Ian Millhiser

Cordray's Recess Appointment Sure Doesn't Look Constitutional To Me
January 04, 2012

[Correction, Jan. 6: An important premise of this blog post as originally written was incorrect. In the original version I stated that on the day before President Obama made his recess appointments there was a brief window when the Senate was technically in recess. I expressed bafflement that the president didn't take advantage of that window and instead chose to make his recess appointments later, when the Senate was technically in session. But there was no window; the changeover from one Senate session to the next was rigged in such a way that the Senate was continuously in session.

Daily Deadline: Romney's Blast from the Past
October 17, 2011

[with contributions from Matthew O'Brien and Darius Tahir] Robert Bork is not a sitting justice on the Supreme Court. And there is a very good reason for that. During his lengthy career as a legal scholar, he was an outspoken critic of modern constitutional interpretation – arguing, among other things, that the Civil Rights Act was coercive and that Griswold v. Connecticut, the decision that established a right to privacy, had no legitimate basis. This didn’t make Bork a racist and it didn’t suggest he wanted to ban contraception, as the Connecticut law under review in Griswold did.

A Legal Blow to Obamacare—and What It Could Mean
August 12, 2011

On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in the case against the Affordable Care Act.

Health Reform's Up and Down Day in Court
June 08, 2011

The debate over the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality moved into another courtroom on Wednesday. This time it was a panel of judges from the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, listening to an appeal of the most sweeping decision of all: Judge Roger Vinson’s decision invalidating not just the individual mandate but the entire law. How’d it go? That really depends on whom you ask.

The Revisionaries
September 02, 2010

It seemed unthinkable that Vaughn Ward wouldn’t, someday, be a U.S. congressman. The decorated Iraq war vet had been handpicked by national Republicans to run against endangered Democrat Walt Minnick for Idaho’s first congressional district. Although he was somewhat gaffe-prone (he had an unfortunate tendency to plagiarize campaign speeches from sources like Barack Obama, for instance), Ward had the boyish good looks, the résumé, and—best of all, for one of the reddest states in the country—Sarah Palin’s blessing.

Modern Judicial Restraint
June 28, 2010

Ian Millhiser catches Sen. Jeff Sessions expressing the embodiment of the modern Republican judicial philosophy: demanding aggressively intervene to overturn laws they don't like, while leaving in place laws they do like. First Sessions announced: The American people are concerned about their courts. They’re concerned about a growing expansive government that seems to be beyond anything they’ve ever seen before. And they’d like to know what their judges might have to do about it.