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Author’s Note: During my tenure as the first Supreme Court Archivist-Legal Historian to the Supreme Court of Missouri, I authored an in-house history column. Reproduced below is my July Fourth column from 2013. On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife Abigail. “My dear Friend,” , “he Second of July, 1776, [...]

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The US District Court for the District of Columbia struck down a Trump administration rule on Tuesday night that required migrants at the southern border to seek asylum from every country through which they passed before seeking asylum in the US. Two separate lawsuits were initially filed by immigrant-services organizations and individual asylum applicants against [...]

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Photo credit: Stephanie Sundier

The US Supreme Court on Thursday released orders from Wednesday’s conference, in which the court granted certiorari to five cases. Two cases were consolidated, to allow for four hours total of oral arguments. In Republic of Hungary v. Simon, former Hungarian nationals sued Hungary to recover the value of property lost during World War II. [...]

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Recent law school graduates of Tennessee law schools filed an emergency rule waiver with the Supreme Court of Tennessee on Tuesday seeking diploma privilege for eligible applicants currently registered to sit for the Tennessee Bar in July 2020, September 2020 and February 2021. This waiver comes as many state bar associations have adapted how the [...]

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After more than a year of debate, the Ohio Senate on Tuesday approved a sweeping criminal-sentencing reform bill that would reclassify most nonviolent drug possession felonies as misdemeanors. The bill, known as SB3, was passed 25-4 as a bipartisan effort with the unanimous support of every Democrat and most Republicans. SB3 reduces felony charges for [...]

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Since murder is a horrible wrong, preventing a murder must be a good thing, right? Truth be told, it can get complicated. Among the many questions raised by the killing of George Floyd, we should pause to consider what would have happened if a bystander had actually been successful in rescuing Floyd from the knee [...]

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The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 6-1 that a provision in the state’s appropriations bill that deprived Planned Parenthood of millions of dollars for medical services reimbursements, is unconstitutional. The suit challenged House Bill 2011, which was the Department of Social Services appropriations bill for 2019. The law states that “No funds shall be [...]

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Judge Mitchell Turner issued a temporary injunction Tuesday blocking enforcement of an Iowa law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. The injunction was granted while the court hears arguments in a suit challenging the law brought by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Iowa. Turner wrote that “This court is [...]

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