by Steven D. Schwinn, Professor of Law, the John Marshall Law School
*Read the full Supreme Court Review here.
We are thrilled to bring you this inaugural edition of the American Constitution Society Supreme Court Term Review. In these pages, you’ll find a series of outstanding critical essays, penned by the nation’s top legal scholars and practitioners, on the most important cases and themes from the Supreme Court’s October 2016 Term. You’ll also find a splendid Foreword, written by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, that puts these cases and themes in the broader context of key happenings and trends at the Court.
In the many panels and reviews of the Court’s October 2016 Term, we sometimes heard that the Term was unremarkable, with no Big Blockbuster cases, no significant changes in the law, and no notable impacts on major political issues—at least as compared to so many other recent Terms. Many said that this was the direct result of an eight-member, equally divided Bench for most of the Term. That is: the Court was reluctant to take on major controversial cases without a full staffing.