Supreme Court Justices

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Supreme Court Justices News & Opinion ArticlesDisplaying 41 - 60 of 80 Prev 1 2 3 4 Next
  • On Tuesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy made an argument that could lead the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans across the country. The argument came during oral hearings before the Supreme Court — and to understand its importance, you need to know what the two sides are actually arguing. Proponents of marriage equality hold that states' same-sex marriage bans are discriminatory and should be ruled unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which requires that states apply all laws equally to all people without violating their fundamental rights. Opponents of same-sex marriage don't dispute that the marriage bans deliberately exclude gay and lesbian couples. Instead, they argue that the state has a compelling interest to exclude such couples. That interest? Kids.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided on Tuesday on whether the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, but pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy seemed to inch cautiously toward legalizing gay nuptials nationwide. In 2-1/2 hours of arguments, the nine black-robed justices peppered lawyers on both sides of the issue with questions in the landmark case centering on a contentious social issue, but appeared split as they often do along ideological lines. Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases and has a history of backing gay rights, posed tough questions to both sides but seemed to give hope to gay marriage advocates by stressing the nobility and dignity of same-sex couples.
  • The Supreme Court oral argument on Wednesday in King v. Burwell featured thousands of words, dozens of provocative questions, two engaged and skillful lawyers—and one very striking silence. Chief Justice John Roberts, usually among the most active questioners on the court, scarcely said a word throughout the highly anticipated clash. The justices besieged Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Michael Carvin, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, who are challenging a central provision of Obamacare, with so many questions that Roberts gave the pair ten extra minutes a side. The chief himself didn’t take up any of that time until practically the last moment. Roberts’s one question may turn out to be extremely important.
  • In a new interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she believes Americans are set to accept a constitutional decision legalizing gay marriage in the country, saying it would "not take a large adjustment" for people to eventually come around on the issue. "I think it's doubtful that it wouldn't be accepted," Ginsburg said. "The change in people's attitudes on that issue has been enormous."
  • There is no serious legal case for the Supreme Court to eliminate subsidies for health plans on federally facilitated health insurance exchanges. This has been written many, many times already, and the New York Times’ Supreme Court columnist Linda Greenhouse makes it in stark detail today. It would go against everything the conservative Supreme Court justices have written before about statutory interpretation. “To reject the government’s defense of the law,” Greenhouse writes, “the justices would have to suspend their own settled approach to statutory interpretation as well as their often-stated view of how Congress should act toward the states.
  • Back during the heyday of the filibuster era, I tried always to note that the rules governing Senate filibusters hadn't dramatically changed and weren't necessarily a huge problem. What had changed were the norms about how often the filibuster would be used. By its two-votes-per state structure, the Senate has always over-represented certain minority interests. And through the centuries the filibuster and other procedural tools have been there as protections for minorities in situations where they felt particularly threatened by what the majority wanted. The innovation of then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was to disregard the previous norm that the filibuster should be a special-use-only tool.
  • This past summer, on the last day of my clerkship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she rose from her cavernous desk and, following a hearty goodbye hug, asked me what was next. I told her that the next morning marked the start of my new job as a stay-at-home dad. She smiled warmly and wished me luck. My wife had just begun her pediatrics residency at Georgetown, a job that leaves scarce time for domestic duties. And throughout my year of long hours and late nights at the Court, my daughter had grown from a delicate, impassive infant to a robust toddler with personality and character.
  • Under Chief Justice John Roberts, the Supreme Court has emerged as one of the most ideologically aggressive in decades, and its rightward trajectory is usually attributed to this simple fact: a majority of the justices are very conservative. Today’s Court contains, according to one study, four of the five most conservative justices to sit on the bench since FDR; Anthony Kennedy, the putative swing vote, is in the top ten.
  • “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in 2007, “is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Those words as much as any may define the chief justice’s jurisprudential philosophy today. In that 2007 opinion, he wrote for five justices that two urban school systems could not take account of the race of students, even in a small minority of cases, in order to prevent certain magnet schools from becoming racially isolated because of neighborhood housing patterns. “Simply because the school districts may seek a worthy goal does not mean they are free to discriminate on the basis of race to achieve it,” Roberts wrote, in part of the opinion written only for four justices.
  • It’s become a cliché that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg issued a “blistering dissent” from a conservative, pro-corporate anti-democracy majority position. We need a new term for what Ginsberg did at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, in a rare public dissent from a SCOTUS decision not to take up a case – this one a challenge to Texas’s harsh and in Ginsberg’s words “discriminatory” voter identification law. Election Law Blogger Rick Hasen called it “a 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.” Let’s hope it wakes more people up to this scandal.
  • I once heard the late Daniel Schorr describe the difficulty of covering the post-Stalin Soviet Union, a dreamlike mirror world of shadows and symbols where important changes might be signaled by the seating chart at a state dinner or the choice of music on Radio Moscow's evening classical program. Schorr would have felt right at home in the U.S. Supreme Court, which determinedly refuses to explain itself to the public, and the operations of which are ill-suited to speed. The Court’s procedure is so complex that even experienced hands are often puzzled, and it has sometimes been suggested that everyone who could understand a given question is dead.
  • It’s hard enough to know what the Justices of the Supreme Court are talking about when they write opinions, which tend to be dense, convoluted, and laden with coded references that are decipherable only to a few. But, on Monday, the Court presented an even greater interpretive challenge: determining what it meant when it said nothing at all. Without comment, the Court let stand successful challenges to the bans on same-sex marriage in five states. Those lower-court rulings had been stayed while the parties waited to hear from the Justices. Now that they won’t be saying anything, same-sex weddings can go forward in those states and, soon, in others in their circuits. Clerks in Utah and Virginia were already issuing marriage licenses on Monday afternoon.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considered a judge’s judge when she was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, an incrementalist who thought Roe v. Wade might have gone too far. Some liberals were wary. But they don’t worry about “R.B.G.” anymore. At 81, Ginsburg has become an icon to the left, inspiring fanwear and Tumblr tributes. Her dissents in the most hotly contested of the Court’s recent cases unabashedly defend progressive principles while taking her colleagues to task. (“The Court falters at each step of its analysis,” she wrote in her dissent of the five-four Hobby Lobby ruling.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considered a judge’s judge when she was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993, an incrementalist who thought Roe v. Wade might have gone too far. Some liberals were wary. But they don’t worry about “R.B.G.” anymore. At 81, Ginsburg has become an icon to the left, inspiring fanwear and Tumblr tributes. Her dissents in the most hotly contested of the Court’s recent cases unabashedly defend progressive principles while taking her colleagues to task. (“The Court falters at each step of its analysis,” she wrote in her dissent of the five-four Hobby Lobby ruling.
  • Coming off of her stirring dissent in the Hobby Lobby case, 21-year veteran Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has never been a more important voice for American women. In a rare interview—featured exclusively in the October issue of ELLE—she speaks frankly with Jessica Weisberg about everything from riding an elephant with Antonin Scalia to why people who want her to resign so President Obama can appoint another progressive justice are nuts.
  • Judge Richard Posner has written nearly 40 books, hundreds of articles and thousands of judicial opinions. He is, by far, the most cited legal scholar alive today (probably ever). Nominated by Ronald Reagan, he sits on the United States Court of Appeals, just below the Supreme Court. He has publicly feuded with Justice Antonin Scalia over how judges actually decide, and should decide, cases. And, over the last year, he has spoken truth to power in three high-profile cases all likely to be decided by the Supreme Court. On issues of abortion, same-sex marriage and religious objections to Obamacare, Posner said exactly what needed to be said with honest, unequivocal and, to some perhaps, startling clarity.
  • The turmoil in Ferguson, Mo., and the controversial stop-and-frisk policy in New York City illustrate a “real racial problem” in America, one that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have done little to help, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told The National Law Journal. The high court was “once a leader in the world” in rooting out racial discrimination,” the justice said in a wide-ranging interview late Wednesday in her chambers. “What’s amazing is how things have changed.”
  • On Monday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg penned a blistering dissent to the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling that the government can't require certain employers to provide insurance coverage for methods of birth control and emergency contraception that conflict with their religious beliefs. Ginsburg wrote that her five male colleagues, "in a decision of startling breadth," would allow corporations to opt out of almost any law that they find "incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs."
  • Justice Elena Kagan argued Monday that the Supreme Court went "far astray" from constitutional principles when narrowly ruling that a New York town may begin its public meetings with a prayer that tends to be Christian. In her dissenting opinion against the 5-4 ruling, the Obama-appointed justice accused the court's conservatives of "blindness" to the secularism principles at stake, particularly the rights of religious minorities.
  • The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice has been on the bench for nearly five years but had never written an opinion addressing race in America until today. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a sharply worded 58-page dissent on Tuesday to the court's 18-page decision upholding a Michigan state ban on race-based affirmative action in education.