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January 17 2014


The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America : Planet Money : NPR

For decades, the Supreme Court ruled that laws regulating things like wages and working conditions were unconstitutional. That changed during the Great Depression, when one of the justices switched sides, paving the way for the Fair Labor Standards Act. http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/01/16/263129670/the-birth-of-the-minimum-wage-in-america

January 16 2014


Supreme Court Considers Legality Of Abortion Clinic Buffer Zones : NPR

Do boundaries meant to protect patients and staff outside abortion clinics violate the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters? In 2000, the Supreme Court said no in a case involving "floating" buffer zones. But the issue is back before the court — which now has more conservative justices. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/20/255870199/supreme-court-considers-legality-of-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones
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January 14 2014


U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Recess Appointments : NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday challenging the presidential practice appointing federal officials during the Senate's break periods. At issue today were three recess appointments President Obama had made to the National Labor Relations Board. http://www.npr.org/2014/01/13/262185888/u-s-high-court-hears-arguments-on-recess-appointments

January 08 2014


U.S. Supreme Court Halts Gay Marriages In Utah : NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously granted a stay in the Utah gay marriage case, putting a stop to the weddings until an intermediate appeals court has heard and ruled on the matter. It could be a potentially precedent-setting case. http://www.npr.org/2014/01/06/260265176/u-s-supreme-court-halts-gay-marriages-in-utah

December 27 2013


1979 Supreme Court Ruling Becomes Focus Of NSA Tactics : NPR

In 1979, then-Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs argued the case Smith v. Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case revolved around the warrantless collection of phone call information. Sachs defended the practice at the time, and he won. But the case now has a new life: the government cites the case as the legal basis for the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata from millions of Americans' phone calls. Now, Sachs says that practice goes far beyond what he argued in 1979, and constitutes a "massive intrusion" on Americans' privacy. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/21/256114227/1979-supreme-court-ruling-becomes-focus-of-nsa-tactics

December 11 2013


Supreme Court Restores Death Sentence For Kansas Man : NPR

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Kansas supreme court should not have overturned the murder conviction and death sentence of a man who said he was high on crystal meth when he killed a sheriff near Wichita. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=250283840

December 09 2013


A Supreme Court Fight For The Rights Of (Frequent) Fliers : NPR

What rights do participants in an airline's frequent-flier plan have to their miles or points? That's the question before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, when the justices examine whether, and under what circumstances, frequent fliers can sue in these disputes. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/03/248195221/a-supreme-court-fight-for-the-rights-of-frequent-fliers

December 06 2013


Military Protester Finds Skeptical Audience At Supreme Court : NPR

The First Amendment loomed large at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, as the justices considered a case testing the rights of protesters in public areas that are part of large military installations. But the justices seemed more comfortable focusing on property easement issues than big constitutional questions. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/04/248854174/high-court-case-questions-militarys-ability-to-limit-protesters?ft=1&f=2

November 10 2013


October 09 2013


Shaun McCutcheon On McCutcheon Vs. F.E.C.

On our Oct. 9 hour on the Supreme Court’s deliberations over limits to financial contributions in Federal elections featured a variety of voices and opinions, including the opinion of the McCutcheon himself of the case’s title. Shaun McCutcheon, an Alabama businessman who has actively supported Conservative political causes in and beyond his home state and who hopes to expand the number of candidates to whom he can directly offer money, filed suit against the Federal Election Commission in order to expand the number of individual races to which he could donate money.

McCutcheon spoke with host Tom Ashbrook about his reasons for bringing his legal challenge all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.

It’s basic freedom of speech and right to political assembly. And again, this is about donating directly to, you know, as many candidates and committees as you choose. I don’t think you all have been talking about, say, a challenger who cant self fund, but might be a great manager in politics. The challengers are the ones that have trouble raising money because of these limitations. And A lot of the candidates I donated to did not win, so I don’t see how you can call that influence when the candidate didn’t even make it out of the primary. I’m talking about supporting more candidates, including primaries and run offs and things like that.

McCutcheon stressed that concerns over the potential for the total removal of spending limits on Federal elections as a result of his case were overblown.


No I do not worry. This is a case about the aggregate limits, not the base limits. The base limits and the committee rules and the PAC rules all those things that are in place take care of the corruption argument. This is about donating to more candidates and more committees and spending your money however you choose…

This is about free speech. This is about getting your message out into the marketplace of ideas. All Americans are entitled to free speech. So you know, money does not necessarily guarantee that a candidate will be elected. It just allows them to advertise,  and get their message out and allows people to get to know [sic] ‘em and hear their ideas. This is promoting and improving democracy, not limiting it. This is about changing the world for the better…

Again, all Americans are entitled to free speech. Both sides — all sides, there’s more than two — have donors who can donate and advertise. This is about free speech. More speech and more ideas is not gonna hurt anything.

McCutcheon was very concious of some public criticism about his motives in the case — several members of Congress submitted amicus curiae, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — and stressed that his aim in the case is to expand the aggregate number of races to which a donor can contribute.

Again, this is about more candidates and more committees. If say, my ninth race was an Alabama House race and I wanted to donate to a tenth Senate race in North Carolina in both the primary and… It’s about more candidates and more committees. This is about aggregate limits, not base limits.

McCutcheon — and many court reporters, for that matter — seemed to feel that the Justices were likely to rule in his favor.

Yes I found it very interesting. The humor was in the courtroom was inspiring, it exceeded expectations. I heard a lot of great ideas. I was very impressed with the Court and the process.

What do you think? Is that what free speech ought to mean? Blast away with all the bucks you’ve got? Will this Court endorse that vision of the American democratic process? Leave your comments below, or let us know how you feel on Facebook, Tumblr or @OnPointRadio.

June 28 2013


March 27 2012



supremecourtus.gov is the official web site for the Supreme Court of the United States. This site is a source for information about the Supreme Court Cases, Oral Arguments, Opinions, Orders, Dockets, Supreme Court history, visiting information. http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_audio_detail.aspx?argument=11-398-Tuesday

March 26 2012



supremecourtus.gov is the official web site for the Supreme Court of the United States. This site is a source for information about the Supreme Court Cases, Oral Arguments, Opinions, Orders, Dockets, Supreme Court history, visiting information. http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_audio_detail.aspx?argument=11-398-Monday

July 30 2010


Arizona’s Immigration Law: The Legal Road Ahead

The legal road ahead for Arizona’s immigration law. We look at the appeals and the arguments to come.

July 13 2010


Chicago and the Gun Control Debate

The Supreme Court extended gun rights. The city of Chicago is striking back. We’ll look at the national debate over the right to bear arms.

June 29 2010


Elena Kagan’s Confirmation Hearings

Elena Kagan is President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. We're listening in to the confirmation battle.
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