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U.S. Supreme Court

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

The Supreme Court welcomes its newest justice Tuesday as Brett Kavanaugh takes the bench for his first arguments since a contentious Senate voted narrowly to confirm him, cementing a decades-long campaign by conservatives to reshape the nation's highest court.

Brett Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice. That much is certain after senators narrowly approved his controversial nomination Saturday, putting an end to his bitter confirmation battle with a slim vote in his favor.

But even as one phase of Kavanaugh's story ends, another is beginning: His lifetime tenure on the highest court in the U.S. And this story promises to last much longer.

Florida And Georgia Renew ‘Water Wars’

Oct 8, 2018

Florida and Georgia have renewed their fight over the impact of Georgia’s water consumption on the Apalachicola River system.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh became the newest associate justice of the Supreme Court when he was sworn in Saturday evening.

On Tuesday morning, he will sit to the left of Justice Elena Kagan, in the most junior spot on the high court's bench, and will hear arguments in three criminal cases before the court.

Here's a quick look at some key information about Kavanaugh as he begins his lifetime appointment to the court.

Updated 5:33 p.m. ET Friday

After GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine came out in favor of confirming him Friday afternoon on the Senate floor, Judge Brett Kavanaugh is all but certainly headed for the Supreme Court in very short order.

The Senate advanced Kavanaugh's nomination, 51 to 49, Friday. A final vote is expected Saturday.

There was a lot that went down Friday. What exactly happened and what does it mean going forward?

Liam James Doyle / NPR

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to hold a ‘cloture’ vote today on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.  You can watch a live video stream of the proceedings here – beginning at 10:30 a.m.

WUSF News will provide updates throughout the day on air and online. We also offer a live one-hour recap and analysis of the day’s events from NPR tonight at 8 p.m. on WUSF 89.7.

President Trump's choice of Brett Kavanaugh is already the most contentious nomination to the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas won a 52-48 confirmation vote in 1991.

Thomas' was the closest vote confirming a justice since the 1800s, and it followed a stormy hearing and an adverse vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The process nearly foundered on accusations of sexual harassment and racial prejudice.

But the Senate in that day settled down, and Thomas has served on the court for 27 years – a nearly always silent anchor on the court's right.

Across the U.S., people spent the day rapt, watching or listening to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The proceedings were emotional throughout, as Ford told the story of the sexual assault that she alleges Kavanaugh made against her when the two were in high school, more than 30 years ago.

Updated at 11:18 p.m. ET

Days before the Senate is set to hear from a woman who alleges that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her while in high school, Kavanaugh is denying fresh accusations from a college classmate who also alleges he acted inappropriately toward her.

Updated at 6:26 p.m. ET

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and the woman accusing him of sexual assault more than three decades ago, Christine Blasey Ford, will both testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 24. The committee was supposed to vote on the nomination this Thursday but faced pressure after Ford went public with her allegation over the weekend.

Ford and Kavanaugh both agreed to testify under oath before the committee.

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

Medicaid home care aides — hourly workers who help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks like eating, getting dressed and bathing — are emerging as the latest target in the ongoing power struggle between some conservative lawmakers and organized labor.

As a federal appellate judge for the past dozen years, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has played a central role in building the nation's system of campaign finance laws.

In the battle over the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the usual suspects are lining up in support and opposition. At the grass roots, however, there is one new entry nervously eyeing the Kavanaugh nomination. It is March For Our Lives, started by high school students in Parkland, Fla., after the shooting there, and aimed ultimately at enacting more effective gun regulations.

The heated debate over how Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would vote on the Affordable Care Act might not matter. As long as five past defenders of the health care law remain on the nation's highest court, the odds tilt in favor of it being allowed to stand.

What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That’s the question now that President Donald Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In the end, after days of highly dramatized deliberation, President Trump had to choose. He had to choose not only between several possible nominees for the Supreme Court, but also between categories of advisers.

In this case, he chose to listen to his lawyers rather than his talk show hosts. And he did not seem overly concerned about the warning Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had issued over the weekend about which prospective nominees would be easiest to get confirmed.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

With just hours to go before the official announcement, President Trump has made a decision on his pick for the next Supreme Court justice, a source close to the decision-making process tells NPR's Mara Liasson.

But there is still no indication which of the four finalists it will be.

As of Monday morning, Trump was still deciding among Judges Thomas Hardiman, Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge and Amy Coney Barrett.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

The final hours of President Trump's decision-making on his second Supreme Court nominee are being described as hectic and unpredictable — and the president has still not made a decision.

"It's insane" over there, said a source close to the process. Few have had any sleep in Bedminster, N.J., as deliberations continue over the pros and cons of the potential nominees, and no one is sure which way the president is going to go, the source said.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

President Trump has narrowed his list of Supreme Court candidates to three, according to two sources close to the process.

The three are Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett and Raymond Kethledge with Kavanaugh and Barrett as the top two at the moment.

It's important to maintain that caveat, because President Trump has not made a final decision, and it could change.

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Floridian Fane Lozman has a rare track record at the U.S. Supreme Court. He's 2-0. 

Lozman recently won a First Amendment case that he carried all the way to the nation's highest court. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively put an end to a California law that forces anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide information about abortion.

Florida has worked out a deal to cap the amount of money that will be paid to law firms hired to help the state in its long-running water war with Georgia.

State TV Tax Fight Goes To U.S. Supreme Court

Oct 17, 2017

Pointing to “protectionism,” a major satellite-television company is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to a Florida law that sets different tax rates for cable and satellite TV services.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up an appeal by a Jacksonville-based hospital system about the disclosure of records in medical-malpractice cases.

The U.S. Supreme court’s silence on Florida’s appeal settles it:  capital cases in the state require unanimous jury sentences.  But many are dubious about how state courts are applying the standard to previously settled cases and state officials remain uncertain of how far the changes reach.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson won’t support Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. 

Justices To Consider ‘Water War’ Report

Mar 6, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court will take the next step March 17 in Florida's lawsuit against Georgia over water use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia may not have been the original originalist, but he popularized what had once been a fringe legal doctrine. He argued for it both on and off the U.S. Supreme Court and brought originalism into if not the mainstream then at least into the center of legal debate.

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