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January 31, 2013

On January 31, 1865, the US House of Representatives voted on and passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The vote, and the politicking behind it, were recently dramatized in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, now nominated for twelve Academy Awards.

January 30, 2013

Last week marked the three-year anniversary of Citizens United. Three years after the seismic decision, we’re still seeing new aftershocks.

January 28, 2013

One of the most disturbing planks of the tea party platform is the embrace of nullification and even at times secession in response to federal laws tea partiers do not like.

January 25, 2013

Given their supposed passion for the Constitution, you would think that conservatives would have welcomed President Obama’s repeated references to the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence during his Inaugural Address on Monday.

January 24, 2013

In a recent blog post, the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) bemoaned the “audacity” of President Obama’s decision to re-nominate Caitlin Halligan to fill one of the three  (soon to be four) empty seats on the federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The basis of the RNLA’s complaint is the Republican filibuster that prevented Halligan from gaining Senate approval when her nomination came up in the 112th Congress.

January 23, 2013

Conservative adversaries of the Voting Rights Act have long tried to paint the law as an oppressive bureaucratic burden, a federal imposition on states that can’t be tolerated under the Constitution. That was their argument against the law in 1964, and it’s still their argument today as the Court prepares to consider Shelby County v. Holder.

January 15, 2013

While Members of the House of Representatives gathered this morning to read the Constitution aloud from the floor, the Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan today had a front page story taking  a comprehensive look at so-called “Constitutional Authority Statements.”  In a move seen as a sop to the tea party tw

January 15, 2013

Over the holiday season, Shelby County, Alabama and its amici, including the States of Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and a handful of conservative legal organizations, filed briefs in the Supreme Court, urging the Justices to strike down the preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights, the Act’s admittedly strong medicine designed to prevent and deter racial discrimination in voting in jurisdictions with the longest history of voting discrimination.  The basic story running through these bri

January 14, 2013

In his one big foray into takings litigation while in private practice, Chief Justice John Roberts expressed disdain for the stylized account of the facts and law offered by property rights advocates.  Indeed, the Chief Justice began his brief in that case, Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (2002), with the following zinger: “Because petitioners and their amici take such liberties with it, we begin by quoting the Question Presented . . .

January 10, 2013

Could a film alter the course of Supreme Court history? If the justices take a trip to their local movie theaters to see "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-nominated film just might.