.[3]

Significance:

In this decision, the Court limited, but did not eliminate, the president's recess appointment powers. According to Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent of the New York Times, "[a]lthough there may be few immediate practical consequences of the ruling, given the recent overhaul of the Senate’s filibuster rules, the decision was nonetheless momentous."[12]

Riley v. California; U.S. v. Wurie

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This ruling in this consolidated case confirmed that due to the nature of the technology involved, a warrant is necessary to search a suspect's cellphone incident to his arrest.

Hearing:

Following an argument on April 29, 2014, the decision of the California Fourth District Court of Appeal was reversed and remanded, and the decision of the First Circuit was affirmed in a 9-0 opinion decided on June 25, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justice Samuel Alito filed a separate opinion, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. In the Court's main opinion, the typical "search incident to arrest" doctrine (i.e., police officers may conduct warrantless searches of arrestees and everything within their immediate control) was largely held as inapplicable to cellphones, considering the wealth of information that may rest within them due to advances in modern technology.[15] In an opinion that's been referred to as the Court's "sweeping embrace of digital privacy," Chief Justice Roberts concluded with a flourish:[15][16]

Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans 'the privacies of life.' The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple — get a warrant.[3]

Significance:

Heralded as the "most important privacy ruling in over 40 years," the Court's decision changed the rules for digital data under the Fourth Amendment, and will likely serve as the "bedrock of the privacy rights of future generations."[17] Per Mitchell Epner, former Assistant United States Attorney of the District of New Jersey:[17]

This decision is not merely about cell-phone privacy, it is about the privacy rules that govern digital data. Fifty years from now, future generations will look back on Riley v. California as the case that established privacy rights in the digital age.[3]

American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. v. Aereo, Inc.

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This ruling confirmed that, under the Copyright Right Act of 1976, a technology company “publicly performs” televised works when it virtually transmits rebroadcasts of them to paid subscribers without first paying licensing fees to the original broadcaster.

Hearing:

Following an argument on April 22, 2014, the decision of the Second Circuit was reversed and remanded in a 6-3 opinion decided on June 25, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.[18] In the opinion, the Court ruled that Aereo violated copyright laws by rebroadcasting television programming via a streaming online service to its paid subscribers. Typically, a copyright holder’s permission is necessary for such rebroadcasts (considered to be "public performances" under the statute in question).[19] Justice Breyer dismissed Aereo’s arguments, but took care to note that the Court’s opinion was a narrow one -- it dealt only with Aereo’s then-functioning system which enabled users to view previously copyrighted programming live, or shortly after it was made live.[18][19]

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. In it, Justice Scalia contended that Aereo’s business model of rebroadcasting television programming in a streaming fashion should not have been considered "public performances"; rather, Justice Scalia believed that Aereo discovered a loophole in the nation’s copyright laws, writing, "It is not the role of this court to identify and plug loopholes."[18][20]

Significance:

The result in the Aereo case has potentially far-reaching implications for the communications and television industry.[18][19] Calling the decision a “legal minefield,” Timothy B. Lee of Vox noted:[21]

In the process of ruling against Aereo, the Supreme Court has created a mess that will take lower courts years to clean up. Online services that are similar to Aereo in some respects and different in others are more likely to face lawsuits, and the lower courts will have to sort out which services are similar enough to Aereo to face copyright liability.[3]

Abramski v. United States

This ruling strengthened the assertion that purchasing a gun on someone else's behalf, and then falsely claiming that it is for personal use, is a material misrepresentation punishable under the federal Gun Control Act, which prohibits making false statements with regard to gun sales.

Hearing:

Following an argument on January 22, 2014, the decision of the Fourth Circuit was affirmed in a 5-4 opinion decided on June 16, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Elena Kagan, who was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. In Justice Kagan's opinion, the Court upheld a key provision of 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6), specifically, that prosecution is appropriate if a gun buyer makes a purchase on someone else's behalf, and the "straw purchaser" then conceals the fact that the purchase was not made for personal use.[22] Per the Court's opinion, the gun law's reach is applicable regardless of whether both parties to the purchase were legally able to own guns.[23] Justice Kagan concluded by noting that knowledge of a weapon's true buyer "is fundamental to the lawfulness of a gun sale":

No piece of information is more important under federal law than the identity of a gun’s purchaser — the person who acquires a gun as a result of a transaction with a licensed dealer.[3]

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. In the dissent, Justice Scalia argued that the "plain language [of the law] simply does not reach [straw purchasers]."[23] Rather, it is only applicable to the "man at the counter," i.e., the person who is purchasing the firearm.[23] To that end, Justice Scalia made the following quip in his dissent:[23]

In ordinary usage, a vendor sells (or delivers, or transfers) an item of merchandise to the person who physically appears in his store, selects the item, pays for it, and takes possession of it. So if I give my son $10 and tell him to pick up milk and eggs at the store, no English speaker would say that the store 'sells' the milk and eggs to me.[3]

Significance:

With respect to the hotly contested issue of the protections that the Second Amendment affords to U.S. citizens, Lyle Denniston, a reporter for SCOTUSblog, wrote, "[t]he practical effect of the ruling is likely to be shutting down, or at least cutting back on, an active market in gun-buying by 'straw purchasers' — that is, mere stand-ins for the real buyers."[24]

Bond v. United States

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This ruling took steps to define the federal government's limits on the prosecution of United States citizens under an international chemical weapons treaty.

Hearing:

Following an argument on November 5, 2013, the decision of the Third Circuit was reversed and remanded in a 9-0 opinion decided on June 2, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The unanimous majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justice Antonin Scalia filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, and was joined in full by Justice Clarence Thomas, and in part by Justice Samuel Alito. Justice Thomas filed his own separate opinion concurring in the judgment, and was joined in full by Justice Scalia, and in part by Justice Alito. Justice Alito filed a separate concurrence. In the Court's main opinion, Chief Justice Roberts asserted that Section 229 of the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998, a law meant to criminalize the possession or use of chemical weapons, did not extend to the defendant's behavior. In particular, the Court found that it was improper for the government to use an international weapons treaty to prosecute a "jealous wife."[25][26]

Observers of the high court noted the Chief Justice's comedic tone in the majority opinion, where he wrote several amusing passages, such as:

[N]o speaker in natural parlance would describe Bond’s feud-driven act of spreading irritating chemicals on [Myrlinda] Haynes’s door knob and mailbox as ‘combat.’ Nor do the other circumstances of Bond’s offense—an act of revenge born of romantic jealousy, meant to cause discomfort, that produced nothing more than a minor thumb burn—suggest that a chemical weapon was deployed in Norris­town, Pennsylvania.[3]

Significance:

The Court's opinion in this case served as a test of federal power in terms of international treaties to which the United States is a signatory. While some would have preferred for the high court to take a broad reading of the law to uphold the defendant's conviction, the majority opinion instead subscribed to a narrow reading of the law that trivialized the defendant's actions. Previously referred to as a potentially momentous case, the majority opinion turned it into a non-event.[27]

Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway

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This ruling upheld the long tradition of legislative prayer, even if it is predominantly Christian, as consistent with the First Amendment's Establishment Clause so long as there was no discrimination against minority faiths and non-adherents' participation was not coerced.

Hearing:

Following an argument on November 6, 2013, the decision of the Second Circuit was reversed in a 5-4 opinion decided on May 5, 2014.[28]

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was joined in full by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, and in part by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Alito filed a separate concurring opinion, and was joined by Justice Scalia. Justice Thomas also filed an opinion, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, where he was joined in part by Justice Scalia. In Justice Kennedy's opinion, the Court, relying heavily on precedent set in Marsh v. Chambers (1983), asserted that ceremonial prayers were simply "meant to lend gravity to the occasion and reflect values long part of the nation’s heritage."[29] As to the appropriateness of sectarian prayers being recited before secular meetings, Justice Kennedy wrote:

To hold that invocations must be nonsectarian, would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech, a rule that would involve government in religious matters to a far greater degree than is the case under the town’s current practice of neither editing or approving prayers in advance nor criticizing their content after the fact.[3]

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Elena Kagan, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Breyer also filed his own separate dissent. In Justice Kagan's main dissent, she observed that the town's conduct did not comport "with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government."[29]

Significance:

Per Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog, the Court's opinion in this case "stopp[ed] just short of abandoning a historic barrier to religion in government activity," denigrated "the nation's tradition of religious pluralism," and had the potential to "lead to prayers that [would] actively promote a single faith’s religious values."[30] Constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky further noted:[31]

[I]t is clear that there are five justices–Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito–who want to allow much more of a religious presence in government and government support for religion.[3]

The decision was a divisive one, and not everyone shared the views expressed by Denniston and Chemerinsky. For example, the ruling was praised by Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, as "a great victory for religious liberty."[32]

Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

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This ruling upheld the legality of an amendment to Michigan's state constitution that banned its public universities from considering race-based preferences as part of their admissions process. Such a prohibition does not serve as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause.

Hearing:

Following an argument on October 15, 2013, the decision of the Sixth Circuit was reversed in a 6-2 opinion decided on April 22, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote separately, concurring in the judgment, and was joined by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Stephen Breyer also wrote separately, concurring in the judgment. In Justice Kennedy's opinion, the Court backed Michigan on its stance on affirmative action, concluding that no precedent existed that would allow it to set aside the law. In sum, the justices in the majority asserted that such questions "should be decided at the ballot box rather than in the courtroom."[33]

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Sotomayor's opinion was longer than all of the other opinions combined, and was hailed by The New York Times as "the longest, most passionate, and most significant dissent of her career."[33] In it, she wrote:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race, is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.[3]

Recusal:

Justice Elena Kagan recused from participating in the case, likely due to the fact that she worked it during her time serving as the United States Solicitor General.[33]

Significance:

Though the decision was fractured, this ruling was significant in that the Court affirmed who may, and who may not, resolve questions of affirmative action measures in the college admissions process. As Justice Kennedy noted, "courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow."[34]

McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

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See also: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission

This ruling voided the aggregate limit on the amount individuals may contribute to political candidates and party campaigns as unconstitutional under the First Amendment.[35]

Hearing:

Following an argument on October 8, 2013, the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia was reversed and remanded in a 5-4 opinion decided on April 2, 2014.

Majority opinion:

The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, and Samuel Alito. In it, the Court struck down individual limits on aggregate federal campaign contributions, but left intact limits on the amount individuals may contribute to a single political candidate's campaign ($2,600 per election). Justice Clarence Thomas concurred separately in the ruling, but argued that all campaign contribution limits were unconstitutional.

Dissenting opinion:

The dissent was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, who was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. In it, Justice Breyer attacked the Court's majority, noting that it "eviscerate[d] our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve."[36]

Significance:

According to SCOTUSblog's Lyle Denniston, "the practical result of the [McCutcheon] ruling is almost sure to be that wealthy individuals favoring specific candidates or party positions will be able to spread their money around among more candidates and political groups."[37] Conversely, James Bopp, Jr., a prominent conservative attorney, referred to the McCutcheon decision as "a victory for the liberty essential to a democratic republic."[38]

See also

The Judicial Update

References

  1. New York Times, "Supreme Court Has Deep Docket in Its New Term," October 7, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 New York Times, "Supreme Court Rejects Contraceptives Mandate for Some Corporations," June 30, 2014
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. Washington Post, "The 49-page Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling mentioned women just 13 times," June 30, 2014
  5. National Constitution Center, "10 big quotes from today’s Supreme Court Obamacare decision," June 30, 2014
  6. Reuters, "U.S. birth control ruling fuels battle over corporate rights," July 1, 2014
  7. Politico, "SCOTUS sides with Hobby Lobby on birth control," June 30, 2014
  8. Speaker.gov, "Press Release: Speaker Boehner on the Supreme Court’s HHS Mandate Ruling," June 30, 2014
  9. Boston Globe, "Mass. abortion clinic buffer zones ruled illegal," June 26, 2014
  10. New York Times, "Court Rejects Zone to Buffer Abortion Clinic," June 26, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Los Angeles Times, "Supreme Court rejects abortion clinic buffer zone in nuanced ruling," June 26, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 New York Times, "Supreme Court Rebukes Obama on Right of Appointment," June 26, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 Washington Post, "Supreme Court rebukes Obama on recess appointments," June 26, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: Pragmatism triumphs over formalism," June 26, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 New York Times, "Major Ruling Shields Privacy of Cellphones," June 25, 2014
  16. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: Broad cloak of privacy for cellphones," June 25, 2014
  17. 17.0 17.1 CNBC, "The most important privacy ruling in over 40 years," June 27, 2014
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 New York Times, "Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo in Broadcasters’ Challenge," June 25, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: A clever new technology thwarted — for now," June 25, 2014
  20. Los Angeles Times, "Supreme Court rules against upstart Aereo TV service in copyright case," June 25, 2014
  21. Vox, "The Supreme Court's Aereo decision could endanger cloud storage services," June 25, 2014
  22. New York Times, "Supreme Court Rules Against ‘Straw’ Purchases of Guns," June 16, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 New Republic, "Maybe the Supreme Court Isn't as Pro-Gun as We Thought," June 16, 2014
  24. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: No stand-in gun buyers allowed," June 16, 2014
  25. Slate, "Chemical Reaction: Behold the comic stylings of Chief Justice Roberts," June 2, 2014
  26. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: World law and “romantic jealousy”," June 2, 2014
  27. New Republic, "The Supreme Court Deals Radical Conservatives a Foreign-Policy Setback," June 9, 2014
  28. Judgepedia, "New York town violated separation of church and state," May 19, 2012
  29. 29.0 29.1 New York Times, "Town Meetings Can Have Prayer, Justices Decide," May 5, 2014
  30. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: Prayers get a new blessing," May 5, 2014
  31. ABA Journal, "Chemerinsky: The Supreme Court’s answer to a prayer," May 28, 2014
  32. Washington Post, "Supreme Court approves sectarian prayer at public meetings," May 5, 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 New York Times, "Court Backs Michigan on Affirmative Action," April 22, 2014
  34. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: Affirmative action — up to the voters," April 22, 2014
  35. Politico, "SCOTUS on money and politics: A reader’s guide," April 2, 2014
  36. Wall Street Journal Law Blog, "Highlights from Justice Breyer’s McCutcheon Dissent," April 2, 2014
  37. SCOTUSblog, "Opinion analysis: Freeing more political money," April 2, 2014
  38. USA Today, "A victory for liberty, democracy: Opposing view," April 2, 2014