On Thursday, June 27, the Supreme Court of the United States concluded its 2019 term. Heritage experts, including the legal team at Heritage’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, weighed in on some of the top cases:
- In American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 that a 40-foot cross erected on government land in Bladensburg, Maryland, is not unconstitutional. Thomas Jipping, deputy director, assesses the justices’ reasoning here.
- In Knick v. Township of Scott, the Court reversed a bad decision it made 30 years ago in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, which essentially limited the ability of a person to receive justice if the state takes their private property. Paul J. Larkin Jr., Heritage’s Rumpel Senior Legal Research Fellow, explains why this reversal is significant here.
- In Department of Commerce v. New York, the Court determined that the Trump administration was within its constitutional rights to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census – but that its justification for doing so – to enforce the Voting Rights Act – may have been “contrived.” The Court sent the case back to the lower court for further findings. According to Mike Gonzalez, senior fellow at Heritage’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy, the ruling gives the Department of Commerce the opportunity to try again and provide a new justification for including the question. Read why it should do so here.
- In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Court ruled 5-4 that partisan gerrymandering is a political question beyond the reach of the federal courts. Hans A. von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, explains why the Court got this ruling right here.
- In Gundy v. United States, the Court missed an opportunity to prevent Congress from delegating its legislative authority to the executive branch (in this instance, the attorney general). John Malcolm, vice president of the Institute for Constitutional Government, and GianCarlo Canaparo, legal fellow, explain why this was the wrong decision here.
Heritage’s Influence on SCOTUS: Last week, Justice Neil Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin in his dissent in Gamble v. United States, a case involving the Double Jeopardy Clause. Larkin’s article discussed the myriad of problems created by overcriminalization, which the Meese Center has long advocated against.
This week, Gorsuch cited a law review article by Paul Larkin and Elizabeth Slattery, legal fellow and appellate advocacy program manager, in his concurring opinion in Kisor v. Wilkie, a case involving how much deference courts must give to executive branch agencies interpreting their own regulations. Both articles were published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Larkin and Slattery criticized the Court’s current deference doctrine in this article.
Listen: Get the latest scoop on Heritage’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, hosted by Elizabeth Slattery.
Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events: On Thursday, July 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Heritage will host a Supreme Court Review of the 2018-2019 Term event. Click here to RSVP to the live stream.
On Tuesday, July 16, from 12 – 1 p.m., Heritage will host authors Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, who will discuss their new book, “Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court.” Click here to RSVP to the live stream.
What would you say are the biggest wins and losses for conservatives at the Supreme Court this year?