The Great Debate

How Chief Justice John Roberts made himself a footnote to history

By Elizabeth B. Wydra
June 29, 2015
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts is pictured on the front plaza of the Supreme Court in Washington

Chief Justice John Roberts on the front plaza of the Supreme Court in Washington, October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing/Files

Justice Scalia is the Supreme Court’s real loser in Obamacare ruling

By William Yeomans
June 26, 2015
Justice Scalia testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before a House Judiciary Sucommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 20, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Supreme Court hears an Obamacare fairytale

By Steven Brill
March 2, 2015
U.S. President Obama meets with citizens who wrote letters about how they benefited from the Affordable Care Act at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) meets with citizens who wrote letters about how they benefited from the Affordable Care Act at the White House in Washington, Feb. 3, 2015. At right is Health and Human Service Secretary Sylvia Burwell. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Think we don’t need to update the Voting Rights Act? Check out Tuesday’s primaries.

By Janai S. Nelson
June 25, 2014

mahurin-for-troutt--- nelson

The door is open for Congress to repair the nation’s most transformative election law, which was neutered by the U.S. Supreme Court a year ago today.

The increasing significance of race

By David Dante Troutt
April 28, 2014

Behind every Supreme Court decision is a sociology of ordinary life. Opinions reveal the justices’ view of what’s what in the world, how people act and why things change.

Opening the political money chutes

By Richard L. Hasen
April 7, 2014

The headline about a new Supreme Court opinion rarely tells the whole story.  Rather, the detailed reasoning of the ruling often reveals whether a decision is a blockbuster or a dud.

Roberts Court: Easier to donate, harder to vote

By Elizabeth B. Wydra
April 4, 2014

Chief Justice John Roberts’ first sentence of his majority opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission, striking down important limits on campaign contributions, declares “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

McCutcheon: Should the rich speak louder?

By Jeffrey Rosen
April 3, 2014

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down its most important decision on campaign finance reform since Citizens United. The decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, seemed to divide along familiar ideological lines, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion for five conservatives and Justice Stephen Breyer, writing the dissent for the four liberals.

Roberts: The ‘swing’ justice of election law

By Joshua A. Douglas
October 7, 2013

Tuesday’s oral argument in McCutcheon v. FEC, the latest high-profile campaign finance case, will likely generate familiar storylines about a fiercely ideological Supreme Court, where one justice drives the outcome of a close 5-4 decision. Public perception of the Supreme Court is that there are four conservatives, four liberals and Justice Anthony Kennedy in the middle — as the “swing” vote.

The Supreme Court’s race impatience

By David Dante Troutt
June 28, 2013


As Tuesday’s decision gutting the heart of the Voting Rights Act made clear, it is June and a slim conservative majority of Supreme Court justices is again impatient with race.