Weekly Roundup – January 28, 2017

Did you miss your Supreme Court news this week? Let our Weekly Roundup help. (To stay on top of the latest Supreme Court happenings, follow @ISCOTUS on Twitter.)

The Supreme Court did not hear any oral arguments this week, but they did issue orders on Monday.  Fox News reported that the Court declined to hear an appeal regarding Utah’s ban on polygamy, petitioned by the stars of the TV show “Sister Wives.” Utah has a stricter polygamy ban than other states, as it is illegal to live with a second “spiritual spouse,” if one is legally married to another person.

The Court was also a hot topic in the news following the inauguration of President Trump. The new president has reportedly narrowed his choice to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia down to three nominees. The New York Times reported that the nominees include Atlanta Federal Appeals Court Judge William H. Pryor Jr., Denver Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, and Pittsburgh Federal Appeals Court Judge Thomas M. Hardiman. The Democrats, however, remain angry about the Republican-led Senate’s refusal to even consider President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer explains that the Democrats will oppose any nominee who is not in the “legal mainstream,” and if necessary will try to keep the seat open as long as they can.

USA Today provided short profiles of each of the nominees. Judge Pryor is the former Attorney General of Alabama, and once called Roe v. Wade “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.” However, it appears that he does not always take the expected conservative position on matters, as he has joined rulings in favor of transgender rights. Judge Gorsuch follows Justice Scalia’s view that the Constitution should be interpreted strictly as the Founders intended, and is not a “living” document that should be changed and adapted over time. He is also a former clerk to Justice Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Judge Hardiman, sits on the same bench as President Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry. He is a strong supporter of law enforcement and gun rights, similar to Justice Alito.


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