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2016-04

April 20, 2016

Senator Grassley, the fact is we don’t know the full contours of Judge Garland’s view of the Constitution, because you’ve practically quit your job as Chair of the Judiciary Committee and run away from holding hearings. Public hearings are the way that Senators discover what a Supreme Court nominee is about, not by simply having oatmeal with them one morning behind closed doors. 

April 7, 2016

When the Supreme Court hears oral argument in United States v. Texas, the challenge to President Obama’s executive action on immigration, later this month, one of the big issues the Court will be considering is whether the federal courts should be considering the challenge at all. If Chief Justice Roberts’s past opinions are any guide, his view on that question should be clear: in his first decade on the high court, Roberts has repeatedly made clear that he thinks the role of the courts should be limited, and he has consistently voted to limit parties’ ability to sue.

April 7, 2016

After Justice Antonin Scalia died, many speculated that originalism would die as well, without one of its most tireless adherents on the bench.  Not if Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has anything to say about it...Her masterful originalist opinion in Evenwel v. Abbott, decided earlier this week, is just the latest example of progressive originalism in action. 

April 5, 2016

One hundred and fifty years ago, the Framers of the Fourteenth Amendment debated our Constitution’s system of equal representation, affirming that every person counts in our system of representative democracy. Earlier this week, in Evenwel v. Abbott, in a landmark opinion written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that the Constitution’s text and history secure equal representation for all, rejecting the far-reaching claim—never accepted by any court in history—that the Constitution requires states to draw districts composed of an equal number of eligible voters. Evenwel’s bid to rewrite the Constitution to require excluding children and huge portions of the immigrant population from representation in state legislatures—a bid financed by Ed Blum—did not get a single vote.  

April 2, 2016

Well, that was quick. About a week ago, Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) broke with the Senate’s Republican leadership by saying he was in favor of giving Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing, describing it as “doing my job.” This was apparently too radical a concept for some, as Moran was met with immediate pushback from tea partiers, and has now done an about face.