• June 4, 2018

    by Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

    The thought of Donald Trump getting to pick one more Supreme Court justice is truly chilling. Neil Gorsuch replacing Antonin Scalia was an enormous lost opportunity, but it kept the Court’s ideological balance the same as it had been with Scalia on the Court. Trump replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Anthony Kennedy or Stephen Breyer would create the most conservative Court since the mid-1930s and a conservative majority that could remain on the Court for years to come.

    Since 1960, 78 years old is the average age at which a Supreme Court justice has left the bench. Today, there are three justices older than that. Justice Ginsburg turned 85 on March 15. Justice Kennedy will turn 82 on July 23 and Justice Breyer will have his 80th birthday on August 15. I have no doubt that Justices Ginsburg and Breyer will remain on the Court until the end of the Trump presidency if their health allows them to do so. But there are rumors that Justice Kennedy might retire at the end of this term.

  • May 31, 2018

    by Amy Myrick, Staff Attorney for Judicial Strategy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Rachana Desai Martin, Senior Federal Policy Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights

    What does liberty mean? To some it means freedom from government interference in private life. To others it means having the ability to make choices of all kinds, and the resources to make those choices real. 

    Over the past few decades, the Supreme Court has attempted to define liberty in cases involving the right to have and raise children; engage in intimate, consensual sexual activity; marry; be free from bodily violations; make decisions about medical treatment; and access abortion and contraception. While the Court’s record has not been perfect—in particular when liberty depends on having resources—running through its jurisprudence is a core principle that has become stronger over time: people are allowed to make choices about all kinds of profound matters, and shaming or impeding their choices is contrary to being free. The Trump Administration’s assault on Title X is just the latest attempt to replace that tradition with something that should have long been put to bed.

  • May 30, 2018

    by Mimi Marziani, President, Texas Civil Rights Project and Robert Landicho, Associate, Vinson & Elkins LLP

    In the last two years, millions of everyday Americans—totaling 20% of all adults—have taken to the streets, the airports, the courthouses, state capitals, and other public places to make their voices heard. More have spoken out online. And, activism has not been confined to urban centers—in Alpine Texas, for example, a small town with a population just shy of 6,000 people, nearly 100 protestors hiked across the desert (in a rare rainstorm no less!) during the 2017 Women’s March.

    History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.” Throughout American history, state and federal governments have all too often met periods of social and political activism with backlash—restricting our First Amendment rights of expression, association, and petition. And indeed, there is evidence of growing hostility towards protesting, community organizing, efforts to turn out the vote, and other protected forms of civic engagement today.

  • May 30, 2018
    Guest Post

    by B. Jessie Hill, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Judge Ben C. Green Professor of Law, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

    Ohio has enacted an extraordinary number of new restrictions on reproductive rights since 2010. It is second in the country—behind Texas—in the rate of abortion clinic closings, having gone from sixteen to eight in just seven years. Ohio was the first state to pass restrictions on medication-only abortion back in 2004, and it is one of the first states to have adopted a restriction on abortion following a diagnosis of fetal Down syndrome. (The former law was made irrelevant by a change in federal law, and the latter was recently found unconstitutional by a federal court.) Ohio’s most recently introduced abortion restriction, H.B. 565, would outlaw all abortions without exception and, by making abortion equivalent to murder, it would subject women and doctors who participate in this extremely common, safe, and constitutionally-protected health-care procedure to possible life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

  • May 25, 2018

    by Alan Neff

    The first release, “Unclassified 1st Installment in Russia Report, Updated Recommendations on Election Security, by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) complements the majority and minority reports of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). Together, these sources explicitly raise or indicate important questions that Congress should continue to investigate and address.