October 6, 2008
Today, the Supreme Court returns for business and John Roberts begins his fourth term as Chief Justice.
According to the latest edition of ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro’s annual overview, there is no doubt that Roberts presides over a conservative court. Indeed, there is little doubt that the Roberts court is even more conservative than the Rehnquist court that preceded it. Read on to find out what cases we can expect to see before the Court and what’s at stake for our civil liberties.
Also very useful:
- Jonathan Hafetz, incoming staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, gives a rundown of the case of al-Marri v. Puccuiarelli. Al-Marri is the only designated “enemy combatant” detained in the mainland United States. At issue is whether the president can order the military to seize and indefinitely detain citizens and legal residents in the U.S.
- Chris Hansen, senior staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group, explains ACLU v. Mukasey, the ACLU's successful challenge to the Child Online Protection Act. After two prior trips to the Supreme Court, the law was once again declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in July 2008.
- Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, enlightens us on Northwest Austin Municipal Utilities District v. Mukasey, a challenge to the constitutionality of the recently extended pre-clearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act.
The New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor have also offered their predictions for the term.