Monday, June 24, 2013

Closing Out the SCOTUS Term

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its opinion in six cases, including the highly-anticipated affirmative action ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas (opinion PDF). Seasoned Court-watchers expect at least two more days of announcements, with several high-profile cases left still pending. Yesterday's New York Times outlined the issues in Fisher as well as the topics of other key remaining cases, including same-sex marriage (considered in two separate legal challenges: one to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and one to a California state law) and section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Another remaining case is not getting as much national attention, but its subject matter is likely quite familiar to many LARW alumni at Duke: whether the Indian Child Welfare Act can be used to revoke the adoption of a Cherokee child to non-native parents by the child's estranged biological father (prior N.Y. Times coverage of the case).

How can a researcher keep up with the latest news as the Court marches toward adjourning its October Term 2012? SCOTUSblog features a daily liveblog of these final announcements. The site also includes a fascinating "Stat Pack" feature, which includes useful data on vote splits, justice agreement/disagreement rates, and the length of time between argument and decision. The New York Times Supreme Court topic page is another good place to gather the latest news from the Court this week, as is the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog.

For assistance locating more information about the nation's highest court, consult our research guide to the U.S. Supreme Court or Ask a Librarian.