Supreme Court

  • Will SCOTUS Take the Opportunity to Ban Race-Conscious Admissions?

    A veteran higher education lawyer says that dire predictions that the Supreme Court will ban race-based affirmative action in admissions; narrowly-tailored diversity initiatives may survive despite the court's broad conservative majority. 

  • New York State's Lessons on Preventing a Crisis of Judicial Legitimacy

    by Bruce W. Dearstyne

    Forceful activism amid rapid social change results in legislation shot down by the most powerful court, leading to calls for sweeping court reform. This was New York State in the early 20th century. How the State Court of Appeals weathered this storm holds lessons for SCOTUS today, if the Justices and their critics care to learn from history.

  • Stephen Vladeck: Bring Back the Second Part of FDR's SCOTUS Reform Plan

    by Stephen Vladeck

    As the Supreme Court adopts a posture of governing by injunction before lower court appeals run their course, should revive FDR's proposal that cases seeking to throw out state or federal rules be heard by special panels, not single judges chosen through jurisdiction-shopping. 

  • Court Reform is Dead! Long Live Court Reform!

    by Ryan D. Doerfler and Samuel Moyn

    From today's perspective, Biden's commission to investigate reforms to the Supreme Court seems timid and its recommendations minimal. But its report, issued at a moment when the Court seems prepared to go on a spree of consequential rulings, may in the future be regarded as the first domino to fall on the way to major changes.

  • That Stench is Coming from the Supreme Court

    by James D. Zirin

    The Supreme Court's oral arguments in the Mississippi abortion case seem to show a conservative bloc wholly unconcerned with precedent, principle, or the legitimacy of the judiciary as they rush ahead to end abortion rights. 

  • The Supreme Court's Decisions This Term Will Decide its Fate More Powerfully than Biden's Commission

    by Ray Brescia

    In 1937, the Supreme Court faced a crisis of legitimacy, and responded by clearing the way for broadly popular minimum wage and other employment laws that had previously been struck down. Faced with ideologically loaded cases where strong majorities of the public oppose them, the court's conservative bloc faces a similar choice this term. 

  • Every Woman Needs Access to Abortion

    by Claire Potter

    "If SCOTUS overturns Roe, every civil right that Americans have gained since the 1940s is up for grabs. That’s not partisan propaganda: that’s the truth."

  • What RBG Got Wrong about the Abortion Debate and the Courts

    by Felicia Kornbluh

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated that the Roe v. Wade decision inflamed abortion politics by preventing the states from legislating on the issue. The history of abortion legislation doesn't suggest that it would have, or will ever, create consensus. 

  • Wednesday's Arguments Signal the End of Roe

    by Mary Ziegler

    "Today’s oral argument signaled that the Court is poised to reverse Roe outright when it decides Dobbs, probably sometime in June or early July," says a leading legal historian of abortion rights.

  • Rebecca Traister: Betrayal of Roe Decades in the Making

    Liberal anger at the prospect of SCOTUS overturning the right to abortion needs to grapple with why liberalism ignored the right's long-building anti-majoritarian movement when it threatened the needs of mostly marginalized people. 

  • AHA, OAH File SCOTUS Amicus Brief in Mississippi Abortion Ban Case

    This brief, based on decades of study and research by professional historians, aims to provide an accurate historical perspective as the Court considers the state of Mississippi’s challenge to a woman’s right to abortion, a right that was affirmed by the Court in Roe v. Wade.

  • Will SCOTUS Force Us All to Find Out How Polite an Armed Society Will Be?

    by Jim Zirin

    The Supreme Court's oral arguments in a challenge to New York State's gun laws suggest the court is willing to defy precedent and history and assume a power that the Constitution reserves to the people and states, forcing all communities to accept the concealed carrying of firearms.

  • Why are Medieval Weapons at the Center of a Supreme Court Case?

    by Jennifer Tucker

    The history and traditions of English law inform American judicial interpetation today, including efforts to discern the functional meaning of the Second Amendment. A group of historians has briefed the Court that restricting dangerous weapons in public is long-established. 

  • An Anti-Democratic Court Is Nothing New

    by David A. Love

    "For most of its existence, the court has not been a moderate, apolitical body, but rather has oppressed marginalized groups and protected White male landowners, the group long considered ideal political citizens."

  • Stephen Breyer's Delusions of an Apolitical Court

    by Ryan D. Doerfler and Samuel Moyn

    In his much-discussed book, Justice Stephen Breyer comes close to acknowledging that the Supreme Court is a political institution, but ultimately declares that's it's more important to preserve the noble lie that the court is above politics.