Supreme Court

Divided Supreme Court upholds blockage of Obama’s executive amnesty

Featured image By a 4-4 vote, the Supreme Court today let stand a lower court decision blocking President Obama’s executive action that would have made roughly five million illegal immigrants eligible for legal status and work permits. This result kills Obama’s executive amnesty, though because of the split vote, it might successfully be revived in the future. The Court rendered its decision succinctly. It just said: “The judgment is affirmed by an »

Affirmative action forever

Featured image In an opinion issued this morning, Justice Kennedy joined the Supreme Court’s four liberals to uphold the University of Texas’s “affirmative action” program in the Fisher case. This is the case’s second trip to the Court. It won’t be coming back. The Court’s opinion today is posted here. The Court’s 2013 opinion in Fisher I (as the Court refers to it) is posted here. I think today’s result is disappointing, »

Grassley not hurt by Garland standoff

Featured image When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, I think he understood that the Republican Senate would not confirm the judge, at least not before the November election. Obama hoped instead that Republican intransigence would hurt GOP Senators up for reelection this Fall. Blocking Garland required the assistance of Sen. Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley is up for reelection. I never seen good evidence »

Can Trump be trusted on the Supreme Court?

Featured image Donald Trump’s Supreme Court list continues to dominate conservative discussion, at least the discussion that I follow. John Yoo strongly commends the list but worries that Trump won’t appoint anyone from it, or anyone comparably conservative. It is a legitimate concern. Trump has not said he will nominate someone from the list to fill the Scalia vacancy. Instead, he stated: “The following list of potential Supreme Court justices is representative »

More on Trump’s Supreme Court List [Updated]

Featured image I agree with Paul’s comments on the list of potential Supreme Court nominees that Donald Trump released today. I have a few additional thoughts. One of the judges on the list, David Stras, is on the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has stellar credentials, having clerked for Michael Luttig and Clarence Thomas. Prior to his appointment to the Minnesota court by Tim Pawlenty, he was of counsel to my law firm, »

Trump’s Supreme Court list

Featured image Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia if he’s elected to the White House. The impressive list contains these names: Steven Colloton (8th Cir.) Allison Eid (Colorado Sup. Court) Raymond Gruender (8th Cir.) Thomas Hardiman (3d. Cir.) Raymond Kethledge (6th Cir.) Joan Larsen (Mich. Sup. Court) Thomas Rex Lee (Utah Sup. Court »

Supreme Court to parties in “Little Sisters of the Poor” — work it out yourselves

Featured image The Supreme Court has issued a unanimous per curiam opinion in the Little Sisters of the Poor case. Rather than deciding the legal issues before it, the Court vacated the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which was adverse to the Little Sisters, and sent the case back to that court so the parties can be given “sufficient time to resolve any outstanding issues between them.” Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor »

Will Liberals’ Posthumous Smears of Justice Scalia Succeed?

Featured image George Mason University’s law school was founded in 1979. Justice Antonin Scalia spoke at the dedication of the law school’s current building in 1999 and was a guest lecturer at the university. The law school developed a plan to expand its faculty and scholarship program, and in the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, an anonymous donor offered $20 million to fund those programs. The Charles Koch Foundation added a $10 »

What a Hillary-Shaped Supreme Court Would Look Like

Featured image Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School is one of the leading leftists in legal academia today. Yesterday on Jack Balkin’s website Balkinization, Tushnet lets it all hang out how he thinks a reliably liberal Supreme Court should think and act. I’ve interspersed a couple of my comments in [bolded brackets]. Pay special attention to his Point #6: 1      A jurisprudence of “wrong the day it was decided.” Liberals should be compiling lists »

Democrats channel Herman Cain

Featured image Politico reports that the White House and its allies are about to commence a new campaign to get a hearing and a vote for Judge Merrick Garland. They’re calling it the 9-9-9 campaign: nine states, during nine days, to push for a court with nine justices. The nine states are ones where Democrats think they might be able to pick up Senate seats this Fall. In addition, to the usual »

Ted Olson’s Bad Idea, Take 2

Featured image Further to Paul’s point below on “Ted Olson’s Bad Idea,” just take in the dreams of Erwin Chemerinsky, writing a couple weeks ago in The Atlantic about his ideas for what the Supreme Court could do with a durable liberal majority. Chemernisky, one of the leading liberal law professors in the country, doesn’t even try to disguise or dress up his undemocratic will to power: Thinking of a Court where »

Ted Olson’s bad idea

Featured image The estimable Ted Olson, writing in the Wall Street Journal, argues in favor of Republicans giving Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, “a good look, a respectful hearing and a vote on the merits.” More broadly, Olson calls for “a pact. . .among responsible Republican and Democratic leaders to give well-qualified Supreme Court nominees of either party a hearing and a vote within 120-180 days of a nomination.” »

The eight member Supreme Court as an expression of congressional disgust

Featured image In defending their unwillingness to proceed with the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Republican Senators argue that the confirmation of a new Justice should await the upcoming election. “Let the people decide” has become the mantra. It’s an okay argument, made stronger by decades of Senate practice regarding the treatment of judicial nominees in a presidential election year. But it implies that there should be no obstruction »

Confirmation Bias, Part Two

Featured image In a post called “Confirmation Bias,” I discussed “Confirmation,” an HBO film about the 1991 hearings on Clarence Thomas’ nomination to the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against him. When I wrote the post two months ago, Senators John Danforth and Alan Simpson, two moderate Republicans who supported the Thomas nomination, had complained about the script they saw. Simpson called it a “seriously distorted” version of the »

Oral argument in DAPA case highlights the need to block Merrick Garland

Featured image The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in United States v. Texas. This is the case in which Texas and 25 other states challenge the Obama administration’s deferred-action policy (DAPA), otherwise known as executive amnesty, an attempt to give legal status and work authorizations to more than four million illegal immigrants. We have written often about the case. See here and here, for example. Elizabeth Slattery of the Heritage Foundation »

Can Obama get Garland on the Court without Senate confirmation?

Featured image Gregory Diskant, an accomplished New York lawyer, argues in the Washington Post that President Obama could appoint Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court without the Senate having confirmed the nomination. How is this possible? Because, says Diskant, the Senate could be deemed to have waived its “advice and consent” role on a Supreme Court nomination if it “fails to act” on the nomination within a “reasonable” time. Diskant’s argument »

Meeting with Merrick Garland is not a big deal

Featured image We haven’t written much about the Senate’s treatment of, and the posturing by Senators surrounding, Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The reason I haven’t written much is that the state of play seems clear: Judge Garland will not get a hearing before the November election. Afterwards, if a Democrat wins the presidency, Republicans will consider their options. In the absence of any real suspense, the discussion has »