30 October 2014

Politicians as Supreme Court Justices

There once was a time where tried and test politicians were appointed to the highest court in America. Perhaps the most famous of these is former Chief Justice Earl Warren, who was Governor of California before being appointed to the high court, and one former President sat on the Court AFTER serving as President! The National Constitutional Center recently posted an article tracing the history of appointing politicians to the high court in the context of whether President Obama might one day be interesting in serving there.

27 October 2014

Judicial Elections, Jury Nullification?

The headline of a recent Great Fall Tribune article reads "Supreme Court Candidate supports jury nullification." Within the next few weeks students in all of my courses should understand what the article means by "court candidate" (yes, some judges in America are elected by popular vote!) and "jury nullification." For a sneak peak, take a look at the article.

25 October 2014

Does Supreme Court Silence Mean Something

The National Constitutional Center recently posted an article focusing on what the Supreme Court means to say when it rejects hearing a case on appeal. The Center's Lyle Denniston explains:
At the beginning of each term, in early October, the court turns down hundreds of cases that have built up on its docket over its summer recess. If it had to explain each refusal, the task would be simply unmanageable. But it is frustrating, to the public as a whole and to lawyers, lower court judges and journalists, when the court does not say why it denies review of a really big case, or cases.
That happened, on opening day this term, when the Justices turned aside seven appeals dealing with the issue of same-sex marriage. In each of those seven, coming from five different states, a federal appeals court had ruled unconstitutional a state’s ban on such marriages – and each appeals court had done so with a full opinion, going over all of the reasons.
The rest of the explanation can be found here.

22 October 2014

Five Key UK Supreme Court Cases

Lord Neuberger talks about the five most important cases decided by the relatively new UK Supreme Court in the past five years. The article is worth a quick read.