supreme-court

Obamacare: A big issue voters might be missing
Supreme Court delay in deciding on health care law challenge could hide the issue from voters

The Supreme Court deferred a decision on a case challenging the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Correction 2:20 p.m. | ANALYSIS — Democrats who say they are determined to keep voters focused on health care this year were hoping that the Supreme Court would hand them a ready-made campaign ad and a potential courtroom win.

Instead, the court recently punted on a major decision over whether to kill the 2010 health care law that expanded coverage to more than 20 million Americans. Now, Democrats hope that by shifting their attention to high prescription drug prices they might still mobilize voters and help the party maintain its edge on health care, the public’s top domestic concern, although Republicans also are focused on drug prices.

DOJ: Congress must meet high bar for Trump tax information
Cases set for March 31 oral argument

The Supreme Court building at sunset on Nov. 14, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department on Monday night backed President Donald Trump in the Supreme Court fight over congressional subpoenas for his financial documents, telling the justices that lawmakers must meet a higher bar when seeking a sitting president’s personal records.

The cases, set for March 31 oral argument, center on subpoenas from three House committees to accounting firm Mazars USA, Deutsche Bank and Capital One Financial Corp. House Democrats are seeking eight years of Trump’s financial and tax records.

EMILY’s List ‘hyper-focused’ on Senate elections in 2020
Abortion rights group’s leader urges voters who care about Supreme Court to get involved

EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock said Thursday that Senate races are critically important in 2020. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

While the presidential race will dominate the 2020 cycle, EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock is imploring Democratic voters to recognize the importance of flipping the Senate, especially because of its role in confirming Supreme Court justices.

If President Trump wins reelection in 2020 and Republicans maintain control of the Senate, Schriock predicted a “massive fight” over the next Supreme Court vacancy.  A vacancy could further shift the ideological balance of the court, which has influence over issues including abortion, a core issue for EMILY’s List. 

What happens if there's a tie vote at the impeachment trial? It's complicated.
A lot depends on the chief justice

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. arrives to the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on Jan. 22. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The next stage of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial will sharpen focus on Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s role as presiding officer and a looming question: Does he have the power to decide whether the Senate should hear more witnesses and evidence?

A deep dive into the details of Senate rules and impeachment history comes to this conclusion: No, although he might in two less-likely scenarios related to breaking a tie vote.

Supreme Court allows Trump's ‘public charge’ rule to proceed
The 5-4 ruling would deny green cards to immigrants who use federal aid programs

The "public charge" rule was originally issued last August by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under Ken Cuccinelli, the agency's acting director. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Trump administration can implement its divisive “public charge” rule, which seeks to withhold citizenship from immigrants the government deems likely to rely on public benefits like Medicaid and Section 8 housing. 

In the 5-4 vote, conservative-leaning justices voted to grant the administration its request to stay a lower court injunction on the rule while the merits of the case continue to be debated in the lower courts. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen G. Breyer voted against the stay. 

Abortion policy activism heats up for Roe v. Wade anniversary
Groups gear up for ‘pivotal year’ with emphasis on states

Both sides of the abortion rights debate are doubling down on grassroots efforts to energize voters who share their beliefs about abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Groups pushing for the advancement of abortion rights and those looking to limit the procedure have an ambitious agenda starting this week, foreshadowing a year that could be critical for advocates on both sides of the debate.

In two months, the Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case since 2016, and both sides are revving up for a major presidential election. States are also eyeing a number of new reproductive health bills as their legislatures come back into session.

Supreme Court denies request for expedited appeal of challenge to 2010 health care law
House and several blue states had requested appeal that could have led to decision ahead of election

An expedited hearing on the 2010 health care law could have led to a ruling before the election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will not hear an expedited appeal of a legal challenge to the 2010 health care law this term, which could have led to a decision this summer on whether to overturn the entire law during the heat of the campaign season.

At least five justices declined a request from several Democratic state officials and the House to fast-track an appeal of the case, Texas v. Azar. Instead, a lower court judge will reconsider how much of the 2010 health care law should fall after Congress eliminated the law's tax penalty on most Americans who did not have health care coverage. The Supreme Court could agree to hear the case as soon as its next term, which begins in October, but a decision is not likely before the November elections.

Chief Justice leaves his friendly confines for Trump impeachment trial
Will anyone in the Senate know his favorite dessert?

President Donald Trump greets Chief Justice John Roberts after addressing a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber in February 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Charles E. Grassley was one of the first senators to suggest Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. might be uncomfortable presiding over the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump — in part because it will be televised.

The Iowa Republican, who will swear in Roberts for his role Thursday, has long been an advocate for adding cameras to the Supreme Court. But Roberts and the other justices haven’t budged. They still conduct oral arguments and announce opinions in a courtroom without cameras or cell phones.

Brett Kavanaugh brings pizza to the Supreme Court and it is not good
Just call him the ‘pizza justice.’ No really, he doesn’t mind

Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, possibly thinking about pizza. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The crust is slightly burnt around the edges where the cheese bubbles. The pepperonis are large, oily and plentiful, so no complaints there.

Brett Kavanaugh has already left his mark on the Supreme Court, and it is pizza.

Roberts would hold the gavel, but not the power, at Trump impeachment trial
The chief justice is likely to punt contentious and political questions to lawmakers

Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. listens to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will preside over any impeachment trial of President Donald Trump as the Constitution requires, but don’t expect him to make decisions that substantively reshape the action.

Although there is speculation about how active a role Roberts will take in an impeachment trial and whether key witnesses testify, the Senate under past rules has given relatively little authority to the nation’s top judicial figure. And in the areas Roberts might have authority to make rulings, such as questions about whether evidence is relevant, the rules also allow the Senate to call for a vote to overrule him anyway.