Supreme Court

Cass Sunstein’s April Fools’ Joke

Featured image Yesterday Cass Sunstein, one of the most formidable thinkers on the left today, devoted his Bloomberg column to his eight favorite Supreme Court justices, whom he called the “Home Run Hitters of the Supreme Court.”  Why only eight?  Wouldn’t you want to field a full all-star team of nine, so we can get 5-4 rulings?  Why invite extra innings?  This may be the first sign that he was pulling our »

“Rights” of Obamacare

Featured image Abraham Lincoln’s argument with Stephen Douglas came down to a disagreement over the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln articulated this disagreement with special gusto in his critique of Douglas on July 10, 1858. According to Douglas, the teaching of the Declaration had no general applicability beyond the immediate situation that confronted the Founding Fathers. Restating and paraphrasing Douglas’s argument, Lincoln asked “in all soberness, if all these things, if indulged in, »

Why dropping health insurance is no solution for Hobby Lobby

Featured image Long-time Power Line reader Michael McConnell, a (if not the) leading scholar of the Constitution’s Religion Clauses, analyzes the four serious legal issues presented in the Hobby Lobby case. The issues are: (1) Could Hobby Lobby avoid a substantial burden on its religious exercise by dropping health insurance and paying fines of $2,000 per employee? (2) Does the government have a compelling interest in protecting the statutory rights of Hobby »

D.C. Circuit panel seems to think Obamacare means what it says

Featured image The second big Obamacare case of the day, Halbig v. Sebelius, was argued before the D.C. Circuit. As Scott has explained, the issue there is the legality of a crucial IRS rule authorizing tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of health insurance on federally run health care exchanges. The Obamacare statute only authorizes tax credits and subsidies for the purchase of insurance in an exchange “established by a state” »

As usual, Justice Kennedy likely will determine the outcome in Hobby Lobby

Featured image Oral argument took place today in Hobby Lobby and a companion case. Lyle Denniston of Scotusblog provides a recap. You don’t really need to read Denniston’s post (though I recommend you do) to figure out where things stand. Four Justices seem ready to strike down the offending Obamacare rule; four seem ready to uphold it; and Justice Kennedy will decide the case. You will be equally unsurprised to learn that »

A dangerous technical argument against Hobby Lobby

Featured image It’s bad enough when a court decision deprives of us liberty or fails to remedy a deprivation wrought by the State. But it’s particularly galling when a court takes away liberty through a technicality. Unfortunately, that route often tempts a judiciary too sheepish to base indefensible outcomes on substantive grounds. In the Hobby Lobby case discussed by Scott earlier this morning, the substantive issue before the Supreme Court is the »

Best. Supreme Court. Brief. Ever.

Featured image Make sure you’ve swallowed any and all liquids, especially hot ones like coffee, before you read further. P.J. O’Rourke has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, related to the upcoming case Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus.  The only possible thing that could top this would be an amicus brief from Dave Barry. Steven Driehaus is the sore-loser Democrat who is suing Susan B. Anthony List for independent »

Down the Toob

Featured image The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin indicts Justice Clarence Thomas for his infrequent participation in oral argument in hearings before the Supreme Court. At oral argument attorneys elaborate on arguments they have made in extensive briefs and a written record they have filed with the Court. By the time of oral argument in a given case, the justices will have read the briefs and formed views of the case. If you’ve »

Justice Stevens: Let’s Amend the Second Amendment!

Featured image Retired Justice John Paul Stevens was one of the great mischief-makers in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. At age 93, he has now written a book in which he recommends six amendments to the Constitution. Presumably these are the changes he wasn’t able to implement the easy way, via a 5-4 vote on the court. One of Stevens’ proposed changes relates to the Second Amendment, and is intended »

Score one for the little sisters of the poor

Featured image President Obama has lost the latest round in his fight against the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Supreme Court, with no recorded dissent, has enjoined the Obama administration from enforcing the Obamacare mandate against the Little Sisters of the Poor and their co-plaintiffs while their appeal is pending in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. More precisely, as Ed Whelan explains, to escape the mandate while their appeal is »

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Citizens United

Featured image Today is the fifth anniversary of the blessed Citizens United decision, which the loony left has compared to Dred Scott (no really—they do).  Remy Munasifi puts down his guitar in this video and in two crisp minutes walks us through the sense and nonsense about this terrific decision. »

Supreme Court halts gay marriage in Utah, for now

Featured image The Supreme Court has stayed a Utah federal district judge’s decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s order stops for now a wave of same-sex marriages across the state. Utah’s ban is reinstated and will remain in force pending appellate review. There were no dissents from the Supreme Court’s stay order, which suggests that all nine Justices agree with it. However, the order tells »

CRB: Roe v. Wade at 40

Featured image The Fall 2013 Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) comes out this week, and our friends at the CRB have allowed us once again to preview some choice (my choice) pieces for our readers. Yesterday we took a look at Michael Nelson’s review of 2012 presidential campaign books. Today we consider the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. Abraham Lincoln famously characterized the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision »

Justice Thomas speaks: The video

Featured image Our friends at the Federalist Society have posted a comprehensive set of links to the videos of this year’s National Lawyers Convention programs here. As promised, they have posted the 51-minute video of Justice Thomas’s interview with Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Sykes this past Thursday evening at the Federalist Society’s annual dinner. Those of us in attendance that night knew we had been witness to something special. Responding to the »

Coming soon: Justice Thomas speaks

Featured image I asked the Federalist Society representatives this morning if they would be posting the video of Judge Sykes’s interview with Justice Thomas. The Federalist Society is posting videos from the National Lawyers Convention on the Federalist Society YouTube channel. Check out the videos posted from the convention this year at the link. Justice Thomas’s event was recorded. Federalist Society representatives assure me the video will be posted soon on its »

Justice Thomas speaks

Featured image I had the great good fortune of attending the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention annual dinner featuring Justice Thomas last night. Justice Thomas was the attraction who drew a packed house of more than 1,300 justices, judges, attorneys and law students, and he just about brought down the house. Responding to questions put to him by Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Sykes, Justice Thomas told a deeply American story. He ranged »

Breaking News: Supreme Court to Review EPA Climate Rules

Featured image The Supreme Court has today granted cert to review the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules.  This is highly significant.  The  high court clearly botched the last global warming case, Massachusetts v. EPA, back in 2007.  Maybe they’ll correct themselves. My rabbi in these legal tangles, Jonathan Adler of Case Western University law school and the Volokh Conspiracy, comments: This is quite significant. Although the grant is limited, it focuses on one »