Richard C. Reuben

  • October 6, 2017
    Guest Post

    by Richard C. Reuben, James Lewis Parks Professor of Law and Journalism, University of Missouri School of Law

    Chief Justice Roberts's concerns about the integrity of the court being diminished if the court starts hearing partisan gerrymandering claims is overwrought and disappointing.

    The truth is, ANYTIME the court opens up a new area, as sometimes it must to enforce the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights, there will be some cases that will need to be decided to flesh out the details. Fear of more cases, for example, certainly hasn't deterred the court from deciding questions regarding the death penalty, abortion, and affirmative action to name just a few.

    What happens is that the court uses subsequent cases to provide additional guidance and things settle down as the lower courts learn to apply the new constitutional standards and only the cases that get to the court thereafter are where the courts of appeal are in significant disagreement.