Supreme Court

The Need for Nations
June 27, 2005

Law Without Nations?: Why Constitutional Government Requires Sovereign States By Jeremy A. Rabkin (Princeton University Press, 350 pp., $29.95)  Jeremy A. Rabkin's book is a forceful defense of the virtues of national sovereignty, and of the claim that American constitutional government places strict limits on the reach and authority of international law. In part, Rabkin is responding to critics of the unilateralism of the Bush administration--its rejection of the Kyoto Treaty, its refusal to join the International Criminal Court, its invasion of Iraq without explicit U.N.

Gulag v. Guantánamo
June 03, 2005

In a recent report, Amnesty International referred to the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo as "the gulag of our time." The term--a Russian abbreviation for Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or Main Camp Administration--refers to the network of Soviet labor camps established during Stalin's rule that continued, in a different form, for much of the Soviet Union's history. During a press conference on Tuesday, President Bush rejected the charge as "absurd." Amnesty has defended its use of the term.

God Again
March 21, 2005

“THANK YOU, MOSES.” When I heard those words outside the marshal’s office at the Supreme Court the other day, I trembled for my country. I had come to hear the oral arguments in the Ten Commandments cases, and was prepared for a morning’s appreciation of what Moses brought down from the mountain; but in the courtroom, not in the corridor. My liberal’s back went up. Thou shalt not mistake the Torah for the Constitution.

Juvenile Logic
March 21, 2005

THE MORNING AFTER the Supreme Court struck down the juvenile death penalty as a form of cruel and unusual punishment in Roper v. Simmons, the reaction in the Supreme Court press room was unusually scathing.

Divide and Rule
July 26, 2004

At the end of June, the Supreme Court issued three decisions repudiating the Bush administration's demand that the courts stay out of the war on terrorism. The decisions were simultaneously lauded as an example of judicial restraint and excoriated as the activism of an imperial judiciary. Cass R.

New Choice
May 10, 2004

Sarah Wildman writes on the pro-choice movement during the 2004 election.

Lincoln v. Lincoln
May 10, 2004

by Jeffrey Rosen

Revolution, Televised
March 01, 2004

From 2004, Andrew Sullivan discusses the shift of consciousness accompanying new state-level gay marriage laws.

Judge Advocates
February 24, 2004

In announcing yesterday morning that he would back a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, President Bush resorted--as he has often done in the past--to a favorite tactic of social conservatives: attacking the straw man of judicial activism rather than focusing on the merits of the issue at hand. Opponents of gay marriage have sought to frame the debate over their proposed constitutional amendment as a matter of shielding voters and their elected representatives--that is, state politicians and local officials--from the whims of allegedly activist judges.

Devils in America
February 16, 2004

Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35)  NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.