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    Supreme Court 2012 Budget

    Justices Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy testified on the proposed U.S. Supreme Court 2012 budget. Topics included the winding down of renovations to the Supreme Court building and changes to visitor access, as well as security for the high court and federal judges in general.

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    Kennedy v. Louisiana Oral Argument

    The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Kennedy v. Louisiana on the constitutionality of the death penalty for child rape.

    This program contained the audio recording released by the court. Still images of participants were shown on the screen as they spoke. Justice Thomas did not speak. 

    The Supreme Court decided 5-4 that Louisiana’s law allowing the death penalty for child rape violated the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment. The Court overturned the law in Louisiana and five other states: Montana, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. The two men sentenced to death for the crime of child rape, both in Louisiana, would receive new sentences of life without parole.

    Justice Kennedy wrote the opinion for the Court. His opinion was joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer. Justice Alito wrote the dissenting opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the dissent, along with Justices Scalia and Thomas.