U.S. Supreme Court

Updated on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. ET

Keith Gaddie has "hung up his spurs."

The election expert from the University of Oklahoma no longer helps state legislatures draw new district lines to maximize their partisan advantage.

He was still wearing those spurs in 2011 when he provided data that helped Wisconsin Republicans enact a legislative redistricting plan aimed at maximizing their power for the foreseeable future.

But now he has reversed course and filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the practice is undemocratic.

If last year's Supreme Court term was so dry of interesting cases that it looked like a desert, this term, which opens Monday, already looks like a tropical rainforest. And the justices are only halfway to filling up their docket.

Already scheduled are major test cases on a raft of controversial issues such as partisan gerrymandering, privacy in an age of technology, sports betting and much more, including a case that pits the right of a same-sex couple to buy a specially created wedding cake against the right of a cake creator and his bakery to refuse.

The Supreme Court added 11 cases to its term that begins next week, agreeing to hear a pivotal case on unions that represent government employees. Other cases involve a range of topics, from searches by police to overtime pay for car dealership service advisers.

The newly accepted cases were announced Thursday morning — and so far, the union case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, is attracting the most attention.

The Supreme Court has taken two cases involving President Trump's controversial travel ban off its calendar, after the White House issued a revised and expanded ban. The justices ordered both sides to file new briefs over whether parts of the issue are now moot.

"The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court," the justices wrote in an order issued Monday.

Parties in the two cases — Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii — have until next Thursday, Oct. 5, to file their briefs.

Bedecked in fondant and flowers, modern wedding cakes are the centerpiece of the marriage feast — an edible form of art. But are they also an expression of free speech?

That is the question the Supreme Court will consider this fall when it hears the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple because he said it would violate his religious beliefs.

"You'd think cake would be apolitical, and yet here we are," muses baker Catherine George of Catherine George Cakes.

The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.

In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.

On a Monday morning in June, Simon Tam woke up at his home in Portland, Ore., to 753 notifications blowing up his phone.

"At that point, I knew something had happened," Tam said. The Supreme Court had finally resolved his nearly eight year fight with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the name of his band, The Slants.

By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court.

But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up an appeal over electoral districts in Wisconsin after a lower court ruled that the state's Republican-drawn map constitutes an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander."

It's the first time in more than a decade that the nation's highest court will take up the issue of partisan gerrymandering, or drawing voting districts with the aim of strengthening one political party.

niroworld, 123rf Stock Photo

A liberal group has come out against President Donald Trump’s nomination of a Louisville lawyer to a federal appeals court, criticizing him for opposing a landmark ruling dealing with freedom of the press.

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