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Recent Supreme Court Decisions

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (June 30, 2014)
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) permits a closely held for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners.

Harris v. Quinn (June 30, 2014)
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits a state from compelling home health care providers who are not "full-fledged public employees" to pay union dues to a union they do not wish to join.

NLRB v. Noel Canning (June 26, 2014)
The Recess Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution empowers the President to fill any existing vacancy during any recess—intra-session or inter-session—of sufficient length, but three days is not sufficient length.

McCullen v. Coakley (June 26, 2014)
A Massachusetts act making it a crime to knowingly stand on a “public way or sidewalk” within 35 feet of an entrance or driveway to any “reproductive health care facility” violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it burdens substantially more speech than is necessary to further the government's legitimate interests.

American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc. (June 25, 2014)
When an entity communicates the same perceptible images and sounds to multiple people at the same time, it has transmitted a performance to the public within the meaning of the Copyright Act and may be held liable for infringing a copyright.

Trending Supreme Court Cases

Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968)
The Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and frisks him or her without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person “may be armed and presently dangerous.”

Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
The Texas statute making it a crime for two persons of the same sex to engage in certain intimate sexual conduct violates the Due Process Clause.

Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)
The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against, as in this case, an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect; such force may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979)
Application of the Fourth Amendment depends on whether the person invoking its protection can claim a "legitimate expectation of privacy" that has been invaded by government action.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
The segregation of students in public schools on the basis of race children violates the principle of equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, even though the physical facilities and other "tangible" factors may be equal.