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The Exchange

2014's SCOTUS Rulings: What You Need To Know


A flurry of rulings by the country’s highest court last week addressed some major issues:  religious freedom and labor rights, as well as digital privacy and the extent of police and presidential power. We're examining how these decisions might affect future debates and what they say about the Court itself.




  • USA Today recap of SCOTUS decisions: "On one illustrative day during the final flurry of decisions, the justices ruled that 72 hours was too brief to qualify as a congressional recess and 35 feet was too wide to serve as a buffer zone around abortion clinics. Ten days and 8 feet, they said, might be OK."
  • This term’s key Supreme Court rulings, in the justices’ own words: "Members of the court like to say that they are the only government officials required to explain why they made a decision. The excerpts below, from majority opinions, concurrences and dissents, are intended to show the point-counterpoint nature of their exchanges, the conversations to which some cases lend themselves and the individual voice that each justice brings to the job."
  • NYTimes Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak on Fresh Air: "The chief justice in particular and all of the justices hate to be thought of as political actors. They think they're doing judicial work. True, it's informed by - call it ideology, call it judicial philosophy - but they really hate it when people say they're politicians."
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