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.

Trump team again drops citizenship question on census

July 11, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Saying there is not enough time to go on waging a court battle over adding a question about citizenship to the 2020 census, the Trump Administration decided on Thursday to turn to already existing government records to get the data, insisting that would give an even more accurate count.

Two judges ponder new orders in census controversy

July 6, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

With government lawyers under pressure from President Trump looking for a new way to justify asking everyone in America about their citizenship next year, federal judges in two cities moved rapidly on Friday to consider issuing new orders to stop that addition to 2020 census forms.

It’s final: no citizenship question on 2020 census

July 3, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

In a decision that seems sure to have a significant impact on American politics over the coming decade, the Trump Administration decided on Tuesday to carry out the 2020 census without asking everyone in the nation about their citizenship. The question, if asked, was likely to reduce the political power of larger states in future elections for the presidency and the House of Representatives.

A look back at Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s court legacy

July 1, 2019 By Amy E. Feldman

It was 14 years ago today that Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court.

William Howard Taft’s truly historic ‘double-double’

June 30, 2019 By NCC Staff

On June 30, 1921, President Warren Harding announced that former President William Howard Taft would become the new Chief Justice of the United States. To this day, Taft remains as the only person to hold the top position in the executive and judicial branches.

Justices step in to settle legal fate of DACA

June 28, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

For nearly 18 years, Congress has been studying plans to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants known as “dreamers” from the risks of being deported to their home countries, but it has yet to complete such legislation. On Friday, the Supreme Court stepped in to settle their legal fate, at least for the next few years.

A chapter closes on partisan gerrymanders, others open

June 28, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

With the Supreme Court ordering all of the federal courts to the sidelines in the bitter and prolonged constitutional and political fight for partisan control of election districts, a shift to other forums is sure to keep the controversy going. Moreover, the Justices’ own role may not actually be finished.

Citizenship question on census barred for now

June 27, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

The Supreme Court split several different ways on Thursday as it ruled on the Trump administration’s plan to ask everyone in the nation next year about their citizenship. But in the end, a bare majority ruled that government officials must reconsider that plan, and do so in time for the 2020 census.

Partisan gerrymanders insulated from federal court challenge

June 27, 2019 By Lyle Denniston

Ending a search of more than three decades for a formula to judge the constitutionality of partisan gerrymanders of Congress and state and local legislatures, a divided Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the effort is beyond the federal court's power and will now be abandoned.

On this day, the Supreme Court reinforces the 10th Amendment

June 27, 2019 By NCC Staff

Setting a precedent with important implications today, the Supreme Court’s decision from 1997 in Printz v. United States reaffirms states’ rights and the Constitution’s anti-commandeering provisions.

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