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  • Role of the Courts

    Public Opinion and the Supreme Court

    A recent Rasmussen poll shows that public approval of the Supreme Court of the United States is at an all-time low. Only 28 percent of those surveyed gave the Supreme Court a “good” or “excellent” rating, while the justices’ “poor” rating has risen to 30 percent. This negative rating is … More

    Is the Supreme Court "Pro-Business"?

    Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at the University of California, Irvine, has penned an op-ed for The New York Times repeating the old saw that the U.S. Supreme Court is a “pro-business” court. Dean Chemerinsky’s fundamental misconception is on display right up front: A majority of the justices … More

    Keeping Judges Out of the Foreign Policy Arena

    This week, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision that will help prevent U.S. courts (and activist judges) from interfering in foreign policy issues that are—and should be—the constitutional prerogative of the executive and legislative branches. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum involved the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), which was passed … More

    Schumer-Toomey-Manchin Gun Control Legislation: Bad Law on Federal Gun Registry

    Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have rushed to cobble together some gun control legislation, providing another chance that Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid can jam it through the Senate before anybody can read and decipher it. Due to the sloppy drafting of the Schumer-Toomey-Manchin … More

    Today at the Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act

    This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, a constitutional challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as the union of a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits. In this case, the issue was an estate tax bill faced … More

    "Violence Against Women Act" Violates the Constitution

    The Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) violates Articles II and III of the Constitution. The bill would authorize Indian tribal courts to adjudicate certain domestic violence criminal charges against non-Indians and to enter a final judgment authorizing the confinement of convicted offenders. At present, tribal courts … More

    Morning Bell: The Next President and the Supreme Court

    Every vote counts. And this year, it could count double. One vote could decide both the immediate election and the course of constitutional law for decades to come. Just ask the senior federal officials responsible for our security immediately after 9/11 who were sued years later by Javaid Iqbal. During … More

    Second Circuit Strikes Down Defense of Marriage Act

    On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was the latest to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Over a strong dissent by one of the judges, it ruled that section 3 violates equal protection and … More

    Batter Up: What’s on Deck for the Supreme Court’s October 2012 Term

    While other events may compete for our attention this fall (baseball playoffs, football, national election campaigns), next Monday, October 1, marks the beginning of a new Supreme Court term. The Court’s last term also reminds us that the judiciary sometimes plays an outsized role in our republic. Thus, as Heritage’s … More