Supreme Court Justice Quotes

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Today, no less than five Supreme Court justices are on record, either through their opinions or speeches (or both), that they will consult foreign law and foreign-court rulings for guidance in certain circumstances. Of course, policymakers are free to consult whatever they want, but not justices. They're limited to the Constitution and the law.
Mark R. Levin
I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can't imagine someone else's point of view.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
You cannot be fair to others without first being fair to yourself. Know that a well-honed sense of justice is a measure of personal experience, and all experience is a measure of self. Know that the highest expression of justice is mercy. Thus, as the supreme judge in your own court, you must have compassion for yourself. Otherwise, cede your gavel.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
But in both instances, the dissemination of the information diluted its power. As Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis once wrote, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Fight for the things you care about. But do it in a way that will lead others to join you. - Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice, New York Times
Ruth Bader Ginsberg
So here we have found a means of a) alienating even the most flexible and patient Palestinians; while b) frustrating the efforts of the more principled and compromising Israelis; while c) empowering and financing some of the creepiest forces in American and Israeli society; and d) heaping ordure on our own secular founding documents. When will the Justice Department and the Congress and the Supreme Court become aware of this huge and rank offense, which is designed to bring us ever nearer to holy war?
Christopher Hitchens
The ages of individual Supreme Court Justices were of significant concern to Zack, as were the nominations President John would make if these elderly Supreme Court Justices retired or passed away. Zack smiled to himself and wished the justices good health and long life.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Justice (Zachary Blake Betrayal #2))
The Supreme Court has now closed the courthouse doors to claims of racial bias at every stage of the criminal justice process, from stops and searches to plea bargaining and sentencing. The system of mass incarceration is now, for all practical purposes, thoroughly immunized from claims of racial bias.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
It is myopic to base sweeping change on the narrow experience of a few years.
Antonin Scalia (Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice)
A written constitution is needed to protect values AGAINST prevailing wisdom.
Antonin Scalia (Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice)
Just like Supreme Court justices, we as a nation have avoided contemplating remedies because we’ve indulged in the comfortable delusion that our segregation has not resulted primarily from state action and so, we conclude, there is not much we are required to do about it. Because once entrenched, segregation is difficult to reverse, the easiest course is to ignore it.
Richard Rothstein (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America)
Judicial activists are nothing short of radicals in robes--contemptuous of the rule of law, subverting the Constitution at will, and using their public trust to impose their policy preferences on society. In fact, no radical political movement has been more effective in undermining our system of government than the judiciary. And with each Supreme Court term, we hold our collective breath hoping the justices will do no further damage, knowing full well they will disappoint. Such is the nature of judicial tyranny.
Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How Judges are Destroying America)
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall argued in another context many years later, the “grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln)
To restrict or legalize abortion, to allow or forbid gay marriage, a legislator would need to write and pass a law, get it signed by the president or a governor, and perhaps override a veto. A Supreme Court justice need only persuade four other people. If he or she is not internally constrained by the authority of a text, he or she is not constrained.
Michael J. Gerson
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
John G. Roberts Jr.
The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
She didn't wallow in problems or reveal self-doubt.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
There is no bigger prize then a Supreme Court Justice tucked snuggly in the pocket of who it is the Republican's are actually working for. NO. BIGGER. PRIZE.
A.K. Kuykendall
The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination. As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in 1965, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some persons equally, we must treat them differently.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON, 1950
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
She looked for common ground. She did not nurse grudges.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence". — Mapp vs. Ohio
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark
In the final scene of Power, the Supreme Court justices appear as a striking abstraction: Nine scowling masks line up in a row on top of a giant podium. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes speaks the majority opinion: 'Water power, the right to convert it into electric energy, and the electric energy thus produced constitute property belonging to the United States.
Susan Quinn (Furious Improvisation: How the Wpa and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times)
The Court, after all, is not a monolith. Transparency resides in parts of the Court, among Justices and staff who believe that letting the sun shine on their institution will make it stronger.
Marites Dañguilan Vitug (Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court)
When the Chief Justice read me the oath,' he [FDR] later told an adviser, 'and came to the words "support the Constitution of the United States" I felt like saying: "Yes, but it's the Constitution as I understand it, flexible enough to meet any new problem of democracy--not the kind of Constitution your Court has raised up as a barrier to progress and democracy.
Susan Quinn (Furious Improvisation: How the Wpa and a Cast of Thousands Made High Art Out of Desperate Times)
Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles or morality, but that cannot control our decision,' she said. 'Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
Sitting here on the steps of the Supreme Court smoking weed, under the “Equal Justice Under Law” motto, staring into the stars, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. It’s that all the buildings are more or less the same height and there’s absolutely no skyline, save for the Washington Monument touching the night sky like a giant middle finger to the world.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
It is the individual who can and does make a difference even in this increasingly populous, complex world of ours. The individual can make things happen. It is the individual who can bring a tear to my eye and then cause me to take pen in hand. It is the individual who has acted or tried to act who will not only force a decision but also have a hand in shaping it. Whether acting in the legal, governmental, or private realm, one concerned and dedicated person can meaningful affect what some consider an uncaring world. So give freely of yourself always to your family, your friends, your community, and your country. The world will pay you back many times over.
Sandra Day O'Connor (The Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice)
Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington—to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
O’CONNOR WAS THE most powerful Supreme Court justice of her time. For most of her twenty-four-plus years on the Court, from October 1981 to January 2006, she was the controlling vote on many of the great societal issues, including abortion, affirmative action, and religious freedom, so much so that the press came to call it the O’Connor Court.
Evan Thomas (First: Sandra Day O'Connor)
the reason they don’t permit cameras has nothing to do with maintaining decorum and dignity. It’s to protect the country from seeing what’s underneath Plymouth Rock. Because the Supreme Court is where the country takes out its dick and tits and decides who’s going to get fucked and who’s getting a taste of mother’s milk. It’s constitutional pornography in there, and what did Justice Potter once say about obscenity? I know it when I see it.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
We are at war, and in time of war there is only one rule. Form your battalion and fight.
Kermit Roosevelt III (Allegiance)
Money (before he became a Supreme Court justice), wrote: “They control the people through the people’s own money.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
There is more political power in the gospel and in being the church than there is in electing a president, installing a Supreme Court justice, or even changing a constitution.
Jonathan Leeman (How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age)
I see no reason why I should be consciously wrong today because I was unconsciously wrong yesterday. —Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, 1948
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
Justice Brennan described the power of these unelected justices with chilling clarity when he told his incoming clerks that the most important rule in the law was the “Rule of Five.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington—to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to be optimistic.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Tamping down my emotions as the justice spoke to the audience, I looked over at a pair of handsome young Korean American boys—Sotomayor’s adopted nephews—squirming in their Sunday best. They would take for granted that their aunt was on the U.S. Supreme Court, shaping the life of a nation—as would kids across the country. Which was fine. That’s what progress looks like.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Painters--and storytellers, including poets and playwrights and historians, they are the justices of the Supreme Court of Good and Evil, of which I am now a member, and to which you may belong someday!
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Bluebeard)
But the Judiciary Act did not provide for judges to staff the circuit courts. Instead, the circuits would be staffed during their two annual sittings by two Supreme Court justices and one district judge.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
When the prison gates slam behind an inmate, he does not lose his human quality; his mind does not become closed to ideas; his intellect does not cease to feed on a free and open interchange of opinions; his yearning for self-respect does not end; nor is his quest for self-realization concluded. If anything, the needs for identity and self-respect are more compelling in the dehumanizing prison environment.
Thurgood Marshall (Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice)
There had been only three confirmations in the final year of a presidency when the opposing party controlled the Senate, most recently in 1888, when Grover Cleveland nominated Melville W. Fuller to be chief justice.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
As the familiar quote usually attributed to Supreme Court justice Louis D. Brandeis goes, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.
Jaron Lanier (Who Owns the Future?)
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of former Confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a Confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members. The last one, Robert Byrd, died in 2010 and was eulogized by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton called him her “mentor.” The sordid history of the Democratic Party in the early twentieth century is also married to the sordid history of the progressive movement during the same period. Progressives like Margaret Sanger—founder of Planned Parenthood and a role model for Hillary Clinton—supported such causes as eugenics and social Darwinism. While abortion was not an issue in Sanger’s day, she backed forced sterilization for “unfit” people, notably minorities. Sanger’s Negro Project was specifically focused on reducing the black population.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
August 19, 1981: President Ronald Reagan nominates Sandra Day O’Connor to be the first woman on the Supreme Court. Male justices who had made noises over the years about resigning if a woman ever joined their ranks stay put.
Irin Carmon (Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
One measure decreed that when ships docked at Charleston, any free black sailors on board must be jailed so they could not carry messages to black people onshore. When a Supreme Court justice found the imprisonments unconstitutional, South Carolina openly defied the ruling, saying that stopping “insubordination” was “paramount” to “all laws” and “all constitutions.” Baffled by this early example of a state nullifying federal law, national officials did nothing.
Steve Inskeep (Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab)
and line of cases. Justice Byron R. "Whizzer" White, a JFK appointee, dissented, calling Doe an act of "raw judicial power," as it took these decisions from the states and enshrined their determination in the Supreme Court's reasoning.
William J. Bennett (From a World at War to the Triumph of Freedom 1914-1989 (America: The Last Best Hope #2))
THE COMMON IDEA of claiming “color blindness” is akin to the notion of being “not racist”—as with the “not racist,” the color-blind individual, by ostensibly failing to see race, fails to see racism and falls into racist passivity. The language of color blindness—like the language of “not racist”—is a mask to hide racism. “Our Constitution is color-blind,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Harlan proclaimed in his dissent to Plessy v. Ferguson, the case that legalized Jim Crow segregation in 1896. “The white race deems itself to be the dominant race in this country,” Justice Harlan went on. “I doubt not, it will continue to be for all time, if it remains true to its great heritage.” A color-blind Constitution for a White-supremacist America.
Ibram X. Kendi (How to Be an Antiracist)
Charles Evans Hughes, former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said: “Men do not die from overwork. They die from dissipation and worry.” Yes, from dissipation of their energies—and worry because they never seem to get their work done.
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
In public at least, Roberts himself purports to have a different view of the Court than his conservative sponsors. "Judges are like umpires," he said at his confirmation hearing. "Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them." Elsewhere, Roberts has often said, "Judges are not politicians." None of this is true. Supreme Court justices are nothing at all like baseball umpires. It is folly to pretend that the awesome work of interpreting the Constitution, and thus defining the rights and obligations of American citizenship, is akin to performing the rote […] task of calling balls and strikes. When it comes to the core of the Court's work, determining the contemporary meaning of the Constitution, it is ideology, not craft or skill, that controls the outcome of cases.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Best thunderclap came from Spengler, to the effect that science is either true or false, art is either shallow or deep. Second best came from some Supreme Court Justice, Jackson, I think, to the effect that one man’s right to swing his fists stops where another man’s nose begins.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Kurt Vonnegut: Letters)
Earlier in [2007] the [Prime Minister's Office] had also drawn criticism for trying to muzzle the judiciary. The reproach came from Antonio Lamer, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court....'I must say I was taken aback,' said Lamer, who sat on the Supreme Court for twenty years. 'The prime minister is going the wrong route as regards the independence of the judiciary. He's trying to interfere with the sentencing process.
Lawrence Martin (Harperland: The Politics Of Control)
For illustrations and analysis of the ways in which Justices have shifted over time from their original ideological positions, see the article by Lee Epstein and her co-authors, “Ideological Drift Among Supreme Court Justices: Who, When, and How Important?” Northwestern Law Review Colloquy 101 (2007): 127–31.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
If logic and reason, the hard, cold products of the mind, can be relied upon to deliver justice or produce the truth, how is it that these brain-heavy judges rarely agree? Five-to-four decisions are the rule, not the exception. Nearly half of the court must be unjust and wrong nearly half of the time. Each decision, whether the majority or minority, exudes logic and reason like the obfuscating ink from a jellyfish, and in language as opaque. The minority could have as easily become the decision of the court. At once we realize that logic, no matter how pretty and neat, that reason, no matter how seemingly profound and deep, does not necessarily produce truth, much less justice. Logic and reason often become but tools used by those in power to deliver their load of injustice to the people. And ultimate truth, if, indeed, it exists, is rarely recognizable in the endless rows of long words that crowd page after page of most judicial regurgitations.
Gerry Spence (How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday)
As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air—however slight—lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
Nathan M. Farrugia (The Seraphim Sequence (Fifth Column, #2))
In 1937, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black would observe, with grim dismay, that, over the course of fifty years, “only one half of one percent of the Fourteenth Amendment cases that came before the court had anything to do with African Americans or former slaves, while over half of the cases were about protecting the rights of corporations.
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
One of the most cherished of all rights is the right to be left alone.
Supreme Court Justice Brandeis
How small we are in the universe but, even so, how one small voice can make a difference.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
O'Connor had a knack for bringing a personal - and winning - touch to a situation when people least expected it.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is the right thing to do.” Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
Tom Jr. was steeped in Free Soil politics and was now chief justice of the Kansas State Supreme Court.
Robert L. O'Connell (Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman)
A prison that deprives prisoners of basic sustenance, including adequate medical care, is incompatible with the concept of human dignity and has no place in civilized society
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Voters responded so well to Trump’s reference to Sykes and Pryor in debates and speeches that he decided to make a longer list of judges who met with conservative approval.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
Chairman Grassley in particular was known as the Senate’s “chief transparency officer.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
It was in the circuit courts that the justices fleshed out some important principles of federal law and jurisdiction. One such instance came in 1792 in Hayburn’s Case.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
Charles Evans Hughes, former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, said: “Men do not die from overwork. They die from dissipation and worry.” Yes,
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and start Living)
Alexis de Tocqueville, observing that “there was hardly a political question in the United States that did not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.”1
Joan Biskupic (American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia)
State legislative and administrative bodies are not field offices of the national bureaucracy,” she wrote. A quarter century later, her view was generally that of the majority.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
The Democratic strategy had been obstruction at all costs, so Klobuchar was annoyed at repeatedly being singled out for being cooperative and reasonable.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
Marbury and other justice of the peace hopefuls sued Madison to get the Supreme Court to issue writs of mandamus forcing Jefferson to deliver the commissions.
Stephanie A Jirard (Criminal Law and Procedure: A Courtroom Approach (NULL))
Whatever rivalries there were among the justices in O'Connor's first years, she appeared to look beyond them. Whatever slights she felt, she kept to herself. Whatever grudges she nurtured, she kept them secret. In face, she would write to Blackmun as her first term wound down: 'As the term concludes, I wanted to tell you what a privilege it has been for me to work with you this year. Your knowledge and the care you exhibit with all you do sets a wonderful example.' As she had in legislative politics, she always struck an outwardly positive note.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary,” wrote Justice Edward White in Coffin v United States, tracing it from Deuteronomy through Roman Law, Canon Law, and the Common Law and illustrating it with an anecdote about a fourth-century provincial governor on trial before the Roman Emperor
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
But let us not forget, too, that it was John Adams who nominated George Washington to be commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. It was John Adams who insisted that Jefferson be the one to write the Declaration of Independence. And it was President John Adams who made John Marshall chief justice of the Supreme Court. As a casting director alone, he was brilliant. Abigail
David McCullough (The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For)
This 2005 opinion reveals a white supremacist legal opinion written by the United States Supreme Court that reiterates the highly problematic M’Intosh verdict written nearly two hundred years earlier. The opinion in the 2005 case, City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of N. Y., was written and delivered by the iconic progressive Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Mark Charles (Unsettling Truths: The Ongoing, Dehumanizing Legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery)
judicial review has permitted the Justices of the Supreme Court to impose their own biases, prejudices, and desires on the rest of the nation under the guise of constitutional interpretation.
David C. Gibbs III (Understanding the Constitution)
The Cherokee Nation took a case against Georgia to the US Supreme Court. With Chief Justice John Marshall writing for the majority, the Court ruled in favor of the Cherokees. Jackson ignored the Supreme Court, however, in effect saying that John Marshall had made his decision and Marshall would have to enforce it if he could, although he, Jackson, had an army while Marshall did not.
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (ReVisioning American History, #3))
Edward G. Ryan, the chief justice of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, warned the graduating class of the state university in 1873. “The question will arise, and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine, ‘Which shall rule—wealth or man; which shall lead—money or intellect; who shall fill public stations—educated and patriotic free men, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital?’ 
Robert B. Reich (Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few)
The justices heard arguments, but then declared that a procedural irregularity in the appeal barred them from proceeding to a decision. Not until 1792 did the Supreme Court begin issuing opinions.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
Son, when I appoint a nigger to the bench, I want everybody to know he’s a nigger. [Said to an aide in 1965 regarding the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as associate justice of the Supreme Court]
Lyndon B. Johnson
In every age, there comes a time when leadership suddenly comes forth to meet the needs of the hour. And so there is no man who does not find his time, and there is no hour that does not have its leader.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
when CEOs break the law, they ought to go to jail, just like anyone else. The words chiseled in stone above the Supreme Court are EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW. This is not followed by EXCEPT FOR CORPORATE EXECUTIVES.
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
The justices whose behavior provoked the Roosevelt court-packing plan were criticized from the Left; the Warren Court from the Right; and the Roberts Court, to a somewhat more modulated degree, from the Left again.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The statement of Mr. Justice Holmes of the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Oklahoma Bank case, is significant: “We cannot say that the public interests to which we have adverted, and others, are not sufficient to warrant the State in taking the whole business of banking under its control. On the contrary we are of opinion that it may go on from regulation to prohibition except upon such conditions as it may prescribe.
Louis D. Brandeis (Other People's Money And How the Bankers Use It)
You have to be intrinsically changed by God in order for justice to be done. In other words, justice doesn’t come by legislation, because you can legislate things and nothing changes. We can go to the executive branch. We can go to the legislative branch. We can go to the judicial branch. We can put whatever kind of Supreme Court justices we want to put in place. But at the end of the day legislation doesn’t change hearts … only the gospel does.
Eric Mason (Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice)
For aggressive societies to survive, however, they always need that priest-judge-advisor class as well. This class balances the kings and warriors (as the U.S. Supreme Court balances the president and his armed forces). It is a more thoughtful group, often acting to check the impulses of the warrior-kings. Since the advisor class often proves right, its members are respected as counselors, historians, teachers, scholars, and the upholders of justice. They have the foresight, for example, to look out for the well-being of those common folks on whom the society depends, those who grow the food and raise the children. They warn against hasty wars and bad use of the land.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
Hunter argues that evangelical Christian attempts to “change the world” through politics—electing the right candidates, who will then pass the right laws and approve the right justices for the Supreme Court—have largely failed.
John Fea (Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump)
nascent, underfunded Supreme Court. Recent biographies of the great Chief Justice tell how John Marshall used the camaraderie of boardinghouse tables and common rooms, also madeira, to dispel dissent and achieve the one-voiced Opinion of the Court, which he usually composed and delivered himself. The unanimity John Marshall strived to maintain helped the swordless Third Branch fend off attacks from the political branches.9 Although Chief Justice Marshall strictly separated his Court and family life, he did not lack affection for his wife. In a letter from Philadelphia in 1797, John Marshall told Polly of his longing. “I like [the big city] well enough for a day or two,” he wrote Polly, “but I then
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (My Own Words)
CHIEF JUSTICE DAY, in a Decision of the U. S. Supreme Court, June 3, 1918: "If Congress can regulate matters entrusted to local au thority, the power of the States may be eliminated and thus our system of government be practically destroyed.
Mildred Lewis Rutherford (Truths of History)
More tells his son-in-law Roper, “Whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I’ll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up to the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly!”5
Joan Biskupic (American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia)
At first blush,' she continued, 'this ancient saying suggests merely that there will always be a Moses when Moses in needed. Yet, on further examination of the words 'there is no man who does not find his time,' we realize that the message conveyed is that each of us, in our own individual lives and the crises we face, will have a time to lead. Whether we will lead only a famnily, or a handful of friends, and where and how we will lead, is up to us, our views, and our talents. But the hour will come for each of us.
Joan Biskupic (Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice)
The Supreme Court debated God and beards Tuesday, and the result did not seem promising for Arkansas prison officials who refuse to let prisoners grow facial hair in accordance with their faith. The justices pelted a deputy attorney general from the state with so many tonsorial inquiries he had trouble keeping up. In the end, they seemed to indicate that they found it hard to believe the state's contention that a half-inch beard poses more of a security threat than the hair on top of an inmate's head, which is unregulated.
Don McGahn encouraged Kavanaugh by reminding him there was a reason he had been nominated to the Supreme Court. His professional performance over three decades gave people confidence in him. Figure out what you want to do in Thursday’s hearing and execute it, he said.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
Justice Ginsburg objected that the context was in fact crucially different. She said that while termination and failure to hire or promote are public acts, easily ascertained, employees of most private companies have no way of knowing what their fellow workers are being paid.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
So the justices could plausibly assume that the decision they were about to hand down would meet with general public approval—as in fact it initially did, before the abortion issue became entangled, later in the 1970s, with partisan politics and the rise of the religious Right.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The American Revolution is sometimes said to have brought about the separation of church and state. The northern states made such declarations, but after 1776 they adopted taxes that forced everyone to support Christian teachings. William G. McLoughlin, quoting Supreme Court Justice David Brewer in 1892 that “this is a Christian nation,” says of the separation of church and state in the Revolution that it “was neither conceived of nor carried out. . . . Far from being left to itself, religion was imbedded into every aspect and institution of American life.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
On May 31, 1870, invoking the new amendments as authority, Congress passed the Enforcement Act, which made racist terrorism a federal offense. To help put it into effect, Grant and Congress created the Department of Justice, with authority over all federal civil and criminal cases.
Charles Lane (The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction)
Based upon these “true words of God,” we need not worry about whether marriage is going to make it. Ultimately, we do not look to any court or government to define marriage. God has already done that, and his definition cannot be eradicated by a vote of legislators or the opinions of Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Judge of creation has already defined this term once and for all. Marriage does not morph across cultures the same way that football does, for marriage is a term that transcends culture, representing timeless truth about who God is and how God loves.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
In 1960, The New York Times printed an advertisement titled “Heed Their Rising Voices” that attempted to raise money to defend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. against perjury charges in Alabama. Southern officials responded by going on the offensive and suing the newspaper. Public Safety Commissioner L. B. Sullivan and Governor Patterson claimed defamation. A local jury awarded them half a million dollars, and the case was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark ruling, New York Times v. Sullivan changed the standard for defamation and libel by requiring plaintiffs to prove malice—that is, evidence of actual knowledge on the part of the publisher that a statement is false. The ruling marked a significant victory for freedom of the press, and it liberated media outlets and publishers to talk more honestly about civil rights protests and activism.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
By statute, a Supreme Court term begins on the first Monday of every October. But the justices’ active labor actually begins the week before, on the last Monday of September, when they meet in conference to consider the cert petitions that have accumulated over the summer months of recess.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
For instance, while writing this, I was summoned to attend jury duty. Throughout the jury selection process, coordinators and judges reminded us how important our presence was, and how deeply they and the State of Oregon appreciated our service. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Oregon and several judges who may or may not have been actors thanked us via video. The big joke of it was that attending jury service is mandatory and my summons threatened me with the possibility of being held in contempt of court for non-compliance. That pretty much sums up how the state “appreciates” its citizens. “We
Jack Donovan (Becoming a Barbarian)
This was the inauspicious background for the nomination by John Adams of John Marshall, his secretary of state, to be the nation’s fourth chief justice. Marshall, a Virginian and combat veteran of the Revolutionary War, was forty-five years old, until this day the youngest person ever to assume the office
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
By judicial conservative, I mean a judge who does not advance any political or policy preferences, but whose approach to constitutional and statutory interpretation involves fidelity to the text of the Constitution and adherence to the original understanding of that document or to the intent of its drafters.
Antonin Scalia (Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice)
For a half century, the Supreme Court, through increasingly fanciful legal reasoning, has handed the political Left victories in the culture wars—on race, sex, criminal justice, public order, schooling—that it would have found bruising, and sometimes impossible, to win through the constitutional legislative process.
Myron Magnet (Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution)
White Americans have contented themselves with gestures that are now described as "tokenism". For hard example, white Americans congratulate themselves on the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in the schools; they suppose, in spite of the mountain of evidence that has since accumulated to the contrary, that this was proof of a change of heart – or, as they like to say, progress. Perhaps. It all depends on how one reads the word "progress". Most of the Negroes I know do not believe that this immense concession would ever have been made if it had not been for the competition of the Cold War, and the fact that Africa was clearly liberating herself and therefore had, for political reasons, to be wooed by the descendants of her former masters. Had it been a matter of love or justice, the 1954 decision would surely have occurred sooner; were it not for the realities of power in this difficult era, it might very well not have occurred yet.
James Baldwin
Marbury v. Madison, the Marshall Court’s best-known case, and one of the most famous in Supreme Court history, was decided early in the chief justice’s tenure, on February 24, 1803. It grew out of the tense and messy transition of power from the Adams Federalists to the Jeffersonian Republicans after the election of 1800.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
[Justice] Murphy... who ruled against the state [anti-sodomy] law... didn't see why the Supreme Court had to dwell on the historical background of sodomy laws [before striking them down]. All one really had to know to decide the case, he reasoned, was that Texas and its legions of moralizers let people have sex with animals. End of story.
Dale Carpenter (Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas)
It is astonishing that President Obama’s conception of federal power is so vast that four liberal justices on the Supreme Court have joined their colleagues in unanimously ruling against the president more than 20 times in five and a half years—double his predecessor’s rate of unanimous defeats and 25 percent greater than President Clinton’s.
Ted Cruz (A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America)
In addition to institutional embarrassment in many quarters, there was a particular irony to this failure of information. The Court’s Eighth Amendment jurisprudence depends to a considerable measure on the justices’ assessment of public opinion as reflected in statutes. A punishment that is demonstrably “unusual” is deemed constitutionally problematic.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
While it is unlikely that the size of the Court will ever change again, some scholars, troubled by the increasing length of service on the Court and the advanced age at which justices retire, have recently put forward a proposal that would add new justices, move the oldest into a senior status, and assign the Court’s active work to the most junior nine.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
Random chance—a freakishly close vote in the single decisive state—gave the Supreme Court the chance to resolve the 2000 presidential election. The character of the justices themselves turned that opportunity into one of the lowest moments in the Court's history. The struggle following the election of 2000 took thirty-six days, and the Court was directly involved for twenty-one of them. Yet over this brief period, the justices displayed all of their worst traits—among them vanity, overconfidence, impatience, arrogance, and simple political partisanship. These three weeks taint an otherwise largely admirable legacy. The justices did almost everything wrong. They embarrassed themselves and the Supreme Court.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
There were two kinds of cases before the Supreme Court. There were abortion cases—and there were all the others. Abortion was (and is) the central legal issue before the Court. It defined the judicial philosophies of the justices. It dominated the nomination and confirmation process. It nearly delineated the difference between the national Democratic and Republican parties.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Fifth, I think that you [Daniel Dennett] and Richard are absolute disasters in the fight against intelligent design — we are losing this battle, not the least of which is the two new supreme court justices who are certainly going to vote to let it into classrooms — what we need is not knee-jerk atheism but serious grappling with the issues — neither of you are willing to study Christianity seriously and to engage with the ideas — it is just plain silly and grotesquely immoral to claim that Christianity is simply a force for evil, as Richard claims — more than this, we are in a fight, and we need to make allies in the fight, not simply alienate everyone of good will." "William Dembski. "Remarkable exchange between Michael Ruse and Daniel Dennett" " 2006
Michael Ruse
wrote Justice Wilson. Not surprisingly, the states were alarmed by this development, and a constitutional amendment to overrule the decision was introduced two days later. In 1798, the Eleventh Amendment received final ratification, providing that the jurisdiction of the federal courts “shall not be construed to extend” to cases brought by citizens of one state against another state.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
majority described the pressure on the Court and explained why “principles of institutional integrity” required that Roe v. Wade be reaffirmed. A “terrible price would be paid for overruling,” the three justices wrote, adding that such a step “would seriously weaken the Court’s capacity to exercise the judicial power and to function as the Supreme Court of a Nation dedicated to the rule of law.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
Before Sonia Sotomayor's appointment, a total of 110 justices had been named to the United States Supreme Court since its 1789 creation. All but 4 of these justices were white men, reflecting the traditional power base of the nation. Beginning with African American Thurgood Marshall in 1967, the groundbreakers navigated the public expectations and internal rituals of a tradition bound institution.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
So here is another shard of truth, which we must accept if we are to make sense of the trial: faith in our courts and our laws, in the statement chiseled above the columns of the U.S. Supreme Court building - 'Equal Justice Under Law' - can obscure the obvious, particularly with the passage of time. There was no equal justice, no universal protection of law in the Mississippi Delta, certainly not in 1955.
Timothy B. Tyson (The Blood of Emmett Till)
My father is a businessman trying to provide for his wife and children and those friends he might need someday in a time of trouble. He doesn’t accept the rules of the society we live in because those rules would have condemned him to a life not suitable to a man like himself, a man of extraordinary force and character. What you have to understand is that he considers himself the equal of all those great men like Presidents and Prime Ministers and Supreme Court Justices and Governors of the States. He refuses to live by rules set up by others, rules which condemn him to a defeated life. But his ultimate aim is to enter that society with a certain power since society doesn’t really protect its members who do not have their own individual power. In the meantime he operates on a code of ethics he considers far superior to the legal structures of society.
Mario Puzo (The Godfather)
The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie. [Referring to pronouncement by Justice Anthony Kennedy in Obergefell v. Hodges: "The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity."]
Antonin Scalia
Many feminist legal scholars, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have argued that the Supreme Court should have legalized abortion on grounds of equality rather than privacy.6 Pregnancy and childbirth are not only physical and medical experiences, after all. They are also social experiences that, in modern America, just as when abortion was criminalized in the 1870s, serve to restrict women’s ability to participate in society on equal footing with men.
Katha Pollitt (Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights)
Obama’s judges share his contempt for the original meaning of the Constitution. He has long seen the U.S. Constitution as an obstacle to what he considers progress. In a 2001 interview that surfaced during the 2008 presidential campaign, he made this very clear: the Supreme Court under Justice Earl Warren had failed to break “free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution,” Obama told the host of a radio show.
Phyllis Schlafly (No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom)
Opinions are announced in open court immediately before the start of the day’s arguments. The justice who has written the majority opinion delivers a brief summary. A dissenting justice who feels particularly strongly might follow with a summary of the dissent. The statements that justices make from the bench are not part of the official opinion, but the few points that a justice might choose to emphasize from a long opinion can be illuminating for those present.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
So defendants like Walter McMillian, even in counties that were 40 or 50 percent black, frequently found themselves staring at all-white juries, especially in death penalty cases. Then, in 1986, the Supreme Court ruled in Batson v. Kentucky that prosecutors could be challenged more directly about using peremptory strikes in a racially discriminatory manner, giving hope to black defendants—and forcing prosecutors to find more creative ways to exclude black jurors.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
We all rely on public confidence and trust to give the courts’ decisions their force,” Justice O’Connor said in a lecture on “public trust as a dimension of equal justice.” She explained: “We don’t have standing armies to enforce opinions, we rely on the confidence of the public in the correctness of those decisions. That’s why we have to be aware of public opinions and of attitudes toward our system of justice, and it is why we must try to keep and build that trust.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
In 1984, Fred Korematsu went back to federal court, seeking to have his conviction voided retroactively on the theory that the government had withheld crucial facts from the judiciary. The court agreed with him. The Department of Justice and the Army, it found, had distorted the record to make it appear that there was a legitimate security concern.113 A few years later, Congress granted reparations of twenty thousand dollars to each Japanese-American who had been interned.
Noah Feldman (Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices)
The answer was Stellar Wind. The NSA would eavesdrop freely against Americans and aliens in the United States without probable cause or search warrants. It would mine and assay the electronic records of millions of telephone conversations—both callers and receivers—and the subject lines of e-mails, including names and Internet addresses. Then it would send the refined intelligence to the Bureau for action. Stellar Wind resurrected Cold War tactics with twenty-first-century technology. It let the FBI work with the NSA outside of the limits of the law. As Cheney knew from his days at the White House in the wake of Watergate, the NSA and the FBI had worked that way up until 1972, when the Supreme Court unanimously outlawed warrantless wiretaps. Stellar Wind blew past the Supreme Court on the authority of a dubious opinion sent to the White House the week that the Patriot Act became law. It came from John Yoo, a thirty-four-year-old lawyer in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel who had clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas. Yoo wrote that the Constitution’s protections against warrantless searches and seizures did not apply to military operations in the United States. The NSA was a military agency; Congress had authorized Bush to use military force; therefore he had the power to use the NSA against anyone anywhere in America. The president was “free from the constraints of the Fourth Amendment,” Yoo wrote. So the FBI would be free as well.
Tim Weiner (Enemies: A History of the FBI)
[Ruth Bader] Ginsburg, the former women's rights advocate, made sure the nation knew she was there, even if alone. When President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time in February 2009, Ginsburg was recovering from pancreatic cancer and chemotherapy treatments, but she dragged herself to the evening event and sat with her brethren. She said she wanted to make sure that people watching the nationally televised address saw that the Supreme Court had at least one woman.
Joan Biskupic (Breaking in: The Rise of Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Justice)
Crime began rising precipitously in the 1960s after the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, started tilting the scales in favor of the criminals. Some 63 percent of respondents to a Gallup poll taken in 1968 judged the Warren Court, in place from 1953 to 1969, too lenient on crime; but Warren’s jurisprudence was supported wholeheartedly by the Michelle Alexanders of that era, as well as by liberal politicians who wanted to shift blame for criminal behavior away from the criminals.
Jason L. Riley (Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder for Blacks to Succeed)
Let's throw his ass out the airlock," suggested the Speaker of the House. "We can't do that," said the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was a feeble old Mechanist who was subject to nosebleeds. "He is still Secretary of State and can't be sentenced without impeachment by the Senate." The three Senators, two men and a woman, looked interested. The Senate didn't see much action in the government of the tiny Democracy. They were the least trusted members of the crew and were outnumbered by the House.
Bruce Sterling (Schismatrix Plus)
To Douglas, the case turned on the purpose of the First Amendment. The judge had told the jury that in Chicago, it was unlawful to invite dispute. It followed that the conviction should be overturned. After all, he wrote, “a function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging.”49
Noah Feldman (Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices)
It is not that the historian can avoid emphasis of some facts and not of others. This is as natural to him as to the mapmaker, who, in order to produce a usable drawing for practical purposes, must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth, then choose out of the bewildering mass of geographic information those things needed for the purpose of this or that particular map. My argument cannot be against selection, simplification, emphasis, which are inevitable for both cartographers and historians. But the map-maker's distortion is a technical necessity for a common purpose shared by all people who need maps. The historian's distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual. Furthermore, this ideological interest is not openly expressed in the way a mapmaker's technical interest is obvious ("This is a Mercator projection for long-range navigation-for short-range, you'd better use a different projection"). No, it is presented as if all readers of history had a common interest which historians serve to the best of their ability. This is not intentional deception; the historian has been trained in a society in which education and knowledge are put forward as technical problems of excellence and not as tools for contending social classes, races, nations. To emphasize the heroism of Columbus and his successors as navigators and discoverers, and to de-emphasize their genocide, is not a technical necessity but an ideological choice. It serves- unwittingly-to justify what was done. My point is not that we must, in telling history, accuse, judge, condemn Columbus in absentia. It is too late for that; it would be a useless scholarly exercise in morality. But the easy acceptance of atrocities as a deplorable but necessary price to pay for progress (Hiroshima and Vietnam, to save Western civilization; Kronstadt and Hungary, to save socialism; nuclear proliferation, to save us all)-that is still with us. One reason these atrocities are still with us is that we have learned to bury them in a mass of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers in the earth. We have learned to give them exactly the same proportion of attention that teachers and writers often give them in the most respectable of classrooms and textbooks. This learned sense of moral proportion, coming from the apparent objectivity of the scholar, is accepted more easily than when it comes from politicians at press conferences. It is therefore more deadly. The treatment of heroes (Columbus) and their victims (the Arawaks)-the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder in the name of progress-is only one aspect of a certain approach to history, in which the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. It is as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they-the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court-represent the nation as a whole. The pretense is that there really is such a thing as "the United States," subject to occasional conflicts and quarrels, but fundamentally a community of people with common interests. It is as if there really is a "national interest" represented in the Constitution, in territorial expansion, in the laws passed by Congress, the decisions of the courts, the development of capitalism, the culture of education and the mass media.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
With only a few exceptions, the Supreme Court has seized every opportunity to facilitate the drug war, primarily by eviscerating Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the police. The rollback has been so pronounced that some commentators charge that a virtual 'drug exception' now exists to the Bill of Rights. Shortly before his death, Justice Thurgood Marshall felt compelled to remind his colleagues that there is, in fact, 'no drug exception' written into the text of the Constitution.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The Court usually begins to issue opinions in November and proceeds to hand down opinions throughout the term. But naturally, the least controversial cases, those that produce unanimous or near-unanimous decisions, get decided first. Complicated cases or those that, for one reason or another, produce numerous concurring and dissenting opinions take longer, perhaps much longer, and only the pressure of an impending July 4 weekend may spur the justices to make the last-minute compromises necessary to bring a decision out by the end of June.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The Supreme Court justices gave the aura of being “strict constitutionalists” whose job was not to interpret or create but merely to distinguish between the rights the federal government enforced and those controlled by the states.99 But the supposedly legally neutral interpretations had profound effects. And the court, just like Johnson, demonstrated an uncanny ability to ignore inconsistencies and to twist rules, beliefs, and values to undermine the solid progress in black people’s rights that the Radical Republicans had finally managed to put in place. The court declared that the Reconstruction amendments had illegally placed the full scope of civil rights, which had once been the domain of states, under federal authority. That usurpation of power was unconstitutional because it put state governments under Washington’s control, disrupted the distribution of power in the federal system, and radically altered the framework of American government.100 The justices consistently held to this supposedly strict reading of the Constitution when it came to African Americans’ rights.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
denial of review neither sets a precedent nor indicates that the Court agrees with the lower court’s judgment, points that are often misunderstood. There are many reasons that a petition might end up as “cert denied.” These include not only the occasional defensive denial but, more often, the absence of a real conflict or even a real legal issue (many petitions attempt to reargue the facts of a case) or the justices’ conclusion that a case with an interesting issue is nonetheless a “poor vehicle” due to any of a number of procedural problems.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
In one respect, though, the Court received unfair criticism for Bush v. Gore—from those who said the justices in the majority "stole the election" for Bush. Rather, what the Court did was remove any uncertainty about the outcome. It is possible that if the Court had ruled fairly—or better yet, not taken the case at all—Gore would have won the election. A recount might have led to a Gore victory in Florida. It is also entirely possible that, had the Court acted properly and left the resolution of the election to the Florida courts, Bush would have won anyway. The recount of the 60,000 undervotes might have resulted in Bush's preserving his lead. The Florida legislature, which was controlled by Republicans, might have stepped in and awarded the state's electoral votes to Bush. And if the dispute had wound up in the House of Representatives, which has the constitutional duty to resolve controversies involving the Electoral College, Bush might have won there, too. The tragedy of the Court's performance in the election of 2000 was not that it led to Bush's victory but the inept and unsavory manner with which the justices exercised their power.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
Senators Flake and Murkowski. These senators also cared deeply about the protocols of the Senate and suspected that the Democrats were simply using Ford as a weapon against Kavanaugh. They were dismayed by the revelation that Feinstein was responsible for Ford’s being represented by the political animal Debra Katz. In fact, the performance of Ford’s attorneys during the morning’s questioning was, for these senators, the most interesting part of the morning’s hearings. Katz and Bromwich had interrupted when Ford was asked about her legal representation and tried to keep her
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
This system required the justices to “ride circuit,” an onerous duty under primitive conditions of interstate transportation, and one that early justices keenly resented. Hannah Cushing, the wife of Justice William Cushing, referred to herself and her husband as “traveling machines.” Despite the justices’ frequent complaints, however, this system lasted, in somewhat modified form, for more than a century, until Congress established fully staffed circuit courts (known today as United States Courts of Appeals, of which there are currently thirteen) in the Evarts Act of 1891.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The political reaction against Roe v. Wade built slowly. The first justice to join the Court after the January 1973 decision was John Paul Stevens, named by President Gerald Ford in December 1975. Yet remarkably enough, the nominee was not asked a single question about abortion during his confirmation hearing. If the senators’ questions during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing provide a reliable window onto the country’s law-related concerns, then it is reasonable to conclude that abortion had not yet become a national political issue nearly three years after the Court’s decision.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
Some fourteen thousand people retweeted Gu’s absurd and baseless accusation.30 Bash’s husband, a U.S. attorney, took to Twitter himself to defend his wife’s honor and point out how ludicrous the charge was, adding that his wife is half-Mexican and half-Jewish and her grandparents were Holocaust survivors.31 Nonetheless, many major news outlets, including Time and the Washington Post, reported on the conspiracy theory, fanning the flames on social media.32 If the first day of the Kavanaugh hearings was a circus, the “white power” Twitter follies proved to be the most appalling sideshow.
Mollie Hemingway (Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court)
no arguments are held after the end of April, so the justices spend May and June working on opinions in any cases from the term’s seven argument sittings that remain undecided. (To keep this system running, new cases that are granted after January are not scheduled for argument until the following fall, after the next term begins.) Unlike many other courts that fall behind by carrying cases over from one term to the next, the Supreme Court remains rigorously current. Any cases the justices don’t decide by the end of the term must be set for a complete new argument in the following term.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The dilemma facing Bush and the Republicans was clear. If Marshall left, they could not leave the Supreme Court an all-white institution; at the same time, they had to choose a nominee who would stay true to the conservative cause. The list of plausible candidates who fit both qualifications pretty much began and ended with Clarence Thomas. … There was awkwardness about the selection from the start. "The fact that he is black and a minority has nothing to do with this," Bush said. "He is the best qualified at this time." The statement was self-evidently preposterous; Thomas had served as a judge for only a year and, before that, displayed few of the customary signs of professional distinction that are the rule for future justices. For example, he had never argued a single case in any federal appeals court, much less in the Supreme Court; he had never written a book, an article, or even a legal brief of any consequence. Worse, Bush's endorsement raised themes that would haunt not only Thomas's confirmation hearings but also his tenure as a justice. Like the contemporary Republican Party as a whole, Bush and Thomas opposed preferential treatment on account of race—and Bush had chosen Thomas in large part because of his race. The contradiction rankled.
Jeffrey Toobin (The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court)
For a recent citation of John Marshall’s famous line about the Court’s “province and duty” to “say what the law is,” see the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, invalidating an act of Congress that stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear cases brought by detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy said that “[t]o hold the political branches have the power to switch the Constitution on or off at will… would permit a striking anomaly in our tripartite system of government, leading to a regime in which Congress and the President, not this Court, say ‘what the law is’” [citing Marbury].
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
All cert petitions are presumed to be denied unless the justices take further action. The first step is to move a petition from what is known informally as the “dead list” and to place it on the “discuss list” for consideration at the justices’ weekly conference. The chief justice is in charge of the discuss list and runs the conference, at which the justices speak and eventually vote in order of seniority. (The same procedure applies to the discussion and vote on cases that were argued during the week.) The conference usually takes place on Friday (Thursday in May and June), with the “orders”—the list of cases granted and denied—being issued the following Monday.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
This issue was joined in a dispute over protection for the free exercise of religion that first divided the justices and then became the source of conflict between the Court and Congress. In a 1990 decision, the Court had withheld protection from individuals who claimed that their religious beliefs required an exemption from a generally applicable law. In that case, Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, the Court ruled that American Indians who used the hallucinogenic drug peyote in religious rituals were not constitutionally entitled to unemployment benefits when they were fired for violating their employer’s rule against drug use.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
There is inherent drama to a major Supreme Court case in which the powerful institutional actors include the Court itself. Some will emerge as winners and some as losers. But it is important to recognize that outside the courtroom, in less dramatic ways, the Court continually interacts with the other branches. The Court submits its annual budget request to Congress, and the justices take turns going before the relevant congressional subcommittees to testify about the Court’s fiscal needs. Congress determines the salaries of the justices and all federal judges. When John Roberts became chief justice, he made it a priority to persuade the president and Congress of the need for a long-deferred pay raise for federal judges, a plea that fell on deaf ears.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
issue a statement attacking the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. I announced that I would only nominate justices to the Supreme Court who publicly acknowledged their intention to overturn that terrible decision. I was glad to see Hillary Clinton make a similar statement a short time later. I also stated, “It is a national disgrace that billionaires and other extremely wealthy people are able to heavily influence the political process by making huge contributions. The Koch brothers alone will spend more than the Democratic and Republican parties to influence the outcome of next year’s elections. That’s not democracy, that’s oligarchy.” During this period, under the radar, our grassroots efforts were growing rapidly. Two examples come to mind:
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
Sifting through thousands of petitions a year in order to select the dozens that will be granted is a daunting task for a nine-member court. In the mid-1970s, with the number of petitions growing rapidly, the justices found a way to lighten the load by organizing their energetic young law clerks into a “cert pool.” Under this arrangement, each petition is reviewed by a single law clerk on behalf all the justices who subscribe to the pool. This clerk writes a memo that summarizes the lower court decision and the arguments for and against review, concluding with a recommendation. The recommendation is only that. Most justices in the pool (all but one or two in recent years) assign one of their own four law clerks to review the pool recommendations from the individual justice’s own perspective.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The supreme magistrate was not distinguished from the rest by superior habitation or revenue. On the other hand, the duties awarded to him were marvellously light and easy, requiring no preponderant degree of energy or intelligence. There being no apprehensions of war, there were no armies to maintain; there being no government of force, there was no police to appoint and direct. What we call crime was utterly unknown to the Vril-ya; and there were no courts of criminal justice. The rare instances of civil disputes were referred for arbitration to friends chosen by either party, or decided by the Council of Sages, which will be described later. There were no professional lawyers; and indeed their laws were but amicable conventions, for there was no power to enforce laws against an offender who carried in his staff the power to destroy his judges.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (The Coming Race)
Hitler and Mussolini were indeed authoritarians, but it doesn’t follow that authoritarianism equals fascism or Nazism. Lenin and Stalin were authoritarian, but neither was a fascist. Many dictators—Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile, Perón in Argentina, Amin in Uganda—were authoritarian without being fascists or Nazis. Trump admittedly has a bossy style that he gets from, well, being a boss. He has been a corporate boss all his life, and he also played a boss on TV. Republicans elected Trump because they needed a tough guy to take on Hillary; previously they tried bland, harmless candidates like Romney, and look where that got them. That being said, Trump has done nothing to subvert the democratic process. While progressives continue to allege a plot between Trump and the Russians to rig the election, the only evidence for actual rigging comes from the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to rig the 2016 primary in favor of Hillary over Bernie. This rigging evoked virtually no dissent from Democratic officials or from the media, suggesting the support, or at least acquiescence, of the whole progressive movement and most of the party itself. Trump fired his FBI director, provoking dark ruminations in the Washington Post about Trump’s “respect for the rule of law,” yet Trump’s action was entirely lawful.18 He has criticized judges, sometimes in derisive terms, but contrary to Timothy Snyder there is nothing undemocratic about this. Lincoln blasted Justice Taney over the Dred Scott decision, and FDR was virtually apoplectic when the Supreme Court blocked his New Deal initiatives. Criticizing the media isn’t undemocratic either. The First Amendment isn’t just a press prerogative; the president too has the right to free speech.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
In fact, only six days later, with Chief Justice Marshall not participating, the Court avoided a possible constitutional confrontation. Voting 5–0 in Stuart v. Laird (1803), the justices upheld Congress’s repeal of the Judiciary Act of 1801, a move some historians see as reflecting the Court’s unwillingness to test the full dimensions of the power it had just claimed for itself. More than half a century would pass before the Supreme Court again declared an act of Congress unconstitutional. That was the Dred Scott decision of 1857 (Scott v. Sandford), invalidating the Missouri Compromise and holding that Congress lacked authority to abolish slavery in the territories. That notorious decision, a step on the road to the Civil War, was perhaps not the best advertisement for judicial review. But since then, the Court has lost its early reticence. It has declared acts of Congress unconstitutional more than 150 times.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
The Constitutional Convention quickly agreed to the proposal of Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia for a national government of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Randolph’s resolution “that a national Judiciary be established” passed unanimously. Debating and defining the powers of Congress in Article I and of the president in Article II consumed much of the delegates’ attention and energy. Central provisions of Article III were the product of compromise and, in its fewer than five hundred words, the article left important questions unresolved. Lacking agreement on a role for lower courts, for example, the delegates simply left it to Congress to decide how to structure them. The number of justices remained unspecified. Article III itself makes no reference to the office of chief justice, to whom the Constitution (in Article I) assigns only one specific duty, that of presiding over a Senate trial in a presidential impeachment.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
As I hope this list of “integration concerns” illustrates, not every identity threat comes from prejudiced people. Think about O’Connor on the Supreme Court before Ginsburg. Many of the contingencies she dealt with had little to do with prejudice among her fellow justices or her staff. Some of them may have been prejudiced, but her problems went beyond that: a Court that was dominated by male sensibilities and referents and that was less sensitive, in its functioning, to the perspectives of women; no critical mass of women with which to give her a sense of belonging on the Court; negative stereotypes about women in the larger society and in the legal world that were available for use in judging her work; the fact that her being the only woman on the Court made her the sole representative of her sex in each Court decision; and so on. O’Connor would have had to deal with these things even if there hadn’t been an iota of sexism in any of the people she worked with.
Claude M. Steele (Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us)
The Supreme Court justices gave the aura of being “strict constitutionalists” whose job was not to interpret or create but merely to distinguish between the rights the federal government enforced and those controlled by the states.99 But the supposedly legally neutral interpretations had profound effects. And the court, just like Johnson, demonstrated an uncanny ability to ignore inconsistencies and to twist rules, beliefs, and values to undermine the solid progress in black people’s rights that the Radical Republicans had finally managed to put in place. The court declared that the Reconstruction amendments had illegally placed the full scope of civil rights, which had once been the domain of states, under federal authority. That usurpation of power was unconstitutional because it put state governments under Washington’s control, disrupted the distribution of power in the federal system, and radically altered the framework of American government.100 The justices consistently held to this supposedly strict reading of the Constitution when it came to African Americans’ rights. Yet, this same court threw tradition and strict reading out the window in the Santa Clara decision. California had changed its taxation laws to no longer allow corporations to deduct debt from the amount owed to the state or municipalities. The change applied only to businesses; people, under the new law, were not affected. The Southern Pacific Railroad refused to pay its new tax bill, arguing that its rights under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment had been violated. In hearing the case, the court became innovative and creative as it transformed corporations into “people” who could not have their Fourteenth Amendment rights trampled on by local communities.101 So, while businesses were shielded, black Americans were most emphatically not. The ruling that began this long, disastrous legal retreat from a rights-based society was the 1873 Slaughterhouse Cases.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
I am against the planned political assassinations by our intelligence and defense agents.The CIA-FBI-DIA and DISC (Defense Industry Security Command) were set up originally to protect citizens of the USA. They became their own judges and juries, private servants of corporations with investments at home and abroad. I am against the constant destruction of evidence in criminal matters and political assassinations. Prime witnesses are murdered before or after testifying. Diaries are forged and planted in obvious places. Doubles are created to confuse. The Police Departments manipulate facts in cooperation with conspirators. I am outraged that our judicial system since 1947 has been patterned after Nazi Germany. Patsies are dead or locked away. The assassins walk the streets or leave the country - "home free". I am against using the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to cover up the assassination of President Kennedy. When the highest court is corrupt, there is no hope at local levels.
Mae Brussell
Notice how wickedly and cunningly the serpent tempted Eve: “God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.” The basic sin, the original sin, is precisely this self-deification, this apotheosizing of the will. Lest you think all of this is just abstract theological musing, remember the 1992 Supreme Court decision in the matter of Casey v. Planned Parenthood. Writing for the majority in that case, Justice Kennedy opined that “at the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, of the mystery of human life.” Frankly, I can’t imagine a more perfect description of what it means to grasp at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If Justice Kennedy is right, individual freedom completely trumps objective value and becomes the indisputable criterion of right and wrong. And if the book of Genesis is right, such a move is the elemental dysfunction, the primordial mistake, the original calamity. Of
Robert Barron (Vibrant Paradoxes: The Both/And of Catholicism)
a 1960 self-published broadside, A Business Man Looks at Communism, Koch claimed that “the Communists have infiltrated both the Democrat [sic] and Republican Parties.” Protestant churches, public schools, universities, labor unions, the armed services, the State Department, the World Bank, the United Nations, and modern art, in his view, were all Communist tools. He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy and disparagingly of the American civil rights movement. The Birchers agitated to impeach Chief Justice Earl Warren after the Supreme Court voted to desegregate the public schools in the case Brown v. Board of Education, which had originated in Topeka, in the Kochs’ home state of Kansas. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” Fred Koch claimed in his pamphlet. Welfare in his view was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where he predicted that they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech, Koch claimed that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
I see many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favorable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while de-emphasizing the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and wrong. The hypocrisy is evident if you simply switch the names and imagine that a President Hillary Clinton had conducted herself in a similar fashion in office. I've said this earlier but it's worth repeating: close your eyes and imagine these same voices if President Hillary Clinton had told the FBI director, 'I hope you will let it go,' about the investigation of a senior aide, or told casual, easily disprovable lies nearly every day and then demanded we believe them. The hypocrisy is so thick as to be almost darkly funny. I say this as someone who has worked in law enforcement for most of my life, and served presidents of both parties. What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay. Whatever your politics, it is wrong to dismiss the damage to the norms and traditions that have guided the presidency and our public life for decades or, in many cases, since the republic was founded. It is also wrong to stand idly by, or worse, to stay silent when you know better, while a president so brazenly seeks to undermine public confidence in law enforcement institutions that were established to keep our leaders in check...without these checks on our leaders, without those institutions vigorously standing against abuses of power, our country cannot sustain itself as a functioning democracy. I know there are men and women of good conscience in the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle who understand this. But not enough of them are speaking out. They must ask themselves to what, or to whom, they hold a higher loyalty: to partisan interests or to the pillars of democracy? Their silence is complicity - it is a choice - and somewhere deep down they must know that. Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington - to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or different immigration policy.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why if all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 235 million — are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excused the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered by private central bank. I exclude all of the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislators’ responsibility to determine how he votes. Don’t you see the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes. Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses — provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.
Charley Reese
What to Do If Stopped While Driving        •   Pull over safely to the side of the road if you see a police flashing lights behind you        •   If the officer asks where you’re coming from, politely ask why you were stopped—remember, the Supreme Court has ruled that the officer must have a reasonable suspicion based on “specific and articulable facts” that a person who’s been stopped is armed or has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime        •   Answer the officer’s questions as succinctly as possible, without embellishment        •   Always have your identification handy; if the officer asks for your license and registration, get his permission to reach for them—you don’t want him thinking you may be reaching for a weapon        •   If they ask for permission to search your car, politely refuse        •   If the officer tells you to get out of the car, do as he says—and if he puts you up against the car, stay there        •   If police insist on searching the vehicle, remain silent while they are doing so        •   Most importantly, even though you will almost certainly be outraged, don’t give the police any attitude or reason to claim you were hostile or belligerent, because that’s the quickest way to escalate the encounter
Robbin Shipp (Justice While Black: Helping African-American Families Navigate and Survive the Criminal Justice System)
Progressives today are quick to fault “America” for slavery and a host of other outrages. America did this, America did that. As we will see in this book, America didn’t do those things, the Democrats did. So the Democrats have cleverly foisted their sins on America, and then presented themselves as the messiahs offering redemption for those sins. It’s crazy, but it’s also ingenious. We have to give them credit for ingenuity. The second whitewash is to portray the Civil War entirely in terms of the North versus the South. The North is supposedly the anti-slavery side and the South is the pro-slavery side. A recent example is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article about the Confederate battle flag in The Atlantic.3 Now of course there is an element of truth in this, in that the Civil War was fought between northern states and southern states. But this neat and convenient division ignores several important details. First, the defenders of the Confederate cause were, almost without exception, Democrats. Coates cites many malefactors from Senator Jefferson Davis to Senator James Henry Hammond to Georgia Governor Joseph Brown. Yet while identifying these men as southerners and Confederates, Coates omits to identify them as Democrats. Second, Coates and other progressives conveniently ignore the fact that northern Democrats were also protectors of slavery. We will see in this chapter how Stephen Douglas and other northern Democrats fought to protect slavery in the South and in the new territories. Moreover, the southerners who fought for the Confederacy cannot be said to have fought merely to protect slavery on their plantations. Indeed, fewer than one-third of white families in the South on the eve of the Civil War had slaves. Thus the rigid North-South interpretation of the Civil War conceals—and is intended to conceal—the active complicity of Democrats across the country to save, protect, and even extend the “peculiar institution.” As the Charleston Mercury editorialized during the secession debate, the duty of the South was to “rally under the banner of the Democratic Party which has recognized and supported . . . the rights of the South.”4 The real divide was between the Democratic Party as the upholder of slavery and the Republican Party as the adversary of slavery. All the figures who upheld and defended American slavery—Senators John C. Calhoun and Stephen Douglas, President James Buchanan, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, architect of the Dred Scott decision, and the main leaders of the Confederacy—were Democrats. All the heroes of black emancipation—from the black abolitionists Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, to the woman who organized the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman, to the leader whose actions finally destroyed American slavery, Abraham Lincoln—were Republicans. It is of the utmost importance to progressive propagandists to conceal or at least ignore this essential historical truth.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
When the battle resumed in 1995, the Court’s target was an obscure federal statute that barred possession of guns near school buildings. Since every state had a similar law, the fate of the federal law, the Gun-Free School Zones Act, was of little moment. Nonetheless, the decision invalidating the statute, United States v. Lopez, ushered in the Rehnquist Court’s federalism revolution. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Rehnquist said that to uphold the statute would be to blur the “distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local.” This analysis implied an end to the long period during which the Court permitted Congress to decide for itself whether the distinction between national and local mattered for any particular piece of legislation. The vote was 5 to 4, with the dissenters quick to point out the implications. Justice Souter warned that “it seems fair to ask whether the step taken by the Court today does anything but portend a return to the untenable jurisprudence from which the Court extricated itself almost sixty years ago.” There followed, in quick succession, a series of closely divided decisions that constricted congressional authority not only under the Commerce Clause but also under the Fourteenth Amendment. Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment gives Congress “the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article”—namely, the guarantees of due process and equal protection provided by the amendment’s Section 1.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court:A Very Short Introduction)
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
True law necessarily is rooted in ethical assumptions or norms; and those ethical principles are derived, in the beginning at least, from religious convictions. When the religious understanding, from which a concept of law arose in a culture, has been discarded or denied, the laws may endure for some time, through what sociologists call "cultural lag"; but in the long run, the laws also will be discarded or denied. With this hard truth in mind, I venture to suggest that the corpus of English and American laws--for the two arise for the most part from a common root of belief and experience--cannot endure forever unless it is animated by the spirit that moved it in the beginning: that is, by religion, and specifically by the Christian people. Certain moral postulates of Christian teaching have been taken for granted, in the past, as the ground of justice. When courts of law ignore those postulates, we grope in judicial darkness. . . . We suffer from a strong movement to exclude such religious beliefs from the operation of courts of law, and to discriminate against those unenlightened who cling fondly to the superstitions of the childhood of the race. Many moral beliefs, however, though sustained by religious convictions, may not be readily susceptible of "scientific" demonstration. After all, our abhorrence of murder, rape, and other crimes may be traced back to the Decalogue and other religious injunctions. If it can be shown that our opposition to such offenses is rooted in religion, then are restraints upon murder and rape unconstitutional? We arrive at such absurdities if we attempt to erect a wall of separation between the operation of the laws and those Christian moral convictions that move most Americans. If we are to try to sustain some connection between Christian teaching and the laws of this land of ours, we must understand the character of that link. We must claim neither too much nor too little for the influence of Christian belief upon our structure of law. . . . I am suggesting that Christian faith and reason have been underestimated in an age bestridden, successively, by the vulgarized notions of the rationalists, the Darwinians, and the Freudians. Yet I am not contending that the laws ever have been the Christian word made flesh nor that they can ever be. . . . What Christianity (or any other religion) confers is not a code of positive laws, but instead some general understanding of justice, the human condition being what it is. . . . In short, judges cannot well be metaphysicians--not in the execution of their duties upon the bench, at any rate, even though the majority upon the Supreme Court of this land, and judges in inferior courts, seem often to have mistaken themselves for original moral philosophers during the past quarter century. The law that judges mete out is the product of statute, convention, and precedent. Yet behind statute, convention, and precedent may be discerned, if mistily, the forms of Christian doctrines, by which statute and convention and precedent are much influenced--or once were so influenced. And the more judges ignore Christian assumptions about human nature and justice, the more they are thrown back upon their private resources as abstract metaphysicians--and the more the laws of the land fall into confusion and inconsistency. Prophets and theologians and ministers and priests are not legislators, ordinarily; yet their pronouncements may be incorporated, if sometimes almost unrecognizably, in statute and convention and precedent. The Christian doctrine of natural law cannot be made to do duty for "the law of the land"; were this tried, positive justice would be delayed to the end of time. Nevertheless, if the Christian doctrine of natural law is cast aside utterly by magistrates, flouted and mocked, then positive law becomes patternless and arbitrary.
Russell Kirk (Rights And Duties: Reflections On Our Conservative Constitution)
The liberal ideals of the Enlightenment could be realized only in very partial and limited ways in the emerging capitalist order: "Democracy with its mono of equality of all citizens before the law and Liberalism with its right of man over his own person both were wrecked on the realities of capitalist economy," Rocker correctly observed. Those who are compelled to rent themselves to owners of capital in order to survive are deprived of one of the most fundamental rights: the right to productive, creative and fulfilling work under one's own control, in solidarity with others. And under the ideological constraints of capitalist democracy, the prime necessity is to satisfy the needs of those in a position to make investment decisions; if their demands are not satisfied, there will be no production, no work, no social services, no means for survival. All necessarily subordinate themselves and their interests to the overriding need to serve the interests of the owners and managers of the society, who, furthermore, with their control over resources, are easily able to shape the ideological system (the media, schools, universities and so on) in their interests, to determine the basic conditions within which the political process will function, its parameters and basic agenda, and to call upon the resources of state violence, when need be, to suppress any challenge to entrenched power. The point was formulated succinctly in the early days of the liberal democratic revolutions by John Jay, the President of the Continental Congress and the first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court: "The people who own the country ought to govern it." And, of course, they do, whatever political faction may be in power. Matters could hardly be otherwise when economic power is narrowly concentrated and the basic decisions over the nature and character of life, the investment decisions, are in principle removed from democratic control.
Noam Chomsky (Chomsky On Anarchism)
sure what happened after the accident was client-protected,” he told Mazzone. By their silence, “Markham and Gargan were taking the big fall to protect Ted Kennedy.” Paul Redmond doubted the lawyer-client issue would even arise at the inquest. “People were walking around Boston whaling the bee-jesus out of Paul Markham and Joe Gargan for not reporting the accident—that was so unfair. Here were two guys, good lawyers and fine men, made to look like stooges or worse by the press.” Gargan had told him he could not have reported an accident in which a driver faced a possible manslaughter charge, Redmond said. “It’s no secret Joe was a dear friend. When I left the U.S. Attorney’s office, Paul Markham took my spot.” A week before the inquest, Redmond bumped into Gargan in the elevator of the building in which both had law offices. The Boiler Room girls were “upstairs,” Redmond said. “They haven’t seen you in a long time. I think they’d like to say hello.” Gargan went straight to Redmond’s office for “a nice reunion, a pleasant chat. Very friendly.” There was no discussion about the inquest. Gargan did not want to become involved in the preparation of anybody else’s testimony. As one of two persons at the party who wasn’t “a bit bombed,” Gargan’s memory of the occasion was “clear as a bell.” So it was Gargan’s description of the party that, along with the Senator’s two public versions of the accident, would provide the scenario for inquest testimony. If Gargan testified to the Senator’s attempt to cover up his involvement in the accident as the reason he had failed to report it until the next day, he could blow the entire lid off the case. But that prospect became moot when a writ of certiorari was filed on Tuesday, September 2, asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to determine whether “errors of law” had been made in Judge Boyle’s ruling on the conduct of the scheduled inquest in re: Mary Jo Kopechne. Justice Paul Reardon scheduled a hearing for three o’clock. Notified an appeal had been filed,
Leo Damore (Chappaquiddick: Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up)
questioning the lawfulness of a long-standing State Department policy specifying that the birthplace of an American citizen born in Jerusalem be given as “Jerusalem” rather than “Israel or Jordan” in his passport.43 The courts were asked to review this policy in light of a congressional statute requiring the State Department to describe the birthplace as “Israel” if the citizen so wished. Did the statute unconstitutionally interfere with the President’s power to conduct foreign affairs?44 The lower courts had decided that the case presented an unreviewable political question.45 But the Supreme Court held to the contrary. All the justices but one (and I was the one) considered the matter of deciding what the statute meant and whether it was constitutional to be “a familiar judicial exercise.”46 My colleagues believed the courts should not avoid the question by invoking the “political question” doctrine.47 They consequently sent the case back to the lower court for a decision on the merits.48 Though alone, I saw the case differently. “In the Middle East,” I wrote, “administrative matters can have implications that extend far beyond the purely administrative.”49 The secretary of state had argued that requiring her to stamp the word Israel on a passport would represent an “official decision by the United States to begin to treat Jerusalem as a city” under Israeli sovereignty.50 She maintained that upholding the statute would have significant foreign policy implications (a conclusion that others denied). Because of our inability to know the answer to this kind of dispute, I concluded that the merits of the case raised a political question, which the other two branches should resolve between themselves.51 What matters for our purposes, however, is that the other members of the Court disagreed with me. They thought that, even there, the doctrine did not prevent the Court from reviewing the merits of this foreign policy-related question. The upshot is that neither the classical view of Cicero nor the “political question” doctrine prevents today’s Court from reaching, and deciding the merits of, many questions in which security and civil liberties collide. But there are other doctrines, embodied in other cases, that have had much the same effect.
Stephen G. Breyer (The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities)
Jonathan Trumbull, as Governor of Connecticut, in official proclamation: 'The examples of holy men teach us that we should seek Him with fasting and prayer, with penitent confession of our sins, and hope in His mercy through Jesus Christ the Great Redeemer.” Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, March 9, 1774' Samuel Chase, while Chief Justice of Maryland,1799 (Runkel v Winemiller) wrote: 'By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion...' The Pennsylvania Supreme court held (Updegraph v The Commonwealth), 1824: 'Christianity, general Christianity, is and always has been a part of the common law...not Christianity founded on any particular religious tenets; not Christianity with an established church, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men...' In Massachusetts, the Constitution reads: 'Any every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law.' Samuel Adams, as Governor of Massachusetts in a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting and Prayer, 1793: 'we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.' Judge Nathaniel Freeman, 1802. Instructed Massachusetts Grand Juries as follows: "The laws of the Christian system, as embraced by the Bible, must be respected as of high authority in all our courts... . [Our government] originating in the voluntary compact of a people who in that very instrument profess the Christian religion, it may be considered, not as republic Rome was, a Pagan, but a Christian republic." Josiah Bartlett, Governor of New Hampshire, in an official proclamation, urged: 'to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . [t]hat the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord.' Chief Justice James Kent of New York, held in 1811 (People v Ruggles): '...whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government... We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity... Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land...
Samuel Adams
Yet in 2012, he returned. Plenty of the speechwriters were livid. The club was the embodiment of everything we had promised to change. Was it really necessary to flatter these people, just because they were powerful and rich? In a word, yes. In fact, thanks to the Supreme Court, the rich were more powerful than ever. In 2010, the court’s five conservative justices gutted America’s campaign finance laws in the decision known as Citizens United. With no more limits to the number of attack ads they could purchase, campaigns had become another hobby for the ultrawealthy. Tired of breeding racehorses or bidding on rare wines at auction? Buy a candidate instead! I should make it clear that no one explicitly laid out a strategy regarding the dinner. I never asked point-blank if we hoped to charm billionaires into spending their billions on something other than Mitt Romney’s campaign. That said, I knew it couldn’t hurt. Hoping to mollify the one-percenters in the audience, I kept the script embarrassingly tame. I’ve got about forty-five more minutes on the State of the Union that I’d like to deliver tonight. I am eager to work with members of Congress to be entertaining tonight. But if Congress is unwilling to cooperate, I will be funny without them. Even for a politician, this was weak. But it apparently struck the right tone. POTUS barely edited the speech. A few days later, as a reward for a job well done, Favs invited me to tag along to a speechwriting-team meeting with the president. I had not set foot in the Oval Office since my performance of the Golden Girls theme song. On that occasion, President Obama remained behind his desk. For larger gatherings like this one, however, he crossed the room to a brown leather armchair, and the rest of us filled the two beige sofas on either side. Between the sofas was a coffee table. On the coffee table sat a bowl, which under George W. Bush had contained candy but under Obama was full of apples instead. Hence the ultimate Oval Office power move: grab an apple at the end of a meeting, polish it on your suit, and take a casual chomp on your way out the door. I would have sooner stuck my finger in an electrical socket. Desperate not to call attention to myself, I took the seat farthest away and kept my eyes glued to my laptop. I allowed myself just one indulgence: a quick peek at the Emancipation Proclamation. That’s right, buddy. Look who’s still here. It was only at the very end of the meeting, as we rose from the surprisingly comfy couches, that Favs brought up the Alfalfa dinner. The right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham had been in the audience, and she was struck by the president’s poise. “She was talking about it this morning,” Favs told POTUS. “She said, ‘I don’t know if Mitt Romney can beat him.
David Litt (Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years)
Benjamin Franklin wrote little about race, but had a sense of racial loyalty. “[T]he Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably [sic] very small,” he observed. “ . . . I could wish their Numbers were increased.” James Madison, like Jefferson, believed the only solution to the problem of racial friction was to free the slaves and send them away. He proposed that the federal government sell off public lands in order to raise the money to buy the entire slave population and transport it overseas. He favored a Constitutional amendment to establish a colonization society to be run by the President. After two terms in office, Madison served as chief executive of the American Colonization Society, to which he devoted much time and energy. At the inaugural meeting of the society in 1816, Henry Clay described its purpose: to “rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous portion of the population.” The following prominent Americans were not merely members but served as officers of the society: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Winfield Scott, and two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and Roger Taney. All opposed the presence of blacks in the United States and thought expatriation was the only long-term solution. James Monroe was such an ardent champion of colonization that the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia in gratitude for his efforts. As for Roger Taney, as chief justice he wrote in the Dred Scott decision of 1857 what may be the harshest federal government pronouncement on blacks ever written: Negroes were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they have no rights which a White man is bound to respect.” Abraham Lincoln considered blacks to be—in his words—“a troublesome presence” in the United States. During the Lincoln-Douglas debates he expressed himself unambiguously: “I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” His opponent, Stephen Douglas, was even more outspoken, and made his position clear in the very first debate: “For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any form. I believe that this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and I am in favor of confining the citizenship to white men—men of European birth and European descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes and Indians, and other inferior races.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
The Seventh Central Pay Commission was appointed in February 2014 by the Government of India (Ministry of Finance) under the Chairmanship of Justice Ashok Kumar Mathur. The Commission has been given 18 months to make its recommendations. The terms of reference of the Commission are as follows:  1. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure including pay, allowances and other facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, having regard to rationalisation and simplification therein as well as the specialised needs of various departments, agencies and services, in respect of the following categories of employees:-  (i) Central Government employees—industrial and non-industrial; (ii) Personnel belonging to the All India Services; (iii) Personnel of the Union Territories; (iv) Officers and employees of the Indian Audit and Accounts Department; (v) Members of the regulatory bodies (excluding the RBI) set up under the Acts of Parliament; and (vi) Officers and employees of the Supreme Court.   2. To examine, review, evolve and recommend changes that are desirable and feasible regarding the principles that should govern the emoluments structure, concessions and facilities/benefits, in cash or kind, as well as the retirement benefits of the personnel belonging to the Defence Forces, having regard to the historical and traditional parties, with due emphasis on the aspects unique to these personnel.   3. To work out the framework for an emoluments structure linked with the need to attract the most suitable talent to government service, promote efficiency, accountability and responsibility in the work culture, and foster excellence in the public governance system to respond to the complex challenges of modern administration and the rapid political, social, economic and technological changes, with due regard to expectations of stakeholders, and to recommend appropriate training and capacity building through a competency based framework.   4. To examine the existing schemes of payment of bonus, keeping in view, inter-alia, its bearing upon performance and productivity and make recommendations on the general principles, financial parameters and conditions for an appropriate incentive scheme to reward excellence in productivity, performance and integrity.   5. To review the variety of existing allowances presently available to employees in addition to pay and suggest their rationalisation and simplification with a view to ensuring that the pay structure is so designed as to take these into account.   6. To examine the principles which should govern the structure of pension and other retirement benefits, including revision of pension in the case of employees who have retired prior to the date of effect of these recommendations, keeping in view that retirement benefits of all Central Government employees appointed on and after 01.01.2004 are covered by the New Pension Scheme (NPS).   7. To make recommendations on the above, keeping in view:  (i) the economic conditions in the country and the need for fiscal prudence; (ii) the need to ensure that adequate resources are available for developmental expenditures and welfare measures; (iii) the likely impact of the recommendations on the finances of the state governments, which usually adopt the recommendations with some modifications; (iv) the prevailing emolument structure and retirement benefits available to employees of Central Public Sector Undertakings; and (v) the best global practices and their adaptability and relevance in Indian conditions.   8. To recommend the date of effect of its recommendations on all the above.
M. Laxmikanth (Governance in India)
Imagine a day when all plants and trees go on a strike, a bandh just for a day. All of us will die for want of oxygen.” Reading this, I was instantly reminded of Bolivia’s recent legislation (in December 2010) to grant all nature equal rights as humans. Justice William O. Douglas, writing against a 1972 decision by the United States Supreme Court, wrote, “Inanimate objects are sometimes parties in litigation ... So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life ... The voice of the inanimate object, therefore, should not be stilled.
The U.S. Supreme Court has called free will a “universal and persistent” foundation for our system of law, distinct from “a deterministic view of human conduct that is inconsistent with the underlying precepts of our criminal justice system” (United States v. Grayson, 1978).
Sam Harris (Free Will)
Upon her retirement, Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor reflected on her pioneer status. “My concern was whether I could do the job of a justice well enough to convince the nation that my appointment was the right move. If I stumbled badly in doing the job, I think it would have made life more difficult for women.
Valerie Young (The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It)
By making defense lawyers more central to criminal litigation than they already were and by dramatically enlarging the range of legal claims they could raise on their clients' behalf, Warren's Court increased the gap between rich and poor defendants-and, given the racial distribution of poverty in midcentury America, between black and white defendants as well. Because the time and quality of defense counsel mattered more than before, those defendants who could buy better quality attorneys and pay them to work more hours were more advantaged than before. Relatively speaking, their poorer counterparts grew more disadvantaged. The justice system grew less egalitarian through the Supreme Court's efforts to make it more so. The
William J. Stuntz (The Collapse of American Criminal Justice)
damned good friend. As they neared the Chain Bridge, Gutierrez’s sense of loss was heightened by the knowledge that his colleague would almost certainly be replaced by a liberal, thanks to the Devlin Harrison presidency. Conservatives would still control the Court, true, but the balance would now be only five to four. The concern
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
On that long road to success, and I emphasize the word long, you will stumble. You have the choice of remaining on the ground or you can pick yourself up, and struggle again on that path that you hope will take you to the career or the success that you have dreamed of. Don’t give up, just persevere.”   Justice Joyce Kennard Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court
Robert Cullen (The Leading Lawyer, a Guide to Practicing Law and Leadership)
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.” Arthur J. Goldberg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 1962–1965, United States Secretary of Labor, United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Section 21, Lot S-35, Grid M-20.5, Arlington National Cemetery.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
To get what you want, stop doing what isn’t working.” Earl Warren, Thirtieth Governor of the State of California, Fourteenth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Section 21, Lot S-32, Grid M-20.5, Arlington National Cemetery.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
cite the following books: The Supreme Court Explained by Ellen Greenberg, Norton Publishing, 1997; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Supreme Court by Lita Epstein, Alpha, 2004; and Images of America: Arlington National Cemetery by George W. Dodge, Arcadia Publishing, 2006.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
We are not wrong in what we are doing. If we are wrong, the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong. If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong. If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong. If we are wrong, Jesus of Nazareth was merely a utopian dreamer that never came down to Earth. If we are wrong, justice is a lie, love has no meaning. And we are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream … There is never a time in our American democracy that we must ever think we are wrong when we protest. We reserve that right. When labor all over this nation came to see that it would be trampled over by capitalistic power, [there] was nothing wrong with labor getting together and organizing and protesting for its rights. We, the disinherited of this land, we who have been oppressed so long, are tired of going through the long night of captivity. And now we are reaching out for the daybreak of freedom and justice and equality.
John Nichols (The "S" Word: A Short History of an American Tradition...Socialism)
The failure of the duly elected government to build a new Army that would be faithful to its own democratic spirit and subordinate to the cabinet and the Reichstag was a fatal mistake for the Republic, as time would tell.   The failure to clean out the judiciary was another. The administrators of the law became one of the centers of the counterrevolution, perverting justice for reactionary political ends. “It is impossible to escape the conclusion,” the historian Franz L. Neumann declared, “that political justice is the blackest page in the life of the German Republic.”4 After the Kapp putsch in 1920 the government charged 705 persons with high treason; only one, the police president of Berlin, received a sentence—five years of “honorary confinement.” When the state of Prussia withdrew his pension the Supreme Court ordered it restored.
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.” Arthur J. Goldberg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 1962–1965, United
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
The president and his subordinates have also taken the position that the federal government has a veto over a church’s choice of its ministers and employees. The Supreme Court rejected this offensive claim in a 9–0 ruling that even included the two justices appointed to the high court by the president.26
Andrew McCarthy (Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment)
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is the right thing to do.” Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1958–1981. Section 5, Grave 40-2, Arlington National Cemetery.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
A student recently posed another question that gave me pause: “Given that there are only nine Supreme Court Justices, each with life tenure, can anyone realistically aspire to such a goal? How do we hold on to dreams that, statistically, are almost impossible?” As I tell in these pages, the dream I first followed was to become a judge, which itself seemed far-fetched until it actually happened. The idea of my becoming a Supreme Court Justice—which, indeed, as a goal would inevitably elude the vast majority of aspirants—never occurred to me except as the remotest of fantasies. But experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.
Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World)
Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is the right thing to do.” Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1958–1981.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
If Columbus had an advisory committee, he would probably still be at the dock.” Arthur J. Goldberg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, 1962–1965, United States Secretary of Labor, United States Ambassador to
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.
Max Allan Collins (Supreme Justice (Reeder and Rogers, #1))
The people's rights can never be safe so long as that greater power resides elsewhere than in the people themselves. These rights are too precious to entrust to any one man, even though he be the president. They are too precious to entrust to any nine men, even though they wear black robes and be justices of the United States Supreme Court. The voice of congress should be regarded as the presumptive voice of the people, and nobody but the people themselves should have the right to countermand its orders.
student and perhaps a student’s first-year success in college or in a professional program—which says that the tests could be helpful for students after they are admitted, to assess who needs extra assistance the first year. And so, on October 12, 1977, a White male sat before the Supreme Court requesting slight changes in UC Davis’s admissions policies to open sixteen seats for him—and not a poor Black woman requesting standardized tests to be dropped as an admissions criterion to open eighty-four seats for her. It was yet another case of racists v. racists that antiracists had no chance of winning.3 With four justices solidly for the Regents, and four for Bakke, the former Virginia corporate lawyer whose firm had defended Virginia segregationists in Brown decided Regents v. Bakke. On June 28, 1978, Justice Lewis F. Powell sided with four justices in viewing UC Davis’s set-asides as “discrimination against members of the white ‘majority,’” allowing Bakke to be admitted. Powell also sided with the four other justices in allowing universities to “take race into account” in choosing students, so long as it was not “decisive” in the decision. Crucially, Powell framed affirmative action as “race-conscious” policies, while standardized test scores were not, despite common knowledge about the racial disparities in those scores.4 The leading proponents of “race-conscious” policies to maintain the status quo of racial disparities in the late 1950s had refashioned themselves as the leading opponents of “race-conscious” policies in the late 1970s to maintain the status quo of racial disparities. “Whatever it takes” to defend discriminators had always been the marching orders of the producers of racist ideas. Allan Bakke, his legal team, the organizations behind them, the justices who backed him, and his millions of American supporters were all in the mode of proving that the
Ibram X. Kendi (Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America)
A question that does Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has adopted such a route, which openly shows his involvement in politics and direct public affairs than enforcement of the law through connected institutions since his actions define his disqualification, as neutral and legitimate Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan. It is severe damage, and a violation of the judicial system; whereas, the media also stay a part of it in such a disgrace?
Ehsan Sehgal
The traditional reluctance in this country to confront the real nature of racism is once again illustrated by the manner in which the majority of American whites interpreted what the Kerner Commission had to say about white racism. It seems that they have taken the Kerner Report as a call merely to examine their individual attitudes. The examination of individual attitudes is, of course, an indispensable requirement if the influence of racism is to be neutralized, but it is neither the only nor the basic requirement. The Kerner Report took great pains to make a distinction between racist attitudes and racist behavior. In doing so, it was trying to point out that the fundamental problem lies in the racist behavior of American institutions toward Negroes, and that the behavior of these institutions is influenced more by overt racist actions of people than by their private attitudes. If so, then the basic requirement is for white Americans, while not ignoring the necessity for a revision of their private beliefs, to concentrate on actions that can lead to the ultimate democratization of American institutions. By focusing upon private attitudes alone, white Americans may come to rely on token individual gestures as a way of absolving themselves personally of racism, while ignoring the work that needs to be done within public institutions to eradicate social and economic problems and redistribute wealth and opportunity. I mean by this that there are many whites sitting around in drawing rooms and board rooms discussing their consciences and even donating a few dollars to honor the memory of Dr. King. But they are not prepared to fight politically for the kind of liberal Congress the country needs to eradicate some of the evils of racism, or for the massive programs needed for the social and economic reconstruction of the black and white poor, or for a revision of the tax structure whereby the real burden will be lifted from the shoulders of those who don't have it and placed on the shoulders of those who can afford it. Our time offers enough evidence to show that racism and intolerance are not unique American phenomena. The relationship between the upper and lower classes in India is in some ways more brutal than the operation of racism in America. And in Nigeria black tribes have recently been killing other black tribes in behalf of social and political privilege. But it is the nature of the society which determines whether such conflicts will last, whether racism and intolerance will remain as proper issues to be socially and politically organized. If the society is a just society, if it is one which places a premium on social justice and human rights, then racism and intolerance cannot survive —will, at least, be reduced to a minimum. While working with the NAACP some years ago to integrate the University of Texas, I was assailed with a battery of arguments as to why Negroes should not be let in. They would be raping white girls as soon as they came in; they were dirty and did not wash; they were dumb and could not learn; they were uncouth and ate with their fingers. These attitudes were not destroyed because the NAACP psychoanalyzed white students or held seminars to teach them about black people. They were destroyed because Thurgood Marshall got the Supreme Court to rule against and destroy the institution of segregated education. At that point, the private views of white students became irrelevant. So while there can be no argument that progress depends both on the revision of private attitudes and a change in institutions, the onus must be placed on institutional change. If the institutions of this society are altered to work for black people, to respond to their needs and legitimate aspirations, then it will ultimately be a matter of supreme indifference to them whether white people like them, or what white people whisper about them in the privacy of their drawing rooms.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
Providence has given to our people the choice of their ruler, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers. John Jay First Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
John Jay (Cliffs Notes on The Federalist)
There never has been a period of history, in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story: 1829 speech at Harvard.
Joseph Story (Life and Letters of Joseph Story)
General Andrews seemed to have opinions on everything. Highly unusual for a general in today’s military, and likely to get a Supreme Court nominee rejected. The thing the public fears most, and his opposition hopes for, is a nominee with an opinion
Diane Capri (Hunt For Justice (Justice #1-2))
If I were God, or the sultan, or just the chief justice, this prescription for change would look very different from what I propose here. Citizens United would be overturned. Voting rights protections would be restored. Partisan gerrymandering would be legislated and litigated into oblivion. The Electoral College might be dissolved. But to paraphrase former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, you don't wage de-devolution with the power you wish for; you wage it with the power you have. As a matter of both political reality and human mortality, the Supreme Court is out of reach for a generation. To protect democracy, we must otherwise intervene. This manifesto, therefore, is a platform for change built of six wholly unrelated planks--economic, regulatory, militant, educational, inspirational, harmonious--to counter the forces of ruinous fragmentation. . . .
Bob Garfield
Republican ire about the Federalist dominance of the judiciary became especially strident after Adams nominated John Marshall as chief justice of the Supreme Court in late January 1801. Marshall, forty-five, was a tall, genial man with penetrating eyes and a shock of unruly hair. He now rivaled, perhaps even superseded, Hamilton as the leading Federalist and had contempt for his distant cousin, Jefferson, whom he mocked as “the great lama of the mountain.”28 Historian Henry Adams said of Marshall, “This excellent and amiable man clung to one rooted prejudice: he detested Thomas Jefferson.”29 Jefferson reciprocated the animosity, especially since the new chief justice revered Hamilton, having once observed that next to the former treasury secretary he felt like a mere candle “beside the sun at noonday.”30 After reading through George Washington’s papers, Marshall pronounced Hamilton “the greatest man (or one of the greatest men) that had ever appeared in the United States.”31 Marshall considered Hamilton and Washington the two indispensable founders, and it therefore came as no surprise that Jefferson looked askance at the chief justice as “the Federalist serpent in the democratic Eden of our administration.”32
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)