The last time a Republican administration nearly ran the country into the ground, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took to the floor of Congress with a warning.
It was a month after George W. Bush had left office in January 2009, and Whitehouse—once the U.S. attorney in Rhode Island as well as the state’s attorney general—Read originalRead More
On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case challenging New York’s concealed-carry laws, setting up what could be the court’s first major Second Amendment ruling in a decade. Gun-rights activists and some conservative justices have decried the court for treating the Second Amendment as a “second-class right” in recent years.Read More
On Thursday, the Supreme Court reversed course on its decade-and-a-half-long push to reduce the most serious sentences for prisoners who committed crimes as children. In two previous decisions, the court said that life-without-parole sentences should only be given to juvenile defendants who were truly beyond rehabilitation. But in a 6–3 decision, the court’s conservative bloc took a different approach, holding that states weren’t actually obligated to make such formal findings.Read More
The United States has one national Constitution and one national Bill of Rights. But sometimes it feels like this country has two First Amendments. There is the one that was written down in the late eighteenth century and has almost two-and-a-half centuries of jurisprudence built around it. And then there is the folk understanding of the First Amendment in certain circles, where getting banned from Twitter is a free-speech violation beyond anything that George Orwell could have imagined.Read More
Democracies depend on law; authoritarian systems prefer legal theater. In recent cases having to do with religion, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has shown a distinct preference for the latter. This unsubtle turn in the direction of performative justice is among the more disturbing developments in American politics over the past decade. It is evidence of the drift in America’s right flank toward a new authoritarian religious nationalism.Read More
It’s been a big term for state-on-state clashes at the Supreme Court. The justices could hand down an opinion any day now in California v. Texas, a major Affordable Care Act case that pitted Republican state attorneys general against their Democratic counterparts over the individual mandate penalty. More recently, and more notoriously, Texas filed a lawsuit directly to the Supreme Court to overturn election results in six states won by President Biden, which the justices unanimously rejected.Read More
The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear its first abortion-related case since Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation last fall. The case, Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, is not a direct challenge to the court’s abortion-rights precedents and provides no opportunity for the court’s conservatives to overturn Roe v. Wade.
From President Biden’s first day in office, when he sent his American Rescue Plan Act to Congress, until March 11, when he signed the $1.9 trillion economic relief package into law, his top officials and allies on the Hill were laser-focused on keeping the Democrats’ slim majorities on board.Read More
Why is the United States so reliant on police officers for basic social services? What societal roles do cops fill other than investigating crimes, arresting suspects, and patrolling communities? And what happens when those roles intersect, or even clash, with their law enforcement duties? Over the past few years, these questions have fueled a national debate over American policing. This week, the Supreme Court also came tantalizingly close to wrestling with all of them.Read More
One of the more puzzling developments in states’ rights conservatism has been the combination of don’t-tread-on-me militancy with a determination to keep sucking on the federal teat. This untidy jumble of defiance and dependency will be instantly recognizable to parents of teenagers and readers of Anthony E. Wolf’s brilliantly titled 1992 Read originalRead More