Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the judicial branch of government—its duty is to interpret the law. Since 1803, the Supreme Court has been understood to have the power to declare national, state, and local laws unconstitutional. Article III of the Constitution defines the Supreme Court and which cases it can hear, and how other federal courts are established.

New Mexico Ten Commandments case rejected by the Supreme Court

October 17, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Without comment on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from a New Mexico town to allow a Ten Commandments monument at its city hall, in a fight between the city and members of the Wicca faith.

Supreme Court takes big privacy case, but denies Ten Commandments appeal

October 16, 2017 By NCC Staff

The United States Supreme Court will be taking on a second major privacy case this term, but it won’t take a challenge that denied the placement of a Ten Commandments monument at a New Mexico city hall.

Justices won’t clarify military tribunal powers

October 16, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Sending another strong signal that the troubled military commission system at Guantanamo Bay won’t be second-guessed by the Supreme Court, the Justices on Monday turned down an attempt to head off a major trial of a high-profile terrorism case. 

Justice Byron White: A retrospective

October 16, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

On October 16, 1962, Justice Byron R. White joined the Supreme Court as one of two appointments made by President John F. Kennedy. In 2012, Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston wrote a retrospective about White's Supreme Court career, which he have reprinted here.

Supreme Court bypasses big Guantanamo case

October 10, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

Nine years after its last major ruling on the rights of detainees at the Guantanamo military prison, the Supreme Court refused on Monday to return to that abiding constitutional controversy.

Sports betting case gets its Supreme Court game date in December

October 10, 2017 By NCC Staff

In early December, a long-awaited contest about legalized single-game sports betting in New Jersey will get its day at the Supreme Court, with some heavy hitters involved in the process.

Can the media be jailed for criticizing a President?

October 6, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

President Donald Trump wants Congress to investigate news outlets he doesn’t like for what he’s called “fake news” reporting. So if Congress wanted to, could it pass a law that would jail journalists for reporting stories critical of the President or Congress itself?

Party goers v. cops featured at the Supreme Court

October 4, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

Arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday featured a case about the liability and immunity of police officers who busted some partiers at a vacant District of Columbia house.

Kennedy hints at key answer to partisan gerrymanders

October 3, 2017 By Lyle Denniston

With the Supreme Court taking a new look on Tuesday at a constitutional puzzle it could not solve 13 years ago, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy gave a fairly strong hint that he may now have the answer. 

Supreme Court rejects defendant competency, witness immunity cases

October 3, 2017 By NCC Staff

The Supreme Court opened its new term on Monday by rejecting a long list of appeals filed over the summer.

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