Category Archives: SCOTUS

Andrew Sullivan on Gay Marriage and SCOTUS Cases

Last Sunday, Fareed Zarakia interviewed Anderew Sullivan about the conservative case for gay marriage and the recent same-sex marriage Supreme Court cases. 

Here is a description of the interview: 

Sullivan: We’re part of families. Gay people don’t – they’re not born under a gooseberry bush in San Francisco and then just unleashed on the country to improve your dinner party conversations and interior design. You know, that’s not what happens. They’re born and bred in Texas, in Oklahoma, in Alabama. And they’re in the military and they’re part of this country’s entire diversity. And they want to be a part of their own families. And they’re more traditional than you realize.

So then began the battle you’re still battling, which is with conservatives.

Sullivan: I think the great disappointment, the great disappointment is that this was a really, in some ways, a conservative argument. This was a minority group seeking responsibility, commitment, pooling resources.  If you’re a couple and something happens to one of you, you have someone else to take care of you, not the government. There’s a really powerful conservative case for this. And so many of the Republican Party just never grappled with it until it was too late.

But in Kennedy, you know, Anthony Kennedy, Reagan appointee, I think you see the last strains of that moderate conservatism, which is, we do have this new emergent population. How do we integrate them? How do we make them part? I don’t want us to have a separate but equal institution in civil unions. And that was the big threat. And then Bush, when he actually endorsed a federal marriage amendment, suddenly the entire gay establishment were like, oh, we’re with you.

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July 5, 2013 · 12:58 pm

John Roberts Conservative Long Game?

Recently, Terry Gross interviewed The New York Times‘ Supreme Court Correspondant, Adam Liptak, on NPR’s Fresh Air. Liptak and Gross discuss the High Court’s recent term, specifically the gay marriage cases and Liptak’s new e-book about gay rights.  Liptak also argues that Chief Justice John Roberts is playing a conservative long game, allowing liberal short term victories in order to ensure eventual conservative goals.  

Here is a description of the interview: 

Last week, the Supreme Court wrapped up its eighth term under Chief Justice John Roberts, in which it handed down historic opinions on gay marriage, the Voting Rights Act and genetic patenting. Adam Liptak, who covers the court for The New York Times, says that in the years Roberts has led the court, the chief justice’s patient and methodical approach has allowed him to establish a robustly conservative record.

“I see him planting seeds in cases where he may get a large majority, including the court’s liberal wing, to sign on to short-term victories today that could result [in] long-term losses for the left tomorrow,” Liptak tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross.

The most notable example of this happened just last week, Liptak says. Drawing on language all eight justices had agreed to in a Voting Rights Act case four years ago, Roberts led the court in gutting a key section of the 1965 law, which addressed voting discrimination. The decision struck down a formula that was used to determine which jurisdictions needed federal approval before changing their voting rules. That freed nine states, mostly in the South, from federal oversight and ostensibly returned the issue to Congress.

On July 9, The New York Times and Byliner will publish an e-book by Liptak calledTo Have and Uphold: The Supreme Court and the Battle for Same-Sex Marriage.

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July 4, 2013 · 12:43 pm

Affirmative Action After Fisher v. the University of Texas

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down Fisher v. the University of Texas  a highly anticipated affirmative action case.  In a somewhat anticlimactic decision, the High Court remanded “the case back to the lower court to apply “strict scrutiny” to the University’s admissions policy.” NPR’s Talk of the Nation discussed the future of affirmative action after Fisher

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June 27, 2013 · 11:26 pm

Supreme Court Curtail Voting Rights Act

In Shelby County v. Holder, today the Supreme Court struck a key provision of the voting rights act, a provision that required states to get federal permission to change their voting laws. 

For more on this historic case, see the SCOTUS blog coverage

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June 25, 2013 · 11:11 pm

“Sonia from the Bronx”

Don’t be fooled by the jurisprudence that she’s got, she’s still, she’s still “Sonia from the Bronx.”  However, it is unclear whether she know J-Lo personally.  Regardless, 60 Minutes recently re-air its interview Supreme Court Justice Sonio Sotomayor.  Here is a description of the story: 

In the 223 years of the Supreme Court of the United States, it is fair to say there has never been a justice like Sonia Sotomayor. Among other things, she’s the first Hispanic on the court, she’s the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who settled in the Bronx — that New York melting pot that pours out streetwise kids and American success stories.


Sotomayor, now 58 years old, calls the streets of her childhood “my beloved world” and when we aired this story in January, she was about to come out with a memoir of the same name. She told us that, the neighborhood gave a poor girl, with a serious illness, a chance to serve and an opportunity to become one of the most powerful women in America.

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June 14, 2013 · 8:45 pm

Akhil Amar and Barry Scheck on Maryland v. King

In a 5-4 decision, featuring a scathing Scalia dissent, the Supreme Court in Maryland v. King held that the 4th Amendment does not prohibit law enforcement from obtaining and testing DNA samples from arrestees.  Last evening, All in with Chris Hayes discussed Mayland v. King with Barry Scheck, co-founder of The Innocence Project, and Akhil Amar, Yale Law School professor. 

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June 4, 2013 · 8:27 pm

“Prop 8 — The Musical”

“Prop 8 — The Musical”

In a star studded video, Funny or Die presents, “Prop 8 — The Musical,” featuring Jack Black, Neil Patrick Harris, Craig Robinson, Lake Bell, Rashida Jones, Kathy Najimy, John C Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Allison Janney, Margaret Cho, Andy Richter, and Sarah Chalke. I know that this video is several years old, but in the wake of Hollingsworth v. Perry, it remains relevant.  The video runs just over three minutes.

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April 5, 2013 · 6:01 pm