April 23, 2010
ATLANTA—Georgia State University College of Law Professor Eric Segall explodes several myths about the U.S. Supreme Court in an opinion piece published April 23, 2010 in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In the wake of Justice John Paul Stevens' retirement, Segall wrote, the Supreme Court nomination process is again in the news. And, once again, we are hearing senators on both sides of the aisle say they want someone who will "interpret" not "make" the law.
"As Professor Geoffrey Stone wrote a few days ago in The New York Times, we will never be able to have a real debate over the proper role of the court until the myth that the court simply "interprets" the law is shattered. Professor Stone, however, did not go nearly far enough in describing how the court actually decides constitutional cases, and in failing to do so, perpetuated the greatest myth of all about the United States Supreme Court.
"The real myth that needs to be exploded for us to have a serious national dialogue about the court is that the court decides constitutional cases "under the law" at all. The "law" simply does not generate results when the Supreme Court decides constitutional cases. What produces results are the justices' values and politics."
Director of Communications