Today in the News, 5.4.09

  • “[I]t was more than a little jarring last week to hear conservative justices on the Supreme Court severely question the motives and findings of Congress when it extended a key voting rights provision three years ago.” An editorial in the Washington Post highlights questions by the conservative Supreme Court justices during last week’s oral argument in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One v. Holder (NAMUDNO) that suggest they may go on to rule in a manner lacking in judicial restraint. NAMUDNO is an important civil rights case asking whether Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it reauthorized, in 2006, a critical provision of the Voting Rights Act. (CAC filed an amicus brief in this case, available here, demonstrating that constitutional text and history make clear that Congress had the authority to reauthorize the challenged provision.)

  • “He was a common law judge, who thought and cared more deeply about the Constitution than he did about politics.” Dahlia Lithwick at Slate pays tribute to retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who, she writes, is leaving “the Court that left him behind.
  • “Obama is likely to seek a nominee for the Supreme Court who will not only defend the liberal jurisprudence that reshaped American society in the mid-20th century, but who may also aim to build a progressive legal vision for the century ahead.” Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal is among those writing about a potential successor to Justice Souter.

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