Commentaries by Glenn C. Smith

On the last day of its 2018-2019 Term, the Supreme Court decided in Department of Commerce v. New York that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could not add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census solely on the basis of the “contrived” and “pretextual” reason he cited (the need to better enforce the Voting Rights [...]

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Before January 15th, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to have every 2020 Census respondent answer a question about citizenship (for the first time in sixty years) lived as either a story of bureaucratic and political intrigue or a high-profile case on the Supreme Court’s docket. The bureaucratic-intrigue focus would have included a chain of events [...]

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On November 8, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit became the first appellate court to enter one of the most high-profile legal fights against the Trump Administration.  In lead and concurring opinions running 99 pages, three appellate judges in Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security affirmed [...]

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One of the year’s most-watched Supreme Court controversies, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Limited v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission , was never likely to deliver the full faceoff between Religious Free Exercise and Anti-Discrimination Rights that many people expected.  As I’ll explain more fully below, cake baker Jack Phillip’s claim to avoid administrative sanctions despite refusing on religious grounds to sell [...]

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