Chief Justice Celebrates Independent Judiciary, Civic Education

In his end of year letter, Chief Justice John Roberts has directly addressed what may be the defining Constitutional issue of our time—whether brute force will govern instead of the law (and by extension: whether the federal courts will remain independent of politics and so able to uphold the principles of the Constitution and the universal rights it protects).

The Chief Justice notes the that the first to hold his post, John Jay, was sidelined from his role as one of the three authors of the Federalist Papers, by a rash of mob violence. He writes:

It is sadly ironic that John Jay’s efforts to educate his fellow citizens about the Fram ers’ plan of government fell victim to a rock thrown by a rioter motivated by a rumor. Happily, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay ulti- mately succeeded in convincing the public of the virtues of the principles embodied in the Constitution. Those principles leave no place for mob violence.

Continue Reading

We are All Now Safer in our Freedom

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a basic right, across the United States. The ruling in the case known by the name Obergefell v. Hodges was 5 to 4, showing a tightly split Court, but effectively invalidating all bans on same-sex marriage, whether brought into effect by legislation, referendum, executive order or lower court rulings. 

Here’s why this is good for people of all political and religious persuasions: 

Continue Reading

If Court Outlaws Public Campaign Matching Funds, Personal Wealth Should also be Banned from Campaigns

The United States Supreme Court is preparing to hear oral arguments in a landmark campaign finance case, in which a wealthy candidate who chose not to use public matching funds alleges those funds amounted to an illegal enhancement of his opponent’s speech. That assisted speech, the argument goes, was an unconstitutional government intrusion into the territory of his own free speech rights.

Observers say the right-leaning now convincingly corporatist Roberts Court appears likely to side with the wealthy candidate, and effectively outlaw any and all public assistance that would give the non-wealthy a hope of competing. If this is their verdict, the Court should add to its finding that no candidate can spend more than a nominal amount of personal wealth to expand his or her own speech beyond that of a less affluent opponent.

Continue Reading

No more posts.