(CNN) – The nominee for the No. 2 job at the Department of Homeland Security is under investigation amid allegations he helped obtain a special visa for an international investor after the initial application was denied by the U.S. government.
An e-mail sent to congressional lawmakers from the department's inspector general and obtained by CNN said Alejandro Mayorkas is being investigated, but at this point, "we do not have any findings of criminal misconduct."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Justice Elena Kagan has some exciting news: "I shot myself a deer."
New York City native Kagan revealed over the weekend that she and conservative colleague Justice Antonin Scalia have expanded their hunting forays.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Sunday refused to stop California from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, turning aside an emergency request from supporters of Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure that had earlier been dismissed by the justices on narrow, jurisdictional grounds. It is the latest legal and political twist in an issue that has divided the state.
Justice Anthony Kennedy refused to vacate a stay of a decision Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, which had lifted a previous injunction on the ability of gays and lesbians to legally wed. Officials across the state, including the attorney general, quickly began performing same-sex marriages, including those of the two couples who brought the original lawsuit.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – It's a familiar refrain from the media-shy U.S. Supreme Court: Judge us by what we write in our rulings, not in oral arguments, speeches or interviews.
But the court term that ended this week in dramatic fashion reveals how difficult it can be to create a coherent picture of this dynamic bench, one that moves easily, if stealthily, across ideological lines on a range of hot-button cases.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The Supreme Court has dismissed a closely-watched appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, ruling Wednesday private parties do not have "standing" to defend California's voter-approved ballot measure barring gay and lesbians couples from state-sanctioned wedlock.
The ruling permits same-sex couples in California to legally marry.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, ruling that same-sex spouses legally married in a state may receive federal benefits.
The case examines whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. At issue is whether DOMA violates equal protection guarantees in the Fifth Amendment's due process clause as applied to same-sex couples legally married under the laws of their states.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - A deeply divided Supreme Court has limited use of a key provision in the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, in effect invalidating the key enforcement provision that applies to all or parts of 15 states with past history of voter discrimination.
The case involved Section 5, which gives federal authorities open-ended oversight of states and localities with a history of voter discrimination. Any changes in voting laws and procedures in the covered areas - which include all or parts of 15 states - must be "pre-cleared" with Washington.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The Supreme Court side-stepped a sweeping decision on the use of race-conscious school admission policies, ruling Monday on the criteria at the University of Texas and whether it violates the equal protection rights of some white applicants.
The justices threw the case back to the lower courts for further review.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – The Supreme Court will step back into the national debate over free speech and abortion, accepting Monday an appeal on the rights of protesters outside medical clinics.
A challenge to a Massachusetts law concerns government-mandated buffer zones set up around facilities that perform abortions.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's recess appointments to a federal agency - made without Senate confirmation - will be reviewed by the Supreme Court, a major constitutional test of executive power.
At issue is whether three people named to the National Labor Relations Board lacked authority, because the presidential appointments were made while the Senate was technically in a "pro forma" session during the 2011-12 winter holiday break.FULL STORY