SCOTUS

Pittsburgh Lawyer Cited As Part Of SCOTUS Abortion Decision

Jun 28, 2016
Alex Brandon / AP Images

Elements of a Texas abortion law were struck down Monday by the Supreme Court. Among the provisions in the case was a requirement that abortion clinics must meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers as well as a mandate that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges to a hospital no more than 30 miles away. Now that the Court has struck down the provisions, what could this mean for Pennsylvania, who is also debating parts of its abortion laws? We’ll ask Susan Frietsche, she’s a senior staff attorney at the Women’s Law Project here in Western Pennsylvania.

Alex Brandon / AP Images

The United States Supreme Court ended its current term on Monday with some important decisions, but University of Pittsburgh law professor David Harris said the most important event of the term was not an opinion at all.

Court Upholds Total Population Count In Electoral Districts

Apr 4, 2016
supremecourt.gov

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled Monday that states can count everyone, not just eligible voters, in deciding how to draw electoral districts.

The justices turned back a challenge from Texas voters that could have dramatically altered political district boundaries and disproportionately affected the nation's growing Latino population.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

What Scalia's Death Means For Obama's Clean Power Plan

Feb 16, 2016
Ron Edmonds / AP

The sudden and unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gives environmentalists hope that Obama’s landmark effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has a fighting chance in the courts.

“It changes my opinion dramatically,” said Ann Carlson, Shirley Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law at UCLA.

Hearings For Hundreds Of PA Lifers Sentenced As Juveniles A Daunting Task

Feb 12, 2016
Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

 

Hundreds of Pennsylvania inmates serving life sentences now have a shot at release after last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on juvenile lifers.

While everyone agrees that the decision should give certain prisoners new hearings, how exactly that will play out is being debated fiercely.

Pennsylvania has the dubious distinction of having more offenders serving life behind bars for crimes they committed as teens than any other state.

supremecourt.gov

Pennsylvania has more people sentenced to life in prison as juveniles than any other state.

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday could reduce those sentences for 497 inmates in Pennsylvania. Those people were convicted as juveniles for homicides; which used to mean automatic life in prison without parole.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that was cruel and unusual punishment. Monday, the court said that ban is retroactive to cases decided before 2012.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is applauding the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, but says state lawmakers should follow up by passing a law to protect people against discrimination based on their sexual or gender preference.

Wolf said in a statement Friday that the high court's 5-4 decision makes clear that "gay marriage" is now simply marriage and same-sex couples cannot be denied the pursuit of happiness.

The Supreme Court: What cases will be heard this term?

Oct 9, 2014
David / Flickr

 

 

The 2014-2015 session of the Supreme Court began on Monday. The court wasted no time in making news by refusing to rule on same-sex marriage. There are a number of other issues on the docket including first amendment rights in the digital age and whether to hear a challenge to the affordable care act. The current term also marks John Roberts’ 10th year as chief justice. Joining us for an overview of the cases the Supreme Court could be ruling on is University of Pittsburgh Law Professor David Harris.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Two weeks after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned key provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

The 23 plaintiffs, including 10 same-sex couples, one widow, and two teenage children of one of the couples, say they've seen firsthand the inequality of PA law in its discrimination against same-sex couples. 

ACLU Staff Attorney Molly Tack-Hooper and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, Anthony Infanti, weigh in on the legality of the lawsuit and the path for equality in Pennsylvania paved by the repeal of DOMA.

Flickr

Last week's 5-4 Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act struck down a key aspect that has been used to promote and protect the political power of minority voters. This has not gone over well with many activists and civic organizations. 

Among the concerned groups is Pittsburgh's Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), who held a press conference yesterday to voice their disappointment with the court's decision.

Today, B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens discussed the far reaching implications for voting rights.

The Legality of DNA Swab Testing After Arrest

Jun 20, 2013
Kendra Griffiths / flickr.com

In a 5-4 majority, the United States Supreme Court concluded suspects can be subjected to a police DNA test after arrest and before trial and conviction. DNA samples would go into a national database and could possible be used to solve "cold cases." However, it calls into question the issue of personal privacy vs. public safety.