One of the almost forgotten issues in the 2008 presidential campaign has been the opportunity the winner will have to name new Supreme Court justices. Five of the nine justices will be 70 years old or older when the 44th president takes office in January 2009. Both parties were certainly aware of the potential for appointing Supreme Court justices in the next four years, but the issue was mostly lost in the lengthy debates over experience, the Iraq War, the bank and credit crisis and the candidates’ previous affiliations. Age and health are two of the factors which will determine […]

The Supreme Court has refused to hear a copyright appeal by Clare Milne, the grand-daughter of Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne. Clare was attempting to regain control of one of the most lucrative literary franchises in history. A.A. Milne wrote the original Winnie the Pooh stories between 1924 and 1928. The name was inspired by Winnipeg Bear, a former mascot of the 34th Fort Garry Horse, a Canadian cavalry regiment. The regiment had donated the bear to the London Zoo during World War I. In 1930, Milne granted a license to Stephen Slesinger, who promptly created Stephen Slesinger Inc. […]

Interpreting the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punished under the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 17, 2010 that locking up a juvenile youth under the age of 18 years for life, without parole, is punishment that is unconstitutionally “cruel and unusual.” An exception, however, may exist in cases involving a juvenile who commits a killing of another without a legal justification or excuse. Florida’s Juvenile Justice System Leads in Need for Rehabilitation Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, Florida’s industrial prison complex system must release 77 people who committed non-homicide crimes as juveniles and were […]

At thirty-three years old, Hugh Henry Breckenridge arrived at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. Breckenridge hoped that he would have greater success in Pittsburgh than he did in Philadelphia. Early Life of Hugh Henry Brackenridge In 1763, Hugh Henry Brackenridge is brought to Pennsylvania from Scotland. He is raised in York County not far from the Maryland border. After being educated in the Normal School and at the age of sixteen he went on to attend the University of New Jersery, which later became Princeton University. At Princeton, Brackenridge befriended Philip Freneau who he co-wrote “The Raising […]

His job is to issue warrants for war criminals around the world, independent of national limitations. It’s a risky business on many levels and opinion is divided on whether the court should even exist. Documentarian Barry Stevens followed Moreno-Ocampo for a year, as he pursued the President of Sudan, a sitting head of state, for war crimes. Moreno-Ocampo argues his warrant at the United Nations, opens a trial in the Congo against war criminal Thomas Lubanga and oversees the removal of child warriors from their Congolese captors. He’s a controversial figure; some critics claim court justice is sovereignty and threatens […]

Although the average age of the Court is younger now that John Roberts and Samuel Alito are on the bench, the average age of the justices is still almost 70. Four justices are over 70, and John Paul Stevens will be 88 when the next Supreme Court term begins. What this means is that at least one justice, in all likelihood, will retire before the next presidential term is concluded. At least one other—Ruth Ginsburg, who is 75—will likely retire as well. Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy are 72 and 71, respectively, although there are no signs that either is […]

In 1989, Savannah police officer Mark Allen MacPhail was killed while trying to assist an assault victim in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. At the time, eyewitnesses insisted that Troy Davis was responsible for the murder. A Georgia court convicted Davis in 1991 and sentenced him to death. Since Davis’s conviction, however, new evidence has arisen in his case. Between 1991 and 2009, seven of the nine eyewitnesses admitted that they had lied about seeing Davis kill MacPhail. Instead, they indicated that another individual was responsible for the murder. Several said that they had named Davis because they […]