Segall: Alexander Hamilton and the New Supreme Court Term

As the Supreme Court’s new term begins, many court watchers have observed that the justices don’t have the usual front-page, nationally important cases on their docket.

By this time a year ago, the Supreme Court had already decided to hear controversial affirmative action, free speech and redistricting cases. Soon thereafter the… more »

Segall: Why We Don’t Need a Ninth Supreme Court Justice

Posted On September 16, 2016 by Eric Segall, Kathy & Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law

The hand-wringers are wrong—an evenly split Supreme Court would end a narrow majority imposing its out-of-step will and would be good for the country.

When the U.S. Supreme Court begins its 2016-17 term in October, the biggest story will not involve a blockbuster case but the still empty seat created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death… more »

Supreme Irony: GOP Talking Points and Scalia’s True Legacy

Donald Trump is running one of the most bizarre political campaigns in American history. His positions on Mexican immigration, Muslims, and NATO are outside even the usual GOP mainstream. But there is one area of public policy where Trump has closely hewed to the traditional Republican line (at least until Tuesday when he suggested… more »

Segall on Who is Justice Clarence Thomas?

This week at the Southeastern Association of American Law Schools Annual Conference, I will be leading a discussion group commemorating the 25th anniversary of the nomination of Justice Clarence Thomas. On this blog, and in law reviews, I have been quite critical of Justice Thomas’ constitutional law jurisprudence. For this post, however, I… more »

The 2016 Election, the Supreme Court and the Problems of Life Tenure

The 2016 presidential election will almost certainly have a major and dramatic impact on the political direction of the United States Supreme Court. Donald Trump has promised to nominate conservative justices, and the list of potential nominees he made public is consistent with his pledge. Hillary Clinton, if elected, would of course nominate justices… more »

Segall: Benefits of an Evenly Split Court Will Become Apparent

Prior to Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s votes drove most five-to-four Supreme Court decisions. From 2010 to 2015, for example, Justice Kennedy provided the swing vote a whopping 84 percent of the time with Chief Justice John Roberts well behind at 61 percent. As Professor David Cohen has said, “the Court’s… more »

Newsweek Picks Up Segall’s Satirical Article on Trump

When a friend made a joke about presidential candidate Donald Trump firing U.S. Supreme Court justices, Eric Segall got an idea for a satirical blog article. He was quite surprised when Newsweek picked it up for

The Kathy and Lawrence Ashe Professor of Law wrote You’re Fired, Mr. Chief… more »

We Don’t Need Another Scalia: Why Liberals Should Embrace a 4-4 Court

There has been an avalanche of essays, articles and blog posts discussing Justice Antonin Scalia’s successor. The vacancy is much more important than most prior empty seats because the Supreme Court, for the first time, is divided four-to-four among Democrats and Republicans with the most conservative Democrat (Breyer) being more liberal than the most liberal… more »

Scalia’s Cruel Irony: Absence Exposes Truth About Supreme Court

Justice Antonin Scalia’s empty seat at the Supreme Court generated two orders the week of March 28 that demonstrate yet again the essentially political nature of our highest Court.

First, in a widely watched case involving a First Amendment challenge to the mandatory payment of public sector union dues, the Court divided 4-4 (presumably among… more »

Why the U.S. Supreme Court is Not ‘Just Another Political Branch’

It has become fashionable lately to describe the U.S. Supreme Court as “just another political branch,” along with Congress and the presidency. Eric Segall, a colleague and friend, and I have been arguing about this characterization of the Court for years. He thinks that the public perception of the Court and… more »