Although the two new justices in the mid-2000s did not change the 5-4 conservative majority on the court, they forged a different kind of conservative majority. Toobin and I discussed his books and the current state of the Supreme Court earlier this week by email.
A study recently found that the Roberts Court is the most business-friendly of any court in at least the last 65 years. More alarmingly, the top two justices most likely to vote in favor of big business -- out of all justices since 1946 -- are Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.
Any appellate judge will tell you that there are some decisions "that just won't write". A judge will vote for a particular outcome, be assigned the opinion, and then find that he or she is unable to support the outcome and switches sides.
In the exhausting examination, reflection and surprise in this news, one point is being overlooked: Roberts is Catholic, and the very best of Catholic ideals hold enormous compassion for those who suffer.
The Supreme Court held up the individual mandate of the ACA as a constitutionally valid exercise of Congress's taxing power. The "mandate" is not a requirement that you do anything. Stripped of labels, the only "mandate" is to pay your tax bill.
We could learn a lot from the election of 1912 where a third and fourth party shook up the foundations of corporate control. It's a disgrace that 100 years ago the United States could run an election with far greater choices than it is capable of running today.
Studies show that, in the past, the solicitor general wins most of his cases. When he is a party to a Supreme Court case, the solicitor general wins nearly 70 percent of the time. This term that number looks to flip.
Progressives need to get over their recent attachment to the courts as an institution and recognize that unelected judges have overwhelmingly been the enemy of civil rights and economic justice in this nation.
One can hope Justice Kennedy's approach of seeing the world as it really functions, and not through ideological glasses, will incline him to be a swing vote to affirm the constitutionality of imposing insurance obligations for health care.
Judges purporting to engage in originalist analysis often project onto the Framers their own personal and political preferences. The result is an unprincipled and often patently disingenuous jurisprudence.
The court has been notably activist, overturning precedent that has been on the books for decades in areas ranging from campaign finance to antitrust. When the Supreme Court is so willing to overturn precedent, what is the law?
Rather than refute John Roberts' "balls and strikes" analogy, I think we should embrace it. We should repeat it emphatically. You bet judges are like umpires. You bet they should just call balls and strikes.