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2014-04

April 29, 2014

It won't surprise anyone that Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a scathing dissent in a Supreme Court case that came down last week. But it might surprise some people that three members of the court's so-called liberal wing joined him.

April 23, 2014

George Will tries to offer a civics lesson about how progressives miss the essence of the Constitution. But Will's basic problem is his own partial reading of the document, cherry-picking the parts he likes and ignoring the rest. Will should go back and read the whole thing. He'll find that the Constitution does not force us to choose between liberty and democracy. It guarantees both.

April 7, 2014

You’d think Judge John Roberts and Chief Justice John Roberts had never met.  According to Judge John Roberts, “judicial self-restraint is the key check on the authority of the court.”  Judges must not “look to [their] own values and beliefs” when interpreting the Constitution; they must “look outside [themselves] to other sources.”  Chief Justice John Roberts seems to have forgotten that.  Because when the Court struck down campaign finance legislation that establishes aggregate contribution limits this week in McCutcheon v. FEC, it acted on the basis of its own beliefs about the consequences of striking down the limits, rather than empirical evidence in the record of the case.

April 6, 2014

Our organizations regularly take opposite sides on big constitutional issues. Whether it's the Affordable Care Act, campaign finance, presidential power, or nearly anything else, the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center and the libertarian Cato Institute typically disagree. Yet we absolutely agree that the Constitution require states to extend marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That's why we've jointly filed a brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to affirm the district courts in Utah and Oklahoma that struck down those states' marriage restrictions.

April 6, 2014

This Supreme Court is badly out of touch with the Constitution and political reality. Last week, in a 5-4 ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Roberts Court dealt another blow to our Constitution's promise of democracy, striking down aggregate contribution limits designed to prevent massive campaign contributions to candidates, parties and PACs.

April 6, 2014

Health care reform supporters can no longer ignore the possible second crack these new legal challenges to ACA exchanges might give Justice Scalia and kindred spirits at inflicting damage far greater than remaining market or political threats. To best the Right’s predictable messaging blitz, ACA advocates must detail the vast scale of the chaos and injustice for which a court choosing to embrace opponents’ implausible claim will bear full responsibility. Most important, health care reformers need to underscore that, on the merits, the opponents’ legal theory is as absurd as their underlying fable that the ACA’s architects themselves intended the law to self-destruct.

April 4, 2014

Through a series of rulings, the court’s conservative majority’s rulings have instead made it easier for big-money donors to influence elections — while making it harder for many Americans to use the only political influence they have: their vote.

April 2, 2014

The administration's delays are also not constitutionally questionable. The framers of the Constitution directed the President not merely to “execute the laws” but also to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” From the earliest days of the Republic, that broad phrasing has been understood to mean that the President is to exercise judgment, and handle his enforcement duties, not with robotic obeisance to individual statutory terms or provisions but with fidelity to the overall statute and the purposes of Congress in enacting the underlying laws.