US: Supreme Court kicks off a new term with controversial cases – and a new justice

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson formally welcomed to a Supreme Court she will help to shape

  Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson formally welcomed to a Supreme Court she will help to shape A former federal trial court judge and public defender, Justice Jackson may bring a unique insight to criminal cases at the Supreme Court, experts sayAfter enduring an at-times bitter Senate confirmation this year, the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court will take her seat behind the court's mahogany bench Friday at a formal investiture ceremony. Three days later, she will take part in her first oral argument – delving into an environmental case that has vexed the court for years.

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court returned to work Monday with a courtroom reopened to the public, a new and historic justice on the far end of the bench and little sign of the raging national debate over abortion it set off only three months ago.

After more than two years of hearing oral arguments remotely or in a mostly empty courtroom because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nine justices faced a packed crowd as they took their tall, black chairs – most of them shifting seats based on seniority to accommodate the arrival of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Before the justices emerged,, the court announced they had added nine cases to a docket already full of contentious issues such as race-conscious college admissions and LGBTQ rights. Among the new cases was a challenge to the legal immunity that shields social media firms like Twitter from lawsuits over user-generated content – a protection that has drawn bipartisan criticism.

Kagan warns the Supreme Court must 'act like a court' to keep Americans' faith

  Kagan warns the Supreme Court must 'act like a court' to keep Americans' faith Her remarks come after a term in which the 6-3 majority consistently decided the big cases in ways that aligned closely with conservative views.As the high court readied itself for another consequential term, Kagan used a series of public appearances to describe how she believes the court should function – and to warn that Americans will lose faith if the institution is viewed as another political branch.

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Yet the court declined to take up a number of other controversies. It turned away an appeal from Michael Lindell, a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump and the founder of MyPillow, who is fighting a $1.3 billion defamation suit over false allegations about the 2020 election. And it declined to review the federal ban on bump stocks, a device that lets a shooter fire a semi-automatic rifle more rapidly.

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  Just How Far Has This Supreme Court Gone? Look Inside Law Schools. The growing furor of professors who have had enough.Four years later, the justices completely shattered whatever remaining optimism Bridges could muster about the court by overruling Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. When the decision came down on June 24, she got a migraine for the first time in a decade. The image of the court as a majestic guardian of liberty was, she concluded, “a complete lie.” And it wasn’t just about her own personal feelings, either: Now she had to teach her students about the work of an institution that made her sick to contemplate.

As usual, the court offered no explanation for why it took or denied the cases it did.

Other than tighter-than-normal security, there was little sign of the tension that gripped the nation over the summer following the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – an outcome that polls show resulted in a nosedive in the court's approval rating and led to a rare debate among a few of the justices over how the public perceives their work. Anger about the decision prompted critics on the left to question the court's legitimacy.

Only 47% of Americans said they had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust in the high court, a 20-percentage point drop from 2020 and a 7-percentage point drop from the previous year, according to a Gallup poll last month.

Though the Supreme Court will hear a number of culture war cases this term, the arguments Monday focused on a more technical question of environmental law.

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson says people approach her with 'a profound sense of pride' over her appointment to the high court

  Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson says people approach her with 'a profound sense of pride' over her appointment to the high court "They stare at me as if to say, 'Look at what we've done this is what we can accomplish if we put our minds to it,'" Jackson said on Friday.The opinion was written by Justice Samuel Alito and supported by conservative justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, three of whom were appointed by former President Donal Trump.

For nearly two hours the justices debated the scope of the Clean Water Act, the 1972 law that gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to regulate the "waters of the United States" but that left the definition of that term somewhat ambiguous. For years courts have wrestled with how far the EPA's oversight extends and the latest case deals with a wetland in Idaho that is near Priest Lake in the state's panhandle.

Several members of the 6-3 conservative majority tossed cold water on the standard the EPA uses to determine if such a wetland is subject to federal permitting requirements and oversight. Chief Justice John Roberts summed up the challenge facing the court by noting that water often flows in ways that are difficult to predict or measure: "Water goes everywhere, eventually."

Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the high court in its history, technically joined her colleagues in June but she took part in her first oral argument Monday. Though she is the least senior justice, she repeatedly jumped in to press the lawyer representing the family that is seeking to develop the property purchased more than a decade ago.

Five months later, Supreme Court still investigating who leaked the abortion case

  Five months later, Supreme Court still investigating who leaked the abortion case Five months since the draft Dobbs opinion was leaked and a new Supreme Court term underway, and we still don't know the identity of the leaker, despite reports that a report on the investigation could be coming "soon."On May 2, Politico published a draft of the decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the major abortion decision that would eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. The unprecedented leak triggered protests across the country and at the Justices' homes that continued for months.

"Why is it that your conception of this does not relate in any way to Congress' primary objective?" Jackson asked at one point. "Congress cared about making sure that the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation's waters was protected."

Damien Schiff, arguing for the family that is fighting the EPA, responded by noting that "no statute pursues its purpose or its objective at all costs."

Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, on the other hand, pressed the government for answers about how a property owner is supposed to know that their land might be covered by the EPA's regulations – absent some clear rule, such as a set distance from a navigable river or lake. Gorsuch suggested he wasn't particularly satisfied with the EPA's answer.

"If the federal government doesn't know, how is a person subject to criminal time in federal prison supposed to know?" Gorsuch asked.

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Among the other major issues the court will deal with term: A challenge to the race-conscious admissions policies at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina; a case that questions how much power state legislatures have to set the rules of federal elections and a free speech challenge to a Colorado law that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people.

Justice Jackson makes waves in first Supreme Court arguments

  Justice Jackson makes waves in first Supreme Court arguments Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman on the court, has been a frequent questioner in her first week on the bench.Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, in just her second day on the bench, spoke about the enactment of the Constitution's 14th Amendment, stressing how its aim was to redress historic harms to Black people in the aftermath of the Civil War and the end of slavery. It was a symbolic moment in a courtroom in which only three Black justices have ever sat.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme Court kicks off a new term with controversial cases – and a new justice

Weeks into the job, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is already having a moment on the Supreme Court .
Not only has Justice Jackson emerged as a prolific questioner on the high court, but she's also captured attention for her use of originalism.Two weeks after Jackson was formally welcomed to the Supreme Court by her colleagues-for-life, the former appeals court judge has established herself as an aggressive questioner, signed onto her first dissenting opinion and leapt into the fray with conservatives over how to parse the Constitution's original meaning.

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