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Articles & Commentary
It's not just liberals who play the empathy card.
No judge we are aware of has asserted that the rulings of foreign courts should dictate how American judges interpret the U.S. Constitution, or be considered precedent that must be followed. The issue is whether American judges trying to resolve a dispute may look for guidance in how judges in other countries with similar legal systems have resolved similar disputes.
Conservatives are already fired up about Obama's judicial nomination. Is the White House prepared for the fight?
Where you stand often determines where you sit. If that maxim holds true, the Supreme Court is likely to divide sharply along ideological lines in the big environmental case argued yesterday, Coeur Alaska v. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.
Here is an agenda for Barack Obama -- secure "a new birth of freedom" for the 21st century, push the Supreme Court to enforce the text and history of the Reconstruction Amendments, and nominate Justices who will do the same.
Barack Obama's rightward drift in recent weeks has hardly gone unnoticed or unrewarded. What's most fascinating about his efforts to appeal to the American center is the extent to which Obama, as a constitutional law professor and Harvard Law Review president, has repeatedly chosen the Bill of Rights as his vehicle for doing so.
The Court's reduction of punitive damages in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker is a nakedly activist decision that pulls its standard for limiting damages out of thin air, demonstrates hostility to the role of Congress, and continues a pattern of ignoring the Framers' views on the importance of civil juries. Progressives would do well to treat this decision with resounding scorn, and highlight it as a textbook example of why the Supreme Court matters.
It will probably take government officials, developers, and the courts a while to determine exactly how far federal protection for wetlands and waters extends after the Supreme Court's decision this week in Rapanos v. United States and a companion case, Carabell v. Army Corps of Engineers.