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The Laws of Political Mechanics

For the Symposium on Jack M. Balkin, The Cycles of Constitutional Time (Oxford University Press, 2020). The first law of political mechanics is that an object in motion (or rest) will tend to stay in motion (or rest) unless acted on by an outside force.    This is path dependence.    Political choices at time A make more likely the same choice will be made at time B.    If we hire a constitutional lawyer today, we are more likely to hire another constitutional lawyer in the future beca...
Tags: Law, Congress, California, Reagan, Society, United States, Bulgaria, Liberal, Republican Party, Donald Trump, Rhode Island, Branding, Sarah Palin, Trump, John Bingham, Brown


Trump administration asks court to act quickly on census appeal

The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to quickly resolve another dispute related to the 2020 census and citizenship – this one involving whether people living in the country illegally must be included in the apportionment of congressional seats. Last year, the court dealt a blow to the administration’s efforts to include a question about citizenship on the census. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal justices in ruling that the government’s justif...
Tags: New York, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, White House, United States, Commerce, House Of Representatives, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump, John Roberts, Howe, Department of Commerce


Grieving RBG: Words of sorrow and gratitude from mourners at the court

As soon as the public learned of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday evening, mourners began gathering outside the Supreme Court. Leaving flowers, candles and messages in chalk written near the courthouse steps, thousands of people have paid their respects to a woman who inspired a generation and, late in life, attained an iconic status in American culture. Over the weekend, SCOTUSblog’s deputy manager, Katie Bart, interviewed members of the public who gathered in remembrance and ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Harvard, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mother Teresa, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor, John Roberts, Emma, Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, David Souter, Amy Howe, Thurgood Marshall


Statements from Supreme Court justices on the death of Justice Ginsburg (updated)

The eight members of the Supreme Court, along with retired Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter, released on Saturday addressing the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The full text of their remarks is below the jump: Chief Justice John Roberts: Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her — a tireless and resolute ...
Tags: London, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, Court, America, God, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ruth, Sonia Sotomayor, Mary, John Roberts, D C Circuit, Ginsburg, Marty


Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, feminist pioneer and progressive icon, dies at 87

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a trailblazer who fought for gender equality as a lawyer and became a beloved hero of the progressive movement as a justice, died on Friday of complications from pancreatic cancer. When she was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ginsburg was a reserved and relatively unknown court of appeals judge, but during the course of her 27 years on the court she became an improbable pop-culture icon, inspiring everything from an Oscar-nominated documentary film to her own action ...
Tags: New York, Texas, Featured, Sweden, Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Congress, Washington, Senate, White House, Virginia, Russia, Court, Alabama, America


Saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who gave us advisory federal sentencing guidelines

I was sad to see this news this evening: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington.  She was 87.  Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.... Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing.  “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague.  Today we mourn, ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington, US, Bill Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Booker, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg, Douglas A Berman, Virginia Military Institute


Justices to hear October arguments by phone

The Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it will start its new term in October by hearing oral arguments the same way that it did at the end of its previous term: remotely, with the justices and lawyers participating by telephone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the public will once again be able to listen to oral arguments live, through a feed provided by the court to the media and then made available by the media to the public. The announcement by the court’s Public Inf...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Court, Lyle Denniston, John Roberts, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Howe, Clarence Thomas, What's Happening Now, Public Information Office, Reporters Committee


Ask the author: The evasive virtues and Supreme Court confirmation hearings

The following is a series of questions posed by Ronald Collins to Ilya Shapiro concerning his forthcoming book, Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court (Regnery Gateway, 2020). Ilya Shapiro is the director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review. He is the co‐author of Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution (2014...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Obamacare, Obama, Congress, Washington, Senate, White House, Barack Obama, Fbi, United States, Davis, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg


SCOTUStalk heads to the ballot box: The Supreme Court and the 2020 election

Ever since Bush v. Gore, the case that effectively decided the 2000 presidential race, the Supreme Court increasingly has been asked to intervene in fraught disputes over election procedures. Add in a pandemic, and the 2020 election season promises to be unprecedented. This week on SCOTUStalk, SCOTUSblog’s social media editor, Katie Barlow, joins Amy Howe to break down the court’s influence on the election. They survey major election-related rulings the justices have already handed down this sum...
Tags: Florida, Texas, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Alabama, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Biden, Rhode Island, Gore, Trump, Bush


Friday round-up

Coverage and commentary on President Donald Trump’s expanded list of potential Supreme Court nominees continues. NPR’s Nina Totenberg examines how some of the new candidates differ from those on previous iterations of the list. “While the previous three lists included just one elected politician and no administration officials, this list includes three U.S. senators — all fire-breathing conservative Republicans,” Totenberg reports. “All three have, directly or indirectly, criticized Chief Justic...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Barack Obama, New York Times, Fda, Npr, Donald Trump, Greenhouse, Trump, Round-up, Bush, John Roberts, Mark Joseph Stern, Coyle


If Trump had said he didn’t want to visit Aisne-Marne because the dead were "losers" and "suckers," John Bolton would have written an entire chapter about it in his book.

[email protected] told me today that if @realDonaldTrump had said he didn’t want to visit Aisne-Marne because the interred heroes were “losers” and “suckers”, he would have written an entire chapter about it in his book #TheRoomWhereItHappened — John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) September 4, 2020 [Author: [email protected] (Ann Althouse)]
Tags: Law, Trump, John Roberts, John Bolton, Ann Althouse, Trump And The Military, Aisne Marne


Monday round-up

Briefly: In USA Today, Richard Wolf examines how the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this summer in June Medical Services v. Russo, striking down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law, is affecting other abortion litigation in the lower courts. Wolf reports that “[o]fficials in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma have in recent weeks argued that the high court’s narrow 5-4 ruling actually bolsters their defense of anti-abortion laws,” largely as a result of Chief Justice John Roberts’ c...
Tags: Usa, Supreme Court, Law, United States, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Round-up, Wolf, John Roberts, Richard Wolf, Clayton County, Montana Department of Revenue, Russo, Espinoza, June Medical Services, Bostock


Friday round-up

Briefly: In an article published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, SCOTUSblog Books Editor Ronald Collins examines the Supreme Court’s recent decision on robocalls in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants and argues that the decision “turned the First Amendment on its head and then left it there.” Collins then describes how an amicus brief submitted by seasoned Supreme Court litigator Paul Clement offers a roadmap for resolving similar future disputes in a wa...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, Collins, Paul Clement, Round-up, John Roberts, Roberts, SMU, Kavanaugh, Barr, Bill Blum, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Ronald Collins, Brett Kavanaugh, National Memo


Tuesday round-up

Briefly: At CNN, Dan Berman and Caroline Kelly report on a new emergency request to the Supreme Court from Montana’s secretary of state, who asked the justices on Monday “to intervene in a fight over whether the Green Party can be on the state ballot this fall.” The World and Everything In It podcast takes a deep, data-driven dive into Supreme Court statistics in an episode inspired by SCOTUSblog’s end-of-term Stat Pack. At the American Constitution Society, Russ Feingold and Keith Harper weigh...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Cnn, Green Party, Harper, Mitchell, Round-up, John Roberts, Feingold, Russ Feingold, Whole Woman 's Health, June Medical Services, Dan Berman, McGirt, Keith Harper


Thursday round-up

The Supreme Court released its November argument calendar, and a new federal death penalty case made its way to the court. The calendar for the November sitting, which the court released Wednesday, contains two blockbuster cases: Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a religious freedom lawsuit brought by a Catholic organization that was excluded from a city foster-care program because the organization refuses to work with same-sex couples; and California v. Texas, the latest constitutional challenge ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, California, Washington Post, City, New York Times, Philadelphia, Catholic, Oklahoma, Mitchell, Round-up, John Roberts, Fulton, David Cole, Howe


SCOTUS spotlight: Tom Goldstein on ‘hitting singles’ as an oral advocate

Tom Goldstein, the publisher of SCOTUSblog and partner at Goldstein & Russell, P.C., has argued more than 40 cases before the Supreme Court since his first oral argument in 1999. On this week’s episode of SCOTUStalk, Amy Howe interviews Goldstein on what it’s like to advocate before the nine and how that experience has changed over the past 20 years. Goldstein offers a few tips for success along with audio-accompanied stories about taking heavy fire from a hot bench, joking with Chief Justice Wi...
Tags: Google, Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Georgia, Nike, Smith, Ada, Kennedy, Paul Clement, Tom, John Roberts, Scalia, Georgetown, Stevens


Empirical SCOTUS: If Ginsburg were to leave the court, her departure might resemble Thurgood Marshall’s

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health is in the news again this year. She announced last month that she was being treated with chemotherapy — the fourth time since 1999 that she has battled cancer. After she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, she resisted pressure to retire from the Supreme Court under the Obama administration. With multiple hospital stays this year and the cancer recurrence, many question how long she will be able to stay on the court and whether her tenure will outla...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Senate, Barack Obama, Georgia, Reagan, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Kennedy, Trump, Marshall, Bush, Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts


Friday round-up

Briefly: In its latest coronavirus-related order, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Rhode Island to move forward with easing a state requirement for voters to sign absentee ballots in the presence of witnesses or a notary. The court rejected an emergency request from national and state Republicans to reinstate the requirement. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch indicated that they would have granted the request. Amy Howe has a full analysis of the case (in a story that ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Cnn, Arkansas, New York Times, Nevada, Rhode Island, Round-up, John Roberts, Howe, Linda Greenhouse, Russo, Amy Howe, June Medical Services, Dan Berman, Brett Kavanaugh


But What If They Also Represented Drake? — See Also

Um, Husch Blackwell Ain't Nothing But A Gold Digger: Firm says they see no conflict in representing two presidential campaigns simultaneously. Wait Until They Hear About Concussions: NFL players begin opting out of the season because of COVID. My Stars!: Apparently the NY Attorney Grievance Committee is not impressed by pearl-clutching. But What Does Mother Think?: Mike Pence isn't happy with John Roberts... and yet conservatives wonder why people are starting to think of their justices as na...
Tags: Law, NFL, Drake, Mike Pence, John Roberts, See Also, Husch Blackwell Ain, NY Attorney Grievance Committee


If No One’s Really Happy With The Supreme Court, Then They Must Be Doing A Good Job

John Roberts's role as the swing vote on the Court is paying dividends.
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, Courts, John Roberts, Trivia Question of the Day


Mike Pence Isn’t Mad At John Roberts, He’s Just Disappointed

Actually, conservatives are pretty pissed that the Chief isn't always on their side.
Tags: Politics, Supreme Court, Law, Conservatives, Courts, Quote Of The Day, Mike Pence, John Roberts


Symposium: Religious freedom and the Roberts court’s doctrinal clean-up

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Richard W. Garnett is the Paul J. Schierl / Fort Howard Corporation professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and is the founding director of the school’s Program on Church, State and Society. He wrote or joined amicus briefs in several of the cases described below, including most recently joining an amicus brief on behalf of the petitioners in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru. Tho...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, America, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Smith, Morrissey, Larry David, Lemon, American Legion, Antonin Scalia, Thomas Jefferson, John Roberts, Fulton


Friday round-up

Briefly: The long-running dispute over compensation for college athletes is back at the Supreme Court. CNN’s Ariane de Vogue reports that the NCAA filed an emergency request on Thursday asking the justices to issue a stay of a lower court’s ruling that allows colleges to give student-athletes money for computers, study-abroad scholarships and other academic products and services. “The case,” de Vogue writes, “is the latest dispute between those who believe that schools should be able to decide ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Ncaa, Lgbtq, Department Of Justice, Usa Today, Round-up, John Roberts, Mother Jones, Clayton County, Dahlia Lithwick, Steve Vladeck, Ariane de Vogue, Supreme Court CNN, Bostock, Tribal Supreme Court Project


Symposium: The unfolding revolution in the jurisprudence of the religion clauses

This article is part of a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Erwin Chemerinsky is the dean and Jesse H. Choper distinguished professor of law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Howard Gillman is the chancellor and a professor of political science and law at University of California, Irvine. Their book, “The Religion Clauses: The Case for Separating Church and State,” will be published by Oxford University Press in September. Although there were ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Montana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Philadelphia, Catholic, Smith, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, American Legion, Trump, John Roberts, Fulton, Board of Education, EEOC


Experts tout proposals for Supreme Court term limits

Term limits for Supreme Court justices, once a fringe idea, have seemingly entered the political and academic mainstream. Recently, both the conservative Federalist Society and the liberal American Constitution Society have hosted events and published scholarship on the question. The Center for American Progress joined the conversation on Tuesday with a virtual discussion of recent term limit proposals, their constitutionality and what it would take to enact them. Kicking off the webinar, CAP ...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, White House, Court, House, Rhode Island, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Scalia, Roth, Richard Nixon, William Rehnquist, Stephen Breyer


Symposium: Religions’ wins are losses

This is the first entry in a SCOTUSblog symposium on the Roberts court and the religion clauses. Leslie C. Griffin is the William S. Boyd professor of law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the author of Law and Religion: Cases and Materials. She wrote amicus briefs in support of the respondents in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, and she is writing an amicus brief in support of the respondent in Fulton v. City of Philade...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Montana, Fbi, Pennsylvania, United States, Pakistan, Philadelphia, Catholic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Salvation Army, Trump, Thomas, Sonia Sotomayor


Tuesday round-up

This week marks the 10-year anniversary of Justice Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, and USA Today’s Richard Wolf examines the heavy influence she has had during her first decade as a justice. Kagan’s ability to find common ground with conservative justices – and to pick her battles when she dissents – has helped the court maintain “most of its luster as the least political branch of the federal government,” Wolf writes. At the same time, the political branches continue to focus o...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington Post, Nbc News, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Indiana, Cnn, Nevada, Circuit, Usa Today, Round-up, Wolf, John Roberts, Josh Blackman, Roberts


Monday round-up

August is here and the Supreme Court is well into its summer recess, but the court has been anything but quiet. Since July 9, when the court handed down its final opinions in argued cases for the 2019-20 term, the justices have continued to issue a string of high-profile rulings in response to emergency requests in ongoing litigation. Most recently, as Amy Howe reports for SCOTUSblog (in a story first published at Howe on the Court), the court on Friday afternoon allowed the construction of Pres...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington, Idaho, New York Times, Associated Press, Nevada, Donald Trump, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sherman, Wall Street Journal, Securities And Exchange Commission, Round-up, Mark Sherman, National Review, John Roberts


Ask the author: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and “the loneliness of original work”

“[A] man of high ambitions … must face the loneliness of original work.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Brown University Commencement Address (1897) The following is a series of questions posed by Ronald Collins to Catharine Pierce Wells in connection with her new book, “Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Willing Servant to an Unknown God” (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Catharine Pierce Wells is a professor of law and a Law School Fund research scholar at Boston College Law School, where she teaches and wr...
Tags: Featured, Supreme Court, Law, Minneapolis, Congress, Washington, Boston, Massachusetts, Court, United States, John F Kennedy, Alps, Hitler, South, Commonwealth, Gore


Friday round-up

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected another attempt to ease election-related rules during the coronavirus crisis – this time by imposing a stay on a lower-court order that would have made it easier for an Idaho advocacy group to gather signatures for a proposed ballot measure. Amy Howe writes for SCOTUSblog – in a story first published at Howe on the Court – that the justices “have now on several occasions signaled that federal courts should not alter rules relating to an election even to acc...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, Idaho, New York Times, Nevada, Greenhouse, Round-up, Walsh, John Roberts, Howe, Linda Greenhouse, Clarence Thomas, Mark Walsh, Education Week, Yale Journal



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