John Marshall: A Primer

By |2020-03-30T10:14:33-05:00March 30th, 2020|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, Constitution, History, John Marshall, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court|

Perhaps more than any other figure in the early history of the American Republic, John Marshall shaped the Supreme Court as well as attitudes toward and understandings of the U.S. Constitution. John Marshall (September 24, 1755–July 6, 1835) was the fourth man to serve as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, [...]

The Landmark Decision of “Dred Scott v. Sandford”

By |2020-03-05T16:23:46-06:00March 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Congress, Constitution, Politics, Slavery, Supreme Court|

“Dred Scott” is a landmark decision because it answered questions regarding slavery that the Supreme Court had not previously addressed. It is also one of the most infamous decisions, furthering the great divide facing the nation regarding the question of slavery and moving the country further down the path toward the Civil War. Dred [...]

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words

By |2020-02-07T16:13:15-06:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, David Deavel, Film, Politics, Senior Contributors, Supreme Court|

One of the best contemporary memoirs I’ve read in the last decade is My Grandfather’s Son, which was published in 2007. In his tale that ended with the fierce 1991 confirmation battle for his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas told a remarkable story of his journey from being raised by a [...]

The Supreme Court: Usurping the Legislative and Taxing Power

By |2019-06-25T17:07:11-05:00November 18th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Constitution, Supreme Court Precedent Series, Thomas R. Ascik|

“Precedence,” as well as following or overturning precedents, is not limited to what is decided in new cases. It is also concerns the adherence to established principles of judicial jurisprudence. Without both kinds of precedence, there is no limit to the power of the judiciary... In the last installment of this survey of the judicial principle [...]

The Supreme Court: “Never to the Right, Forever to the Left”

By |2018-11-25T22:10:54-06:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Conservatism, Joseph Mussomeli, Justice, Liberalism, Politics, Supreme Court|

Despite all the unfounded fear on the left and all the equally unfounded euphoria on the right, there will be no wholesale revamping by the Supreme Court of the liberal social order that is now deeply rooted in our culture and among our people. The conservative justices' ethos of evolution over revolution will forestall any [...]

Reason and Its Usurpers

By |2018-10-13T01:14:45-05:00October 12th, 2018|Categories: Civil Society, Glenn Arbery, Supreme Court, Wyoming Catholic College|

The clashes of contemporary political life can alienate anyone, but this is not the time to withdraw from the fight. As recent events clearly show, the most hopeful signs sometimes come from the places we least expect.  This past week has been a watershed in American political life—or so we are told. After the confirmation [...]

Brett Kavanaugh and Originalism

By |2018-10-09T15:53:15-05:00October 9th, 2018|Categories: Congress, Justice, Political Philosophy, Politics, Supreme Court|

Even before the spectacle of Christine Balsey Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the hearing for President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, was characterized not by political acumen, wit, cunning, or prudence, but by partisan obstruction, lawlessness, tantrums, hysteria, ignorance, frenzy, and anger. Protestors screamed vulgarities and trite slogans, proving [...]

The Supreme Court’s Most Unprecedented Case?

By |2018-10-09T11:13:21-05:00October 8th, 2018|Categories: Homosexual Unions, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Precedent Series, Thomas R. Ascik|

In the case of United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court found that the Constitution required formal, legal, and constitutional recognition of homosexual marriage. And yet if the Court had followed its own precedents, it would have ruled that Edith Windsor lacked the legal standing to file her original lawsuit... In Lawrence v. Texas (2003), [...]

The Elephant in the Hearing Room

By |2019-04-25T15:11:33-05:00September 28th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Congress, Supreme Court|

The dual hearing of Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh is portrayed as a mere "he said/she said," with the result hinging on relative credibility. Both appeared credible. But many liars and deceivers appear credible. That is part of our sinful condition. As the Bible says, "The heart of  man is deceitful and desperately [...]

The Right to Create Your Own Universe?

By |2019-04-25T12:01:47-05:00August 17th, 2018|Categories: Abortion, American Republic, Homosexual Unions, Marriage, Politics, Rights, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Precedent Series|

The Supreme Court apotheosized the right of privacy in its now-famous words: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life”… Editor’s Note: This essay continues a discussion of the Supreme Court’s sexual “right of privacy” cases, [...]

Does the Supreme Court Really Respect Precedent?

By |2018-10-08T14:40:19-05:00July 30th, 2018|Categories: Abortion, American Republic, Marriage, Politics, Supreme Court, Supreme Court Precedent Series|

Would the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh have a profound impact on the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court? In other words, would his addition to the Court eventually have a broad and historic impact equal to that of Justice Anthony Kennedy himself? Responding to President Donald Trump’s nomination of federal appeals-court Judge Kavanaugh to the [...]

Anthony Kennedy’s Jurisprudence of Extreme Individualism

By |2018-07-10T22:23:57-05:00July 10th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Bruce Frohnen, Politics, Rights, Supreme Court|

The paradigm motivating Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence is of an individual who must be protected by the courts from all outside pressures. The result has been increasing hostility toward the fundamental institutions on which our constitutional order relies… Justice Anthony Kennedy Justice Anthony Kennedy’s tenure on the Supreme Court was filled with irony. Had [...]

The Supreme Court Decides on Gerrymandering

By |2018-06-24T23:06:32-05:00June 24th, 2018|Categories: American Republic, Government, Politics, Supreme Court, Thomas R. Ascik|

With the Supreme Court’s decision in Gill v. Whitford, the door is now open under the right political circumstances for state courts to take over political redistricting. And the constitutional changes will be permanent… In the Wisconsin political-gerrymandering case, Gill v. Whitford, decided by the Supreme Court last week, the Court avoided ruling on the substantive [...]

The “Masterpiece” Decision: Half a Cake Is Better Than None

By |2018-06-08T22:53:34-05:00June 6th, 2018|Categories: Free Speech, Freedom of Religion, Homosexual Unions, Supreme Court, Thomas R. Ascik|

Though Masterpiece is a decision upholding religious liberty, the Supreme Court’s ruling makes it clear that free speech about homosexuality does not enjoy broad protections… In the first of two momentous cases on its docket as to whether some Americans can be left alone as dissenters from the punishing orthodoxies of the progressive society and [...]