Justice Scalia's recusal in the Pledge case has prompted a serious debate on the judicial role. Robert Alt
has suggested that the Justice's recusal carries an important warning for the Senate in confirming new judges; if the Senate requires the nominees to answer questions about their opinions on potential cases, those nominees would have to recuse themselves if those cases later indeed came before them. Matthew Franck
, on the other hand, suggests "this argument ... permits the requirements of judicial ethics — and even a terribly broad reading of them — to trump the constitutional obligation of senators to inform themselves adequately about the kinds of judges they are being asked to confirm." [more inside]
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Oct 22, 2003 -
A split decision from SCOTUS on Affirmative Action
-- in cases specifically involving the University of Michigan, the court rules that the law school's AA standard is legal while the undergraduate standard is not. The University president is spinning this as a full out victory because the court has now "given a roadmap" for how Affirmative Action programs can be designed for higher education nationwide. While polls show that Americans want diversity in education but are unsure about Affirmative Action
, it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon. And the fundamental question remains: when it comes to education, is being a racial minority four times more important than having held a position of national leadership? Twenty times more important than writing an outstanding admissions essay?
posted by Dreama
on Jun 23, 2003 -
Three Supreme Court Justices publicy oppose executing teenage criminals.
In a rare move, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Stevens made a public statement in a delay request to state their opposition to executing someone who committed murder before the age of 18. With the Court already banning the execution of the mentally retarded this year, is this another sign of a soon-to-be next step in the abolishment of the death penalty? Or does the average American still believe that regardless of what time, when you do the crime you walk the line?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 30, 2002 -
In an 8-1 ruling with Justice Stevens dissenting,
the U.S. Supreme Court has partially upheld the Child Online Protection Act
against objections that by relying on community standards it was unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. COPA is the 1998 federal law making it illegal to make pornography available to children on the Internet. Passed in the wake of the Court's 1997 ruling striking down the Communications Decency Act but never enforced because of various court injunctions, COPA is still undergoing other lower-court challenges whose merits today's ruling does not address.
posted by tiny pea
on May 13, 2002 -
The Supremes defend free speech
in what is sure to be a contraversial decision about virtual child porn. I am all for this, but I am very impressed with the court's ability to make the decision in the face of easy moral platitudes like "Kiddie porn is bad, mmmKay?"
posted by McBain
on Apr 16, 2002 -
No Constitutional Right to Wear Marilyn Manson Shirts to School
The Supreme Court has upheld the right of a public school to send a student home for wearing what they deemed to be an "offensive" Marilyn Manson t-shirt. The student, according to the court, had no First Amendment right to wear the shirt in an educational setting. And the debate over what rights kids have and do not have in the schoolhouse rages on. . .
posted by Dreama
on Mar 19, 2001 -
"They thought the election was over, the Republicans did. By the time it was over, our candidate had won the popular vote, and the only way they could win the election was to stop the voting in Florida". Give 'em hell Bill!
posted by owillis
on Jan 9, 2001 -