Nina Totenberg

Updated January 13, 2022 at 6:30 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration's vaccine-or-test rule Thursday, declaring that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had exceeded its authority.

But at the same time, the court upheld a regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that mandates vaccines for almost all employees at hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers that receive federal funds.

Updated January 7, 2022 at 7:12 PM ET

The Supreme Court's conservative supermajority on Friday seemed ready to block some or all of the Biden administration's regulations aimed at increasing vaccinations nationwide.

At issue in the nearly four-hour argument were two regulations:

  1. One imposes a vaccine mandate for almost all workers at hospitals, nursing homes and other medical providers receiving federal Medicare and Medicaid funds.

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to New York state's vaccine mandate for health care workers — a mandate that provides no exceptions for religious objectors. The vote was 6-3.

This was the second time the court has refused to block such a state vaccine mandate for health care workers. As in an earlier case from Maine, New York provides only one exemption from the mandate, and that is a narrow medical exemption for those who have suffered a severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the vaccine or a component of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Updated December 10, 2021 at 6:39 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused for a second time to block a Texas law that has virtually brought abortions to a halt for anyone more than six weeks pregnant, a time so early that many women don't know they are pregnant. Separately, the court dismissed as improvidently granted the Justice Department's challenge to the law, meaning the court should not have accepted the case in the first place.

The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative supermajority seemed poised Wednesday to hand school-choice advocates a major victory, and potentially a large expansion of state programs required to fund religious education.

The handwriting on the wall came during a nearly two-hour argument involving a challenge brought by two Maine families to the state's unusual way of providing public education.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case that could greatly expand state aid to religious schools. On one side are proponents of the school choice movement, and on the other is the state of Maine, which is defending the way it provides what it calls a public education for children.

Updated December 6, 2021 at 8:24 PM ET

The Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court is to vote Tuesday on its final report and recommendations, but the panel steers clear of taking a position on many of the most controversial suggestions for changing the court.

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Updated December 1, 2021 at 5:35 PM ET

The right to an abortion in the United States appeared to be on shaky ground as a divided Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on the fate of Roe v. Wade, the court's 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

An epic argument at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday: At issue is whether to reverse the court's nearly half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision and subsequent decisions declaring that women have a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.

Until now, all the court's abortion decisions have upheld Roe's central framework — that women have a constitutional right to an abortion in the first two trimesters of pregnancy when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb, until roughly between 22 and 24 weeks.

For nearly a half-century, abortion has been a constitutional right in the United States. But this week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a Mississippi case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and subsequent decisions.

Those rulings consistently declared that a woman has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy in the first two trimesters of pregnancy when a fetus is unable to survive outside the womb. But with that abortion right now in doubt, it's worth looking back at its history.

The U.S. Supreme Court returned to the subject of religious rights Tuesday, but this time the court considered whether death row inmates are entitled to have a spiritual adviser in the execution chamber and whether the religious adviser should be permitted to pray for and touch the condemned.

The subject of spiritual advisors in the death chamber has, at times, divided the court's conservative supermajority and it has also at times embarrassed the court, as minority religious advisers have sometimes been excluded from the death chamber.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday in a case involving an FBI undercover operation at a mosque in California. Area Muslims are suing the FBI over a nearly year-long surveillance program that, at least publicly, yielded no results and proved a huge embarrassment to the bureau.

How it began

In hindsight, the covert operation unfolded like some sort of black comedy. As Ira Glass reported on This American Life back in 2012, "It is a cautionary tale, a case where we can watch everything go wrong."

Updated November 3, 2021 at 3:52 PM ET

At the U.S. Supreme Court, the conservative majority seemed ready Wednesday to broaden gun rights by striking down a New York law that limits the right to carry concealed handguns.

Some 80 million people live in states that, like New York, limit concealed carry.

Wednesday marks a showdown over guns at the legal O.K. Corral. The Supreme Court hears arguments in its first major gun case in more than a decade, and the new conservative supermajority seems poised to make gun regulation more difficult.

With school boards all over the country finding themselves at the center of controversy, the Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether an elected community college board can censure one of its members.

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Updated November 1, 2021 at 5:35 PM ET

The Supreme Court appeared inclined Monday to allow abortion providers to challenge a controversial Texas law that in effect bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is before most women know they are pregnant.

Updated November 1, 2021 at 1:08 PM ET

Abortion rights are front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, but not the way most people expected. The focus will not be on abortion rights, per se, but on the controversial Texas law designed to prevent court challenges.

Updated October 22, 2021 at 1:40 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a controversial Texas abortion law on Nov. 1 but refused to block the law while it examines the state's unusual enforcement scheme and whether the Department of Justice has the right to sue to block the law.

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Updated October 13, 2021 at 4:16 PM ET

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to lean toward reinstating the death sentence imposed on the Boston Marathon bomber, though the court's liberal justices were incredulous about the actions of the district court judge in the original trial.

This week, just days after the Boston Marathon took place for the first time since the pandemic began, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death for his role in the terrorist bombing of the race in 2013. The question in the case is not Tsarnaev's guilt. It is whether he was properly sentenced to death and whether he had a fair trial.

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Updated October 6, 2021 at 3:13 PM ET

At the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices sharply questioned the federal government's lawyer about the refusal to allow a Guantanamo Bay detainee to testify about his own torture at a so-called CIA black site in Poland.

The unexpectedly tense argument over torture in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack came in the case of Abu Zubaydah, a Guantanamo detainee who has never been charged with a crime, though he has been in U.S. custody for 20 years.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case testing the limits of public disclosure about the CIA's secret torture program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The central issue of the case concerns whether a detainee at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who has never been charged with a crime can subpoena testimony from the CIA contractors who supervised his torture.

Abu Zubaydah was the first prisoner held by the CIA to undergo extensive torture.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

GAIL CURLEY: The honorable, the chief justice and the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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For the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, Monday marks the first time nearly all of them will gather together in the courtroom since the lockdown a year and a half ago. But if some of the justices greet the new term with great anticipation for a new conservative legal era, others likely are facing the term with dread.

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