Category Archives: Drama in the Court

Julian Bond’s Day at the Supreme Court

Julian Bond, the legendary civil rights activist who died on Sunday at age 75, had his day at the Supreme Court on November 11, 1966. The previous year he had easily won his race for a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, but his new colleagues refused to seat him. Bond, a self-described pacifist, … Continue reading Julian Bond’s Day at the Supreme Court

On Sweet Spots, Quotas, and Tons of Bricks—Listening to Oral Argument in the Alabama Redistricting Case

Audio from the fascinating oral argument in last week’s case involving a challenge to Alabama’s redistricting is now available on Oyez. Although Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama revolves around some particularly tangled legal twists and turns, one can get a pretty good grasp of the key issues with a brief dip into the oral … Continue reading On Sweet Spots, Quotas, and Tons of Bricks—Listening to Oral Argument in the Alabama Redistricting Case

A Look Back at Loving v. Virginia

Today marks the 47th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision striking down bans on interracial marriage in sixteen states. The case was argued on April 10, 1967, and announced just two months later, on June 12. Looking back at the oral arguments in the case, several points stand out. First, the momentum … Continue reading A Look Back at Loving v. Virginia

Lies and the First Amendment

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, a First Amendment challenge to an Ohio law that prohibits intentionally false statements about political candidates. The case itself presents the basic free speech question only obliquely. The central issue before the Court is a technical one: whether a party … Continue reading Lies and the First Amendment

Baseball and the Supreme Court: Remembering Flood v. Kuhn

To celebrate the opening of a new baseball season, let’s look back to 1972 when baseball had its day (its third day, actually) in the Supreme Court. Several factors made Flood v. Kuhn such a memorable moment in Supreme Court history. This was a legal challenge to the national pastime, after all, being pursued by … Continue reading Baseball and the Supreme Court: Remembering Flood v. Kuhn

Stratosphere, Troposphere, Whatever – Looking Back at Mass. v. EPA (2007)

The Supreme Court today considered the scope of the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases. According to early reports from oral arguments—and to the surprise of no one—the more liberal justices seemed open to allowing the EPA to regulate, while at least some of the more conservative justices were skeptical of allowing the … Continue reading Stratosphere, Troposphere, Whatever – Looking Back at Mass. v. EPA (2007)

Chief Justice Warren Talks About His Hate Mail

Last week I discussed oral argument in New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark First Amendment case that limited the use of libel suits based on criticism of public officials. The case arose from an fundraising advertisement that ran in the New York Times on March 29, 1960. Titled “Heed Their Rising Voices,” the ad … Continue reading Chief Justice Warren Talks About His Hate Mail

“If Madison Were Alive Today….” Oral Arguments in New York Times v. Sullivan

It was fifty years ago that the Supreme Court considered the case of New York Times v. Sullivan. The landmark First Amendment ruling arose when defenders of segregation in Alabama used their state’s libel law to strike out at the civil rights movement. In the spring of 1960, as the student lunch counter sit-in movement … Continue reading “If Madison Were Alive Today….” Oral Arguments in New York Times v. Sullivan

Introducing a New ISCOTUS Series: Drama in the Court

In my new role as Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, I am happy to introduce “Drama in the Court,” a new series on ISCOTUSnow. “Drama in the Court” will offer a weekly post in which I revisit interesting moments at oral argument in the Supreme Court. I will … Continue reading Introducing a New ISCOTUS Series: Drama in the Court