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A looming fight over the SCOTUS nomination?
Law professor at Harvard University, Charles Ogletree
talks to Alex Witt about President Obama’s considerations for judicial appointees.
The Scalia I Knew Will Be Greatly Missed
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein:
When Stephen Breyer, President Bill Clinton's second appointment to the Supreme Court, was sworn in as an associate justice at a White House ceremony in 1994, Justice Antonin Scalia came up to me, put his arm around my shoulder, and said with a bright, mischievous smile, “First Ruth, and now Steve? Cass, it’s ALMOST enough to make me vote Democrat.” Antonin Scalia was witty, warm, funny, and full of life. He was not only one of the most important justices in the nation’s history; he was also among the greatest. With Oliver Wendell Holmes and Robert Jackson, he counts as one of the court’s three best writers. Who else would say, in a complex case involving the meaning of a statute, that Congress does not “hide elephants in mouseholes”?
Will a Reconfigured Supreme Court Help Obama’s Clean-Power Plan Survive?
The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday sets up a battle between the White House and the Senate over who will nominate a new associate justice—a battle over governing norms and constitutional imperatives, played out in the most powerful republic in the world. ... As to the first, no legal expert I talked to thought the now-smaller Court was likely to annul its stay. “There is currently no reason to assume the Court will revisit the stay order,” said Richard Lazarus
, an environmental-law professor at Harvard University and a veteran of oral arguments at the Court, in an email. “It is final as voted on by the full Court at the time and is not subject to revisiting any more than any other ruling by the Court before the Justice’s passing.”
Dear Bernie Sanders: Don’t follow in Obama’s footsteps on campaign finance reform
An op-ed by Larry Lessig: Bernie Sanders has made great strides casting doubt on the credibility of Hillary Clinton as an agent of change. How can you take on Wall Street if you take quarter-million-dollar speaking fees from its leading banks? How can you be a credible reformer if you have been so dependent on money from the status quo? But Sanders has his own credibility problem. It’s called Congress. The Vermont senator’s agenda is a “fiction,” the Post editorial board declared, because there is zero chance it could get through the legislature, and not just because there are more Republicans than Democrats on Capitol Hill. Even when President Obama had a super-majority of Democrats in Congress, he couldn’t get climate change legislation passed or a public option included in Obamacare. The threat of the powerful energy and health-care industries pouring millions of dollars into campaigns against Democrats was enough to get the leader of the last great “revolution” in U.S. politics to stand down. Until we change the way that money matters on Capitol Hill, the more sober-minded — they call themselves “realists” — will just roll their eyes at the fantastical promises of America’s most authentic politician.
Advice to Obama: Make a Boring Supreme Court Pick
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday creates a major challenge for President Barack Obama in the run-up to the 2016 election. Obama has said he will nominate a replacement to the U.S. Supreme Court, even though Senate Republican leaders have made it clear they prefer the seat remain vacant for now. Should the president go along, and not nominate anyone, liberals will be enraged at his passivity. If Obama does nominate a justice quickly, should he pick a liberal whose rejection will galvanize Democratic voters to turn out for the party’s nominee in November, in hopes of a second chance? Or should he pick a moderate who has an outside chance of actually being confirmed, creating the possibility of a liberal balance on the court even if a Republican wins in November?
Harvard International Review
Legitimacy and Universality: The Future of the International Criminal Court
An op-ed by Alex Whiting and Amanda Chen:
The Harvard International Review sat down to talk about recent dissent regarding decisions of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and its evolving role in international justice. What do you think the current most important functions of the ICC are?
There’s lot of discussion of the political effect of the court, but the court’s work is judicial and legal and that is what it has to focus on.
The ICC is a legal institution, constrained by a statute adopted by treaty. There are 123 countries that have now signed onto the treaty. The most important function is for the court to investigate and prosecute allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide that fall under the jurisdiction of the court. There’s lot of discussion of the political effect of the court, but the court’s work is judicial and legal and that is what it has to focus on.
The Wall Street Journal
Legal World Reacts to the Death of Justice Scalia
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died while on a trip to the Big Bend area of Texas, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. The longtime conservative jurist, known for an acerbic wit and occasionally biting opinions and dissents, was 79. Below are some early reactions to the news from the legal world: Laurence Tribe
, professor at Harvard Law School: I’m still in shock, but one thing I can say is that I liked the Justice personally and greatly admired his contribution to our legal system even when I disagreed profoundly with his views.
Mocking stereotypes in ‘East of Hollywood’
The Lyric Stage, a popular local theater, on Monday hosts a 7 p.m. screening of the short film “East of Hollywood.” It’s billed as “a mockumentary that exposes the stereotypes Asian-American actors are forced to deal with throughout the audition process.” Winner of best narrative short at last year’s Boston Asian American Film Festival, “East of Hollywood” is directed by Chris Caccioppoli and stars Michael Tow, who drew on real experiences that he and fellow Asian-American actors encountered over their careers. ...Following the screening, Caccioppoli, Tow, Oliva, and Nguyen will engage in a discussion moderated by Jeannie Suk, professor at Harvard Law School.
How Antonin Scalia Changed America
Before he died Saturday at age 79, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was the longest-serving member of the current court, a towering figure in the legal community who now leaves a historic legacy. That’s how he’s being remembered. But just what was that legacy, exactly? ... That’s the portrait that emerges here from the 19 top legal thinkersPolitico Magazine
asked to reflect on his life and death. ...Laurence H. Tribe
Donald Trump Might Be Able to Sue Ted Cruz, Legal Experts Say
Donald Trump continued to push the contentious issue of Ted Cruz’s presidential eligibility on Friday, threatening that he has legal standing to sue Cruz for not being a “natural born citizen.” ...Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe
said Trump’s standing is plausible but not legally guaranteed. “Its plausibility gets greater the closer we get to the point where it’s clear that Cruz himself (and not Cruz together with Bush, Kasich, Rubio, and perhaps others) is the real obstacle to Trump’s nomination and thus a clear source of concrete injury to Trump’s prospects for the Republican presidential nomination,” Tribe said in an email.
Commentary: Net neutrality rules under attack again
If you thought the fight over net neutrality ended when the Federal Communications Commission issued its strong new “Open Internet” rules last year, think again. ...“The really big move is turning the Internet into the equivalent of a cable system, where it’s a managed network,” said Susan Crawford
, a professor at Harvard Law School and an outspoken critic of the big broadband providers. “If Comcast and these guys get away with this, other carriers around the world will try to do the same thing.”
How Pro Golf Explains the Stock Market Panic
An op-ed by Cass Sunstein:
Can professional golf help explain what is now happening with the stock market? I think that it can, because it offers a clue about an important source of this month’s market volatility: human psychology. The best golfers make par on most holes. They also have plenty of chances to make a welcome birdie (one under par) or to avoid a dreaded bogey (one over par). To do either, they have to sink a putt. A stroke is a stroke, so you might think that whether a pro makes a putt can’t possibly depend on whether the result would be making a birdie or avoiding a bogey. But you’d be wrong.
Justice Scalia Came Close to Greatness
An op-ed by Noah Feldman:
Antonin Scalia will go down as one of the greatest justices in U.S. Supreme Court history -- and one of the worst. His greatness derived from his carefully articulated philosophy of constitutional interpretation, based on the law as a set of rules that should be applied in accordance with the original meaning of the document. Yet on issues from race to gay rights to the environment, his reactionary conservatism consistently put him on the wrong side of constitutional law’s gradual progressive evolutionary path. To put it bluntly, Scalia’s reasoning was almost always beautiful and elegant, but his results were almost always wrong. Scalia, who d
ied Saturday at 79, could be acerbic at a personal level. His biting humor often had a sarcastic edge, and he alienated Justice Sandra Day O’Connor by dismissing the quality of her analytic reasoning. At the same time, one of my fondest memories is an afternoon spent drinking two bottles of red wine
and eating pizza at A.V. Ristorante, a now-defunct Italian spot in Washington, with Scalia and my fellow clerks for Justice David Souter, liberals all. Scalia was relaxed, warm and witty -- charm itself, trading ideas and arguments and treating us with complete equality. I remember thinking that if this was the devil, he certainly assumed a most pleasing form.
Even when inconsistent, Justice Scalia was certain
An op-ed by Nancy Gertner:
I did not know Justice Antonin Scalia. Following the announcement of his death, I could not help but be struck by the accounts of his warmth, his friendships (notably with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, with whom he regularly disagreed on the Supreme Court), his deep religious commitment, his infectious sense of humor. I knew him through his opinions, books, and speeches. Even though I disagreed with him much of the time, one thing is clear: His legal positions could not be ignored — not by lawyers, scholars, judges, nor the public. I had to take them seriously in my own judicial decisions and in my writing. And the need to deal with his arguments shifted the debate, even the outcomes.