Will the Supreme Court strike down controversial provisions of the new health-care law?
The outcome was never in doubt. But the narrowness of the 63–37 margin by which the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan as Supreme Court's 112th justice this afternoon would stun a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the rising partisan rancor that has poisoned judicial confirmations at all levels in recent years.
Sen. Lindsey Graham injected a distinctive and salutary element Tuesday afternoon into a dreary confirmation process drenched in partisanship, yet devoid of real drama. It was a lesson about the need to tamp down the bitter liberal–conservative battles poisoning Washington.
Democrats in the Senate used the first day of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings to launch attacks on the Supreme Court under John Roberts, which Sen. Patrick Leahy derided as driven by "conservative judicial activism." Meanwhile, Kagan may have found an supporter among Republicans: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Justice Kennedy sided with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court in supporting rights of University of California over campus Christian group, but he voted with the conservatives in Monday's other rulings.
Republican Sen. Charles Grassley says he will press Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearing to be "as forthcoming" about her views of specific issues as she once argued other Supreme Court nominees should be. Many commentators have also called on her to disclose her specific views. But Kagan will not do that. And she should not.
With solicitor general Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing due to start June 28, left-leaning skeptics worry that she may be more deferential to presidential war powers—at the expense of civil liberties—than retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy has floated the idea of passing a new law to allow a retired Supreme Court justice to sit on a case in which a current justice has recused, to avoid 4–4 ties.
Is signing a petition a public act, like holding up a protest sign, or is it a private decision, like casting a vote? That question is before the Supreme Court next month, in a case that could have far-reaching implications for activism on both the left and right.The controversy began last year when 138,000 Washington state residents signed a petition to repeal benefits for same-sex domestic partners.
President Obama has tried to remain true to his campaign message of bipartisanship. But he's struggled to get everyone else to play along. Congressional Democrats, finally out from under the GOP thumb, want to enjoy their powers, while Republicans are already plotting their comeback.
President Bush did not mince words May 1, in announcing his decision to veto the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill. "This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of the operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency by the Constitution, including as commander in chief of the armed forces," Bush said.
North Carolina's attorney general did more than drop the charges against the Duke lacrosse players. In a move seldom seen in the annals of American law, he gave the accused their reputations back.