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Supreme Court Wrap-Ups:

Like the Federalist Society, the American Constitution Society held an end-of-term review that is available here. SCOTUSBlog rounds up some end-of-term analyses here, and has a statistical summary of the term here. I also can't help noting my appearance on the PBS Newshour with Goodwin Liu.

liberty (mail) (www):
I enjoyed the interview but I noticed that the way the judges interpret the law -- if it is indeed connected to the conservative/liberal split -- was pretty well avoided. As was any other guiding beliefs or ideology, for example about constitutional interpretation, the role of the judiciary, etc.

Is the definition of the conservative "cause" on the Supreme Court really just "try to consolidate the doctrine in these areas... to eliminate the use of race-conscious governmental decision-making in all areas... to overturn Roe v. Wade"?

And everything else said was just about incrememntal vs. willingness to overturn precedent...
6.30.2007 2:25pm
occidental tourist (mail):
Of course it is a short interview and not the questions don't reflect a very subtle attempt to distinguish this year's term. One thing that contributed to a lack of nuance in discussing it is that she did not ask both participants to respond to the same questions.

I'm not sure this was conscious, and some of it was perhaps intended to inform people who have paid little attention to the court but it was all but a waste of time to ask if Kennedy was the swing vote and debate the connotation of that term other than as some ode to O'Connor.

It would have been more useful to allow you to respond to Goodwin when in the incrementalism discussion when he implied that the Roberts Court was speciously or partisanly confining precedent:

We confine that precedent to the specific facts dealt with in that earlier setting, and we refuse to apply it logically to the next case.


My guess is that you might have pointed out that they did exactly the same thing in Wilkie v Robbins where the sympathies of the conservative impulse would certainly lie with the overregulated and harrassed property owner who was found to have no implicit monetary damages remedy. Thus this confinement of precedent was not necessarily an ideological tool as part of Roberts "moving the strike zone to the right".
7.1.2007 8:25am