The Justices Need Economics 101
March 28, 2012

The conservative justices' questioning about the health care law on Tuesday may or may not have betrayed a political bias. But it most certainly betrayed an ignorance of health economics. Henry Aaron, the Brookings economist who has been filing daily dispatches from the hearings, wrote about some of them: Several of the justices, notably Scalia and Alito, responded to the externalities argument by saying that every economic transaction creates similar externalities. "If I don't buy a Volt, I raise the price of Volts," said Scalia. Alito said much the same thing.

Living Without Stevens
April 21, 2010

Tom Goldstein is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and lecturer at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools. He is the founder of SCOTUSblog. A version of this piece was originally posted there on April 18, 2010. Supreme Court retirements inevitably produce much more coverage of process than substance. The press is dominated by political rather than legal reporters. Politics is also more familiar and therefore more accessible to the public than are court decisions. The irony is that this attention to process is not very meaningful—at least at this stage, when there is no nominee.