Gabel on Foster v. Chatman: Stating the Obvious While Setting an Impossible Precedent

In a 7-1 opinion in Foster v. Chatman written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the conviction and death sentence of Timothy Tyrone Foster, who was convicted in 1987 by an all-white jury for the murder of Queen Madge White, a retired white schoolteacher.

For nearly 20 years,… 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 »

Wiseman: Who is Represented in a Representative Democracy?

On April 4, the U.S. Supreme Court decided an important case about the nature of our democracy. Although there were partisan political overtones to the case, the vote in Evenwel v. Abbott was 8-0, proving that these justices are capable of deciding a constitutional case unmoved by such political considerations.

The case involved… 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 »

Wiseman on McConnell’s ‘It’s Not the Person, It’s the Principle’

Within minutes of President Barack Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court on March 16, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican majority leader in the U.S. Senate, took to the floor of the Senate to reiterate his insistence that the “people,” by voting in November, have a say in… more »

What Kind of Judge is Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland?

On March 16, President Obama announced his pick for the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia: Merrick Garland, chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The president described Garland as not only “one of America’s sharpest legal minds,” but also “someone who brings to… more »

Washington on the President’s Pick

The president’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland puts the Republican leadership, which announced within hours of Justice Antonin Scalia‘s passing that it would not vet any Supreme Court nominees, between a rock and a hard place. Judge Garland, a moderate candidate, enjoyed considerable support from GOP leadership for his appointment to… more »

In Choosing Garland, Obama Takes Path of Least Resistance

By nominating Judge Merrick Garland, chief judge of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, to the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama apparently has taken the path of least resistance.

Judge Garland is eminently qualified to serve on the Court. He is known to be a moderate centrist on… more »

Gasp! Justice Thomas Speaks During Oral Argument

For the first time in 10 years, Justice Clarence Thomas asked a series of questions during oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, Feb. 29. Reports of the argument indicate that the sound of his gravelly voice caused gasps among the audience, so unfamiliar was it.

It seems unlikely,… more »

Students Organize Feb. 17 Panel on Implications of Justice Scalia’s Death

The Georgia State Law American Constitution Society students tapped Professors Neil Kinkopf, Eric Segall, Patrick Wiseman and Emory University Associate Law Professor Alexander “Sasha” Volokh, for a noon panel discussion, “Implications of Justice Scalia’s Death,” on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Room 241.

Implications of Justice Scalia’s Death Time and… more »