-By Stephanie Mencimer
October 5, 2011- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is under fire from Democrats and liberal advocacy groups who contend that he may have violated the Ethics in Government Act by failing to disclose the sources of income for his wife Virginia Thomas. Places like the Heritage Foundation, which has been a vocal opponent of the Obama health care reform law, were paying Virginia Thomas large amounts of money during the years that her husband reported she had no income. (The health care law, of course, is likely to come before the Supreme Court in the next year.)
October 4, 2011- Americans’ approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has dipped to its lowest level since John Roberts took the helm as chief justice in 2005.
According to the latest Gallup poll, the Court has a 46 percent approval rating – a drop of 5 percent over last year, and a 15 percent dip from its 61 percent approval rating in 2009, when the Roberts Court was most popular.
According to Gallup, the drop in approval numbers for the historically popular Supreme Court is more likely a reflection of citizens’ overall loss of trust in government, rather than a reaction to actions by the Court itself.
The poll found that Americans still have a positive view of the judicial system. According to the poll, 63 percent of Americans in the same poll say they trust the judicial branch.
-by Luke Johnson
October 10, 2011- Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens writes in his new memoir, Five Chiefs, that the George W. Bush campaign's 2000 appeal to the United States Supreme Court over the Florida recount was "frivolous" and never should have been granted.
He recalls bumping into Justice Stephen Breyer at a Christmas party and the two having a brief conversation about the Bush application to halt the recount by issuing a stay. "We agreed that the application was frivolous," he writes. "To secure a stay, a litigant must show that one is necessary to prevent a legally cognizable irreparable injury. Bush's attorneys had failed to make any such showing."
October 9, 2011- It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote — 19 laws and two executive actions in 14 states dominated by Republicans, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. As a result, more than five million eligible voters will have a harder time participating in the 2012 election.