February 19, 2016 |
Rayman Solomon, dean emeritus at Rutgers Law School in Camden, had a story ready about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for a campus Federalist Society gathering Wednesday. It was one Solomon said he had heard long ago from a mentor, when he was at the University of Chicago, where Scalia had taught. According to Solomon, one day his mentor's son left his viola at Scalia's house. When the mentor called Scalia and asked him to bring the instrument to his campus office the following day, the future justice responded, "Absolutely not. " Puzzled, the mentor asked, "Why?"
December 20, 2012 |
McLEAN, Va. - Robert H. Bork, 85, who stepped in to fire the Watergate prosecutor at Richard Nixon's behest and whose failed 1987 nomination to the Supreme Court helped draw the modern boundaries of cultural fights over abortion, civil rights and other issues, died Wednesday from heart complications at a hospital in Arlington, Va. Brilliant, blunt and piercingly witty, Robert Heron Bork had a long career in the law that took him from respected academic...
July 20, 2012 |
In his stocking feet, lawyer Paul Clement couldn't be more than 5' 10". But in the world of conservative jurisprudence, he plays the role of a seven foot center. Clement argued the case for 26 state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Business in their lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, a case he arguably lost. One of a handful of top Supreme Court specialists in Washington, he is the go-to lawyer for big companies with major commercial disputes as well as social conservatives seeking to build legal bulwarks around traditional American culture, as they see it. His fluent, on demand rendering of the factual and legal complexities of cases before the Supreme Court was on full display Monday evening at the Union League, the fancy Center City club for Philadelphia's business elite.
June 28, 2010 |
President Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, with confirmation hearings scheduled to begin today, has unleashed a tsunami of media accounts of her legal career and personal life. Strikingly absent from the sweeping coverage, though, is a subject that drew widespread attention when the president learned of Justice David Souter's decision to retire. Speaking of replacing Souter, the president told reporters at the time: "I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation.
March 12, 2010 |
AS AN OFFICER of the court, I get it. Just because you defend the criminal doesn't mean you share his beliefs. That's why I'd never call a lawyer who represented a Guantanamo detainee a terror sympathizer. As a caller to a recent radio talk show I hosted put it, Gitmo lawyers chose their clients out of the conviction that everyone deserves a defense. (Others might have been excited at the prospect of the academic challenge. And we'd be naive to deny that some took on these clients as a way to thumb their highly-trained noses at the Bush administration.
May 31, 2009
Before Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's choice to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, could get outside the White House gate after the announcement of her nomination, conservatives were already on the attack. "Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal agenda is more important than the law as written," said Wendy E. Long, counsel to the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network. This nomination isn't about whether Sotomayor is qualified to sit on the nation's highest court but whether conservatives will get a candidate on the bench who shares their political viewpoint.
August 24, 2008
Presidents can have their deepest and most lasting impact on American society through their appointments to the federal courts - and, more specifically, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Presidents select Supreme Court justices as well as federal judges to the appellate and trial courts. Jurists who get approved enjoy lifetime tenure and almost unfettered freedom to rule on a wide range of issues that shape public policy and impact the lives of American citizens long after the president who appointed them is gone.
June 28, 2008
The Bush administration has achieved a new low when it comes to politicizing America's top law-enforcement agency. A report from the Justice Department's inspector general shows that Bush appointees broke the law with their partisan hiring practices. It's damning evidence that the administration sought to mold the Justice Department to its conservative ideology. The report said officials under former Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales rejected applicants suspected of being liberal, and hired people who they believed were conservative.
February 22, 2008
Offensive cartoon Yesterday's Tony Auth cartoon mocks the very foundation of the Catholic Church. Why are Auth and The Inquirer Editorial Board printing cartoons that are so blasphemous and deeply offensive to the Catholic community? The cartoon distorts the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:16, a text of sacred Scripture that is at the heart of the identity of the Roman Catholic Church. This outrageous distortion implies that the church is founded on deception. The church in Philadelphia is openly and with great sorrow addressing the tragedies of the past.
February 18, 2008
President Bush is complaining again about the Senate's failure to approve his federal nominees, but he's ignoring an obvious solution: Nominate moderate candidates. More than 180 of Bush's nominations are being held up by the Senate, including 28 judicial nominees. Last year, only 56 percent of Bush's nominees were confirmed, one of the lowest rates of approval since 1989. No doubt many Democrats are now content to run out the clock on a lame-duck president, rather than approve yet another conservative ideologue for a lifetime job. But Senate Democrats are hardly the whole story.