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.

Judge bars citizenship question on 2020 census

January 15, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

In a ruling almost certain to be swiftly challenged in the Supreme Court, a federal trial judge in New York City on Tuesday barred the Trump Administration from asking everyone during the 2020 census about their citizenship.

The Youngstown decision and a possible border wall declaration

January 14, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

With statements from President Trump that a national emergency declaration could be an option to build a border wall, one of the Supreme Court's landmark decisions, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, is getting a lot of attention.

Justices won’t block mystery criminal case subpoena

January 8, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

With no Justice noting a dissent, the Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon reinstated a federal judge’s fine of $50,000 a day on an unidentified company controlled by a foreign government for the company’s refusal to provide information in a U.S. criminal investigation. The probe may be related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Supreme Court Year in Review

December 28, 2018 By NCC Staff

As 2018 winds now, it was another memorable year for the Supreme Court.  Here’s a look at some of the major cases decided by the Justices this year, and at a landmark change on the bench.

Remembering the Supreme Court’s first dissenter

December 27, 2018 By Scott Bomboy

On December 27, 1771, future Supreme Court Justice William Johnson, Jr., was born in South Carolina. Johnson has attracted a following among Court watchers over the years for his little-understood role as the first prominent dissenter in Supreme Court history.

Is Supreme Court weighing Mueller’s powers?

December 22, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

A case shrouded in secrecy reached the Supreme Court on Saturday afternoon amid hints that it puts Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation before the Justices for the first time and as a test of the prosecutor’s power to probe overseas activity.

Supreme Court keeps asylum limits on hold

December 21, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

Over the dissents of four Justices, the Supreme Court refused on Friday to allow the Trump Administration to put back into effect its new restrictions on asylum for foreign nationals entering the U.S. illegally across the Mexico border. The plea needed five votes to support the resumption of the policy but fell one short. 

On this day, the Supreme Court issues the Korematsu decision

December 18, 2018 By NCC Staff

In December 1944, the Supreme Court handed down one of its most controversial decisions, which upheld the constitutionality of internment camps during World War II. Today, the Korematsu decision has been rebuked but never formally overturned.

A new government challenge to transgender in the military

December 14, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

Federal government lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to get permission to enforce a new transgender military ban policy in some form, while awaiting a final decision by the nine Justices.

Supreme Court drawn into asylum controversy

December 12, 2018 By Lyle Denniston

The Trump Administration rushed to the Supreme Court Tuesday, asking permission to put back into place new restrictions on granting asylum to thousands of people who enter the United States' southern border without permission.

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