Constitutional law and Supreme Court roundup

by Walter Olson on April 9, 2013

  • The 173rd, maybe? “This is not the first time [Linda] Greenhouse has misrepresented the views of her opponents” [Ilya Somin; more from ABA Journal on federalism argument against DOMA as supposed anti-federal-power "Trojan horse"] Was it improper for trial judge Vaughn Walker and appeals judge Stephen Reinhardt not to have recused themselves from Prop 8 case? Legal Ethics Forum bloggers weigh in [John Steele, Richard Painter, etc.] Funny graphic by Cato social media team about Cato’s “odd couple” joint brief with Constitutional Accountability Center [CAC] “Right and Left Continue to Change Where they Stand on Standing” [Ilya Somin] And if you’re going to be on Capitol Hill this Friday and are interested in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, be sure to attend the panel discussion at which I’ll be joined by Ilya Shapiro and Mary Bonauto;
  • On courts’ role in advancing liberty [Roger Pilon exchange with Ramesh Ponnuru] Incidentally, Cato’s “Mr. U.S. Constitution” is now on Twitter at @Roger_Pilon; and he discusses Cato’s high-profile SCOTUS amicus program [here]
  • Cook County official has creative theories about federal supremacy [Illinois Watchdog]
  • Amicus brief: Congress can’t assert perpetual jurisdiction over anyone and everyone, and that goes for ex-sex offenders too [Trevor Burrus]
  • “What are the Weirdest Constitutional Arguments Ever Asserted in Court?” [Orin Kerr and Volokh readers]
  • As Court considers voting act in Shelby County case, Chief Justice Roberts sees problem with pretending it’s still 1965 [Ilya Shapiro; more on VRA, 2010 Abigail Thernstrom backgrounder, National Affairs]

{ 1 comment }

1 William Nuesslein 04.09.13 at 12:34 pm

The links in the last reference to the Shelby County case are very good.

This case is an obvious win for Shelby County based on rational consideration of the record. It isn’t even close to being close as an intellectual matter.

So why the opponents such as Justices Sotomayor and Kagan? They are poor observers of what happens in regulation and litigation. There is a cottage industry doing peer reviewed or just academic studies that are outcome driven. For examle there are studies to support a $6 million benefit for a life saved. Actually, the number is higher now. That is 3 times the total lifetime income of the Average Joe. And when we lose the income, we also lose the cost of living. And that number would be applied even if life was extended only a month.

Justices Sotomeyor wrote a brilliant decision in the Skilling case, but her writing with respect to the vaccine case was dreadful.

As to Justice Kagan – she came from Harvard, enough said.

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