The Great Debate

Appoint a few more Scalias, kiss democracy goodbye

February 22, 2016
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia testifies before a House Judiciary Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee hearing on “The Administrative Conference of the United States”  on Capitol Hill in Washington May 20, 2010.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEADSHOT)

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

The Supreme Court wasn’t designed for this political heat

February 17, 2016
U.S. President Ronald Reagan speaks with Supreme Court Justice nominee Antonin Scalia (R) in the White House Oval Office in Washington, DC in a July 7, 1986 file photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Library. Conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has died, setting up a major political showdown between President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled Senate over who will replace him just months before a presidential election. REUTERS/Bill Fitz-Patrick/White House/Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library/Handout via Reuters   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

President Ronald Reagan speaks with Supreme Court Justice nominee Antonin Scalia (R) in the White House Oval Office in Washington, July 7, 1986. REUTERS/White House/Bill Fitz-Patrick/Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library/Handout

How Chief Justice John Roberts made himself a footnote to history

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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?

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.