JUSTICES AVOIDING A GAMBLE | Partisan Gerrymandering Back At SCOTUS | The Man Who Made The Supreme Court, Well, Supreme
Friday, December 7, 2018
STEP RIGHT UP, PLACE YOUR BETS|
The Supreme Court yesterday weighed whether it’s willing to take a gamble and uproot more than a hundred years of precedent regarding double jeopardy. Although the Constitution forbids double prosecution for the same crime, SCOTUS has made one exception by allowing for separate prosecutions of the same conduct in state and federal courts. Not all too surprising: a majority of justices didn’t seem willing to take the risk and eliminate the exception. JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN remarked during arguments that stare decisis “is a kind of doctrine of humility where we say we are really uncomfortable throwing over 170-year-old rules that 30 justices have approved just because we think we can kind of do it better.
PARDONED OUT OF PUNISHMENT|
Chris Geidner with Buzzfeed notably calls out that although most coverage leading up to yesterday’s case involved questions of its effects on DONALD TRUMP’S ability to pardon someone out of punishment, “the partisanship implied in most of those discussions also was missing from Thursday’s arguments.”
A TOUCH TOO FAR|
“The Supreme Court is scheduled to return to a deeply divisive issue on Friday when the justices meet behind closed doors to discuss an issue left unresolved last term: when do states go too far in drawing district lines for partisan gain? The court has never established a standard to resolve extreme partisan gerrymanders, and if it chooses to do so, it could revolutionize the way congressional and state legislative maps are drawn.” That’s CNN’s Ariane de Vogue discussing the latest partisan gerrymandering issue that justices could take up this term, and what it could mean now that ANTHONY KENNEDY is no longer on the court.
HOT NEW BOOK REVIEW|
For The New York Times, Jeffrey Rosen reviews a new book from Richard Brookhiser on JOHN MARSHALL or, “The Man Who Made The Supreme Court”, as the book title affectionately calls him. Rosen notes that Brookhiser’s account is compact and balanced, and makes clear Marshall’s role in transforming the judicial branch “into one fully equal to the president and Congress in stature and legitimacy.” Rosen also argues the book’s focus takes on new relevance in the age of DONALD TRUMP. “Could the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts, who has embraced Marshall as his model, play a similar unifying role in defending the Constitution against populist threats to judicial independence today? That depends on his fellow justices. And although Brookhiser’s biography reminds us that American politics has always been polarized, today the polarization threatens to transform the deliberations of the court. The life of Marshall reminds us of the urgent importance of Roberts’s efforts to persuade his colleagues to unite around a shared commitment to defending the legitimacy of the court by rising above partisan politics.”