SCOTUS oral arguments reflect indifference to constitutional grounding of Voting Rights Act

The Supreme Court appears very likely to strike down the most important provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, says Gregory P. Magarian, JD, constitution law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. “This was an unusually revealing oral argument, because two justices asked questions that reflected both fundamental misunderstanding of the law and disturbing indifference to the constitutional grounding of the Voting Rights Act,” he says.

Religious holiday displays – three wise men and a heap of legal troubles

The upcoming holiday season brings with it the annual gaze upon religious displays — and the legal issues that come with them. “The Supreme Court’s approach to public religious displays under the Establishment Clause has been less than clear,” says John Inazu, JD, expert on religion and the constitution and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis.“Some commentators have described it as the ‘three plastic animals rule’ –a Christian nativity scene on public property passes muster if it is accompanied by a sufficient combination of Rudolph, Frosty, and their friends.” Inazu says that future litigation will likely press against this line-drawing, but even apparent victories for religious liberty may come at a significant cost.

Harry and Susan Seigle Hall to be dedicated Sept. 25

Photo by Joe AngelesHarry and Susan Seigle Hall.Seigle Hall’s dedication marks a significant milestone in ongoing efforts to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary work between the social sciences and Washington University School of Law at Washington University in St. Louis.

Study details how Bush might reshape U.S. Supreme Court

Sandra Day O’ConnorPresident Bush’s re-election, coupled with strengthened Republican control of the Senate, has fueled speculation that the next four years could bring about dramatic shifts in political composition of the U.S. Supreme Court. While Bush may be poised to push the court in a more conservative direction, a forthcoming study suggests his ability to make dramatic ideological changes still hinges on whether he has the opportunity to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.