As Texas attorney general, Greg Abbott spoke with evident pride about how many times he’d sued the federal government. The total came to 31, and invariably the lawsuits challenged actions that Abbott believed violated federal statutes or the Constitution. Now, as Texas governor, he is no longer in court but has hardly quit objecting to federal overreach. In a speech last month to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Abbott declared it's time for state legislatures to address the problem by amending the Constitution.
Note that Abbott is focused on state legislatures. There is a reason for that.Read more
Dissenting from his eight fellow Justices in 1964, John Marshall Harlan II accused the Warren Court of stretching the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause on the judicial activism rack. Essentially, Harlan argued, the "One Person, One Vote" doctrine—as the Reynold v. Sims ruling quickly became known—manipulated the Fourteenth Amendment into funneling the general right of citizens to vote into the right to a particular kind of apportionment of state legislatures. Furthermore, although the Court ruled that state legislative seats "must be apportioned on a population basis," rather than on geographic or political subdivisions, it had refused to specify how the States ought to translate that in practice.Read more
A few days before the opening of its new term, the Supreme Court accepted for review a case from Texas that could prove one of the Court’s most important this year—provided that the justices actually get to decide it.
The case is Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, and it concerns the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which prohibits racial discrimination in housing, as well as discrimination on other grounds including ethnicity, sex, and religion.Read more
Next month the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, one of the most important cases this term. In 2008 Fisher, a white high school senior in Texas, applied for admission to the university and was turned down.Read more
Are you watching Scream Queens? Me neither. But I did catch a scene of the FOX slasher-comedy and was surprised to see that my father, Justice Antonin Scalia, made a cameo appearance. Sort of.Read more
Is John Roberts a good judge? Ten years ago, President Bush appointed him chief justice of the United States. His anniversary, coinciding with the Supreme Court’s reconvening last month, naturally caused lawyers, scholars, and politicians to reflect upon his legacy on the Supreme Court.Read more
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich told a voter in New Hampshire Wednesday that Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States is the "law of the land."
"I would like to ask whether you can respect the Roe versus Wade decision, and I ask because as a lifelong libertarian, I'm looking for a candidate to support who is both a fiscal conservative and not a threat to a woman's right to control her own body," said a voter at a town hall event in Salem, New Hampshire.Read more
Ted Cruz, who in 1996 clerked for then-chief justice William Rehnquist and is now a first-term senator and GOP presidential candidate, has assumed the leadership of conservatives aiming to rein in a Supreme Court they fault for imposing on the country rights not found in the Constitution. This is hardly a new issue for conservatives; in a past now faraway, it was also an issue for some liberals.Read more
The lone bright spot last week was the release of Ryan Anderson's much-anticipated (by me, at least) book on Obergefell and the future of marriage.Read more
For political observers, the story of the Supreme Court’s recently concluded term was the clash of two great colliding forces. On one side stood the Court’s always-unified liberal bloc, fortified by the apostasies of Republican-appointed Justice Anthony Kennedy and sometimes Chief Justice John Roberts, most prominently in cases involving same-sex marriage and Obamacare. On the other side stood Justice Antonin Scalia, a lion in winter, caustic and witty in his dissents.Read more
Over at the blog Legal Insurrection, law professor William Jacobson reminds us of this answer Elena Kagan gave to Senator John Cornyn in her confirmation hearings to be Solicitor General in 2009:Read more
Justice Anthony Kennedy, while dictating one of the most sweeping social changes in history in his opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across America, waxes magnanimous towards foes of the expansion of the millennia-old definition of marriage.Read more
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with executive editor Terry Eastland on the Obergefell v. Hodges decision rendered by the Supreme Court today.Read more
The Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell is disappointing. But it also provides a welcome moment of clarity: We can finally dispense with the false belief that the Supreme Court will save us from Obamacare.Read more
Later this summer the Supreme Court will decide whether the Constitution requires that every state recognize same-sex marriages. Thus, in a ritual that would seem bizarre if it had not become so ordinary, nine lawyers will issue a decision authoritatively resolving subtle and far-reaching issues that are not distinctively legal. After all, the ancient institution of marriage implicates difficult questions about history, culture, psychology, and morality.Read more
Had Jeremiah Wright’s antics not forced Barack Obama to expound famously on race in 2008, the most significant speech of his short Senate tenure would have been his 2006 remarks on religion and democracy. Appearing before Call to Renewal’s conference on “Building a Covenant for a New America,” Obama urged Christian activists and Democratic voters to reconsider the relationship between church and state. Mankind may have grappled with our dueling obligations to Caesar andRead more
In the initial years following Obamacare’s passage, Republicans remained solidly united on one crucial point: Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced, not “fixed.” But some Republicans and center-right pundits have since decided that trying to fix the president’s signature legislation is a good thing. Witness this advice from the Wall Street Journal editorial board. The Journal calls for a “subsidies-for-deregulation deal”Read more
Obama Admin: Religious Organizations Could Lose Tax-Exempt Status If Supreme Court Creates Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage
When arguing before the Supreme Court, a lawyer normally takes pains to convince the Justices that ruling in his or her favor in that particular case would not have dramatic consequences elsewhere. In Hobby Lobby, for example, Paul Clement urged that exempting his clients from part of HHS's contraceptive mandate would not open the doors to a flood of other exemptions. Or in DC v.Read more
Brian Blake of the 2017 Project advises conservatives on how to respond to a "victory" in the Supreme Court case King v. Burwell:Read more
The stakes for the 2016 presidential election are high. Consider this: four Supreme Court justices are 76 or older.
"It’s very much at stake in the 2016 election. Four justices are 76 or older. Two, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (82) and Stephen Breyer (76), are liberals. Antonin Scalia (79) is a conservative. And Anthony Kennedy (78) is a swing vote. The next president’s nominees, assuming there are several, will be pivotal," writes Fred Barnes in the Wall Street Journal.Read more
Now that the Supreme Court has held its oral arguments in King v.Read more
King v. Burwell, on which the Supreme Court heard oral arguments March 4, is the most politically important case on the High Court’s docket this term. If the King petitioners win a decision in their favor, it could explode the massive 2010 federal health care overhaul known as Obamacare, by removing subsidies for Obamacare-compliant health-insurance policies in most states.Read more
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