Justices back at court for new term – The Denver Post – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-10-04 15:11:12 –

Mark Sharman and Jessica Gresco

Washington (AP) — After being absent for almost 19 months due to a coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court returned to court on Monday to begin a significant new term.

Abortion, guns, and religion are all on the agenda of a right-leaning court, including three judges appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Judge John Roberts was in the usual place in the center chair, and Judge Clarence Thomas, the longest serving member of the court, was to his right. But almost everything else, like the rest of the country, was a bit different for the courts still dealing with the virus.

In court, eight of the nine judges stood on the bench at 10 am Eastern Standard Time. Judge Brett Kavanaugh joined away from home after a positive COVID-19 test late last week. His voice echoed in court when a question was asked with the high-back chair empty. The court said Kavanaugh, who was vaccinated in January, showed no symptoms. All other judges are also vaccinated.

It was also the first time on Monday that new judge Amy Coney Barrett participated in the court debate.

Only about 50 people were present, including lawyers involved in the case, regular court reporters, Judge Anthony Kennedy, the spouse of some judges, and some court officials. Judge Sonia Sotomayor was the only judge to wear a mask. Sotomayor, who has been suffering from diabetes since childhood, is the only judge known for his chronic illness.

Lawyers removed them for their discussion, but the audience sat socially distant and wore masks. The podium claimed by the lawyer was also farther away from the judge than before the pandemic.

The court is also requesting a negative COVID-19 test from lawyers and reporters who want to go to court. The court said lawyers with positive tests would be able to make their claims over the phone. That’s the way lawyers claimed in court for a pandemic.

Because the building is not open to the public, the court corridors, which are usually crowded in the morning when the courts are open, were eerily quiet. A portrait of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died about a year ago, is displayed in the main corridor directly opposite Judge Antonin Scalia, a friend and colleague who died in 2016. When visitors enter the building from the north, the liberal Gimberg portrait is on the left and the conservative Scaria portrait is on the right.

On Monday, it was the first time that the public could hear the court minutes live via the court Wesbite link. The court first allowed live audio of telephone discussions in 2020 and earlier this year for a pandemic.

Those who hear continue to ask the practice that Thomas began during the telephone discussion. Before that, he asked questions in court many years ago. When Thomas asked the first question of the two cases of the day, his colleague appeared to postpone him on Monday-a water struggle between Tennessee and Mississippi and an enhanced sentence for recidivists. Controversy over.

“Well, you seem to be complaining about Tennessee pumping water from Mississippi, but you admit that Tennessee doesn’t cross the border into Mississippi, right?” Thomas asks the first question in the term. And said.

The case on Monday was not included in the long-awaited dispute that the court would serve as the referee this term.

In the water debate, there seemed to be little support for Mississippi’s claim that the Memphis region was pumping state water from subterranean aquifers beneath parts of both states. The controversy dates back to 2005, when Mississippi first claimed that Memphis was pumping water from the Mississippi portion of the aquifer. Tennessee says water does not work that way and argues that aquifers are an interstate resource and should be shared fairly.

In other cases, the judge looked in favor of William Wooden, Tennessee. He was a criminal record man and was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison when he was convicted of having a gun. Federal law prohibits serious offenders from owning firearms.

The case arises under the Armed Carrier Criminal Code, and the question is whether the theft of an item from 10 units on the same day in a mini storage facility should be counted as one conviction or 10 and the lower courts A sentence that determined the man to qualify for a longer prison.

“In the real world, Mr. Ross, who thinks it?” Judge Neil Gorsuch explained to Justice Attorney Erica Ross why the court should consider Wood to have committed 10 crimes. bottom.

Thomas, however, was skeptical of some of the discussions of lawyer Aaron Kedem on behalf of Wooden. “What if they took a smoke break?” Thomas asked. Or, Thomas wanted to know if Wooden and his accomplices decided to drink lunch or coffee before resuming invasion in the storage unit, would it be considered one or more crimes?

Also on Monday, the court confirmed a lower court ruling stating that residents of the District of Columbia do not have the right to exercise their voting rights in the House of Representatives. It was one of the hundreds of appeals dismissed by the court.

Judge too:

— Refused to participate in a proceeding over the pending Pentagon cloud computing contract. This is a decision following the cancellation of the contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Cloud Computing Project earlier this year.

— As a passenger in a fleeing car, he left the ruling of a lower court resurrecting a lawsuit by a male brother who was fatally shot by police in Hayward, California.

— The Philadelphia region’s transportation system has dismissed an appeal from a lower court ruling that forces the display of advertisements promoting award-winning research by the Investigative Journalism Center for Racial Bias in the Mortgage Market.

Justices back at court for new term – The Denver Post Source link Justices back at court for new term – The Denver Post

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