Redistricting? What redistricting?

Even John Roberts must have soul, or at least must occasionally hint that he’s got one. The plaintiffs’ claims in Harris v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission proved too much for the Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that Arizona’s redistricting commission can draw its districts to reflect voting patterns. Guess what they’ll reflect? Guess whom the… More Redistricting? What redistricting?

‘You believe the guy who is a guy like you’

On the occasion of the release of the HBO film Confirmation about the fall 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings, Professor Anita Hill speaks. Q: You’ve said of the hearings, “I had a gender and he had a race,” which I took to mean that the senators essentially ignored your race by giving credence to Thomas’ comment… More ‘You believe the guy who is a guy like you’

SCOTUS: Imposing a health improvement on ‘thousands of women’

Thanks to the benevolence of the Texas legislature, women in this state who want or need an abortion must travel to what are called “ambulatory surgical centers” which must have admitting privileges in local hospitals — privileges that are expensive and that these hospitals can refuse. More than five million women in Texas have access… More SCOTUS: Imposing a health improvement on ‘thousands of women’

Filling the seat

Well, isn’t this fascinating? New Public Policy Polling surveys of Pennsylvania and Ohio find that both Pat Toomey and Rob Portman are suffering from very weak approval numbers as they seek reelection to the Senate. Furthermore voters in their states, by wide margins, want the vacancy on the Supreme Court to be filled this year.… More Filling the seat

The bright, lonely light of Antonin Scalia

That devoted institutionalist Jeffrey Toobin writes a worthwhile epitaph for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, put to rest this weekend to meet the god whom he hopes will reward his diligence: Scalia described himself as an advocate of judicial restraint, who believed that the courts should defer to the democratically elected branches of government. In reality,… More The bright, lonely light of Antonin Scalia

The travails of Supreme Court appointment

An amateur historian of the Supreme Court, I know a little about the nominations and confirmations of justices, and the road bumps are so infrequent that they stand out: John Tyler’s nomination of Samuel Nelson; Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Louis Brandeis, which received a backlash that was uncharacteristic then and astonishing now, mostly because he… More The travails of Supreme Court appointment

The ‘dime store novel’ style of Ted Cruz, clerk

The New York Times ran one of those amusing pieces sourced by former Supreme Court colleagues of Ted Cruz who remember him as a man as enthusiastic about the death penalty as other men are about sex: Mr. Cruz, the most ardent death penalty advocate of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s clerks in the 1996… More The ‘dime store novel’ style of Ted Cruz, clerk