“The important point is that it increasingly looks [like] the widespread outcry about this was just sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing,” said Simon Lazarus, one of the two [Constitutional Accountability Center] attorneys who publicized the study. “They came back reporting that there are no violations of the APA here,” Lazarus said. “It’s pretty stark when you look at the conclusions.”
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Now, three months after the party-line House vote to green-light the lawsuit, no complaint has yet been filed. If this stretched out delay means that Boehner has actually redirected his sue-Obama gambit toward oblivion, the reason may be this unnoticed six week old CRS report.
The “odd couple” pairing of the two groups — similar to Ted Olson and David Boies’ leadership in fighting California’s Proposition 8 and Virginia’s similar ban — is not new. They’ve filed joint briefs opposing the bans in most of the recent marriage challenge appeals, including in the Prop 8 case. In Friday’s filing, however, they made two new arguments — both of which could have an impact beyond the marriage landscape.
"The ... decisions seem to be setting the court up to issue earth-shaking rulings on voting rights, abortion and marriage equality in the heat of the next presidential election season," says Doug Kendall, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center. "In the name of prudence, the court is arranging to put itself at the center of the 2016 political maelstrom."
Legal scholars and courts have been wrangling for more than a year over whether the National Security Agency's collection of millions of Americans' phone records — a program first disclosed to the public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013 — violates those protections. Some legal experts disagree over whether the record collection even qualifies as a search or seizure, and, if it does, whether collecting those records is "unreasonable" or requires a warrant. In a recent Intelligence Squared U.S. debate, two teams of constitutional law experts, including CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra, faced off on the motion "Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates The Fourth Amendment." In these Oxford-style debates, the team that sways the most people to its side by the end is the winner.
While I don't think that it will take 19 more years for nationwide marriage equality, every day that gay men and lesbians are denied their constitutional rights and suffer the harms that follow is one day too many. So my joy today is tempered by the sadness of knowing that, for so many gay men and lesbians in this country, marriage equality is still a constitutional promise not yet fulfilled.
CAC's Judith E. Schaeffer appeared on Al Jazeera America discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to hear any of the marriage cases pendning review on the first day of the new Term.
CAC's Elizabeth Wydra appeared on FOX News Channel to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to hear marriage equality cases on the first day of the new Term.
CAC's Elizabeth Wydra appeared on local network affiliates across the country in a piece explaining the major cases in the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court Term.
But the Roberts court also has rolled back campaign finance limits, upheld abortion restrictions and been generally skeptical of the consideration of race in public life, in decisions driven by a conservative five-justice majority. To liberals, Roberts has ignored his promise during Senate confirmation hearings to be modest, "instead using the power of court to move dramatically to the right," Brianne Gorod of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center.
This term will mark the 10th year that John Roberts has served as chief justice. Without a doubt, the Court has grown dramatically more conservative since his appointment. But, as Douglas Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center observes, the question is: "what role has John Roberts played in this movement?" Is he "strategically and deliberately leaving the Court to the right?" Kendall asks, "Or is it, as some have suggested, the 'Kennedy Court' or even the 'Alito Court'?" Justice Anthony Kennedy is often referred to as the "swing justice," and has written many of the Court's major 5-to-4 opinions. Justice Samuel Alito is far more conservative than the justice he replaced, Sandra Day O'Connor, and has cast many votes and written major opinions that have shifted the Court in a more conservative direction.
CAC's Elizabeth Wydra appeared on CNN Newsroom, discussing the new Supreme court Term.