Tagged Supreme Court

Democrats Should Hold the Gorsuch Nomination Hostage

Judge Neil Gorsuch is a genuinely outstanding jurist, who would be a superb addition to the United States Supreme Court. All Americans can and should be deeply proud that his intellect, his devotion to scholarship, and his fidelity to original public meaning jurisprudence has brought him to this extraordinary moment in his career and his life. I greatly respect his ability, his jurisprudential philosophy, and his character, which by all accounts is beyond reproach. I suppose this sounds as though I am putting aside my Never-Trumpism for a moment and supporting the Trump administration in its nomination of Judge Gorsuch.…

Merrick Garland and the United States Supreme Court

Before getting into the meat of this post, let me state the following: The president of the United States has every right to nominate someone to the United States Supreme Court, despite the fact that this is an election year. The United States Senate has every right not to act on the nomination, and no constitutional obligation whatsoever to actually hold hearings or have a vote. The above having been written, I believe that the United States Senate should–barring the revelation of any skeletons in Merrick Garland’s closet–confirm his nomination as an associate justice of the United States. Here is…

Thoughts and Clarifications on the Issue of Same-Sex Marriage

In the aftermath of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell, I have engaged in some online debates with people of goodwill regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. I expect that those debates will continue for some time to come, but in the event that it is useful, here is a comprehensive outline regarding where I stand regarding the issue:

The Supreme Court Bats .500. Legal and Political Analysis Follows.

The United States Supreme Court has come out with two major opinions, in as many days. The first concerned Barack Obama’s health care law, and featured a bad outcome based on poor reasoning. The second concerned the issue of same-sex marriage and featured a laudable outcome based on less-than-good reasoning.

Sometimes, Consistency Is No Hobgoblin at All

When Senate Democrats abolished the filibuster for nominations to federal district courts and courts of appeal, they made sure to preserve it for Supreme Court nominations. Apparently, while Senate Democrats were outraged that President Obama’s nominations to lower courts were getting filibustered, they still feared the possibility that a Republican might become president and might choose Supreme Court nominees whom they didn’t like. So, Senate Democrats wanted to make sure that they would still be able to filibuster those nominees. Apart from the fact that this rule was convenient for Senate Democrats, it made no sense whatsoever. If judicial filibusters…

Rebuking Crazy Talk on the Supreme Court

Remember Paul Krugman’s ridiculous comments regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in King v. Burwell? Justice Elena Kagan–no one’s idea of a right-wing jurist, of course–has something to say about them: Statements such as that of economics professor Paul Krugman’s argument in a New York Times column that the Court is corrupt, which was brought up by Eisgruber, are inaccurate, Kagan said. “That is just ridiculous language,” she said. Justices may agree or disagree, she said, yet they all fulfill their jobs in good faith. “I think [the Supreme Court] is an institution of government that really works,” Kagan…

A Huge Win for Marriage Equality

Ilya Shapiro reports, and points out why the Supreme Court’s decision to deny certiorari to petitioners in same-sex marriage cases was so important: . . . Although it’s unusual for the Court to deny review in those rare cases where all parties urge it, there’s no current “circuit split” – all appellate courts have struck down the challenges to various states’ marriage laws – so the justices’ demurral signals a desire to let public opinion shift even further in favor of allowing same-sex marriage before the Court wades in with a definitive constitutional ruling. By doing so, and thereby postponing any…

Some Sensible Commentary on the Hobby Lobby Decision

Read all of Emma Green’s article, and note especially the following: . . . as John J. Dilulio Jr., the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, writes over at Brookings, “Love it or loathe it, the Hobby Lobby decision is limited in scope.” It’s about how the Religious Freedom Restoration Act applies to this particular objection from Hobby Lobby and other “closely held” companies, or businesses that are mostly owned by a small group of people who also happen to run them. And the Court went out of its way to clarify that their ruling does not apply to…

What We Learn from Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court handed down two important decisions today. Both were rightly decided, in my view. The first was Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Eugene Volokh has a very good rundown of the case here. Note the following from his post: . . . The owners of Hobby Lobby sincerely believe that it’s wrong for them to buy their employees insurance plans that they see as supporting abortion. They have no objection to contraception as such, but they view contraceptives that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg as tantamount to abortion drugs. The government acknowledges that its regulations require businesses…

More on McCutcheon: Justice Breyer’s Dangerous Ideas on Free Speech

Two blog posts on the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon decision deserve mention and praise for the way in which they highlight disquieting themes in Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion. The first is this one by legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who has spent a laudable lifetime working to leave the state of First Amendment jurisprudence better than he found it. Abrams makes the following outstanding point concerning the dissent in McCutcheon: What seems to me most surprising and disturbing about the ruling, though, is not to be found in the predictably much assaulted (and I believe sound) majority opinion but in the…