America just celebrated the season of giving with Hanukkah and Christmas presents, year-end charity donations and soup kitchen volunteering. It is a time when Americans demonstrate the generosity, caring and kindness that define them as a people. Now, however, Americans may suffer the season of GOP taking.
M&G has stricken hundreds of families in this rural West Virginia region with fear. They're scared they won't be able to afford health insurance they believed they'd earned. A decision by the Supreme Court affirming the lower courts' rulings would relieve retirees like 78-year-old Tackett and restore justice in Point Pleasant.
Many have identified the weaknesses in Deresiewicz's jeremiad. In his forthcoming novel, Supreme Ambitions, David Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law, takes a different approach. What happens, he asks, to all those excellent sheep after graduation? His answer won't surprise many: The sheep get herded to law school.
Today the Supreme Court announced it would not hear a marriage equality case in the near future, turning down several appeals of lower court rulings that voided bans on same-sex marriage. No doubt this is a disappointment to many who have been waiting for the Court to declare marriage equality a constitutionally protected right. Yet the decision is still a major victory for LGBT rights. Same-sex marriage is absolutely necessary for our country to fulfill its constitutional promises of equal protection and due process of law. Yet there were good reasons for the Court to hold off on deciding the marriage question this term.
A good deal of the growing lack of confidence in the Supreme Court these days is due precisely to the concern that the justices are increasingly voting in ways that reflect the political values and preferences of the presidents who appointed them. Americans, in other words, increasingly believe that the justices are voting as "Republicans and Democrats." If this is so, it is not because the justices are "repaying" the favor of their appointment, but because presidents have gotten better at selecting nominees whose judicial approaches are likely to lead them to vote in ways that more or less conform to the appointing president's own political values and preferences. But is any of this true? To test this possibility, I did a simple, back-of-the-envelope "study."