Tahlequah Daily Press

Online Exclusives

January 10, 2014

Current U.S. Supreme Court cases

TAHLEQUAH — The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing cases last October. Although decisions could take until late June, here are some key cases to watch:

1. President Recess Appointments: National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning.

In answering whether President Obama had the authority to make so-called “recess appointments” of people to the National Labor Relations Board during “pro forma” sessions of the Senate in which no business was to be conducted in January 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that he did not.

In a broad ruling, the judges said that the Constitution’s “recess appointment” clause — which allows presidents to fill vacancies temporarily that otherwise would need Senate approval during Senate recesses — only applies to the “intersession” recess between sessions of Congress and not “intrasession recesses” taken during a session of Congress. Although that opinion could have found against Obama’s decision on a more limited reasoning that the Senate was not actually recessed during a time when it held “pro forma” sessions, the D.C. Circuit issued the broader reasoning in its ruling.

The justices took the case and, if the D.C. Circuit’s reasoning becomes the law of the land, could create a significant change in the way nomination battles are fought in D.C.

2. Campaign Finance “Aggregat” Limits: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

Justices will consider whether “aggregate” limits faced by political donors are constitutional. Beyond the normal contribution limits, the aggregate limits — $48,600 to candidate committees and $74,600 to non-candidate committees like political parties — are limits on overall contributions to any federal candidates or non-candidate committees within an election cycle.

The Federal Election Commission argues that there has been a different standard applied to contributions than to campaign expenditures since the Supreme Court upheld the post-Watergate federal campaign finance law. Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, with support from campaign finance restriction foe Sen. Mitch McConnell, say that distinction should be tossed out by the court or, at least, should nonetheless mean the aggregate limit is unconstitutional.

A broad array of groups has argued in support of the limits, and Public Campaign released a report showing how eliminating the limits would, primarily, benefit wealthy, white men. In the shadow of Citizens United, though, supporters of campaign finance restrictions are nervous. As law professor Rick Hasen has written, given the other members of the court, “Liberals have to hope [Chief Justice John] Roberts will show some restraint.”

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Online Exclusives
  • Rural Smallholders Association

    The Rural Smallholders Association is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission of educating area residents and potential members about raising sheep, goats and guard dogs on small acreages.

    April 23, 2014

  • Walk a Mile In Her Shoes History

    Walk a Mile In Her Shoes was established by Frank Baird in 2001 when he suggested the idea to the Valley Trauma Center, where he had worked since 1993 at California State University-Northridge.

    April 22, 2014

  • Future of the Dream Theatre

    Roy Rogers, Trigger and Dale Evans may make happy trails across the silver screen again soon, as live music and classic movies are in the future of the The Dream Theatre.
    Larry Clark, manager of the downtown venue, said along with featuring local talent and new talent, he'll be bringing in some out of town talent, too. He's also on the lookout for filmmakers.

    April 19, 2014

  • Minimum wage poll results

    The Daily Press polled its online readers, asking what they think of a state legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage. Since the poll was posted, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law that prohibits cities from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick day requirements.

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Honor Flights history

    The true origin of Oklahoma Honor Flights can be traced to the 16 million United States men and women who served their country in World War II (between 1941-1945).

    April 17, 2014

  • List of Trail of Tears Art Show grand-prize winners since 1972

    The following is a list of Trail of Tears Art Show grand-prize winners since the show’s inception in 1972

    April 15, 2014

  • Summer films

    Studios may no longer confine the releases of “blockbuster” films to summer, but there are still dozens of big-budget films set to open during the summer.

    April 9, 2014

  • Warning signs of child abuse and neglect

    The earlier child abuse is caught, the better the chance of recovery and appropriate treatment for the child. Child abuse is not always obvious. By learning some of the common warning signs of child abuse and neglect, you can catch the problem as early as possible and get both the child and the abuser the help that they need.
    Of course, just because you see a warning sign doesn’t automatically mean a child is being abused. It’s important to dig deeper, looking for a pattern of abusive behavior and warning signs, if you notice something off.

    April 8, 2014

  • Most readers favor STD education for children

    When it comes to teaching children about sexually transmitted diseases, parents may understandably have mixed feelings. Perhaps they believe they bear foremost responsibility, but public education can include the research and input of medical professionals.

    April 5, 2014

  • Soil temperatures and planting

    According to Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Educator Roger Williams, soil temperature is key to growing a successful vegetable garden.
    Each spring, the warm air temperature puts most gardeners in the mood to plant. The best way to determine the time to plant vegetables in your garden is soil temperature.

    April 4, 2014

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