Samuel Chase and Judicial Supremacy

In the history of the US Supreme Court, Samuel Chase holds a singular, if dubious honor: he is, to date, the only Supreme Justice to be impeached (he was, however, ultimately acquitted by the US Senate). The background to his impeachment is indicative of the political ferment so common  in the early days of theContinue reading “Samuel Chase and Judicial Supremacy”

Marriage: It Ain’t a Religious Thing

Last year, I wrote a post on same-sex marriage, or rather, on Barack Obama’s evolving views on it. In that post, I handed out some unsolicited advice to the President, suggesting he view marriage in its social and economic context, and noting that there were too many similarities between the explicitly institutionalized racism of theContinue reading “Marriage: It Ain’t a Religious Thing”

Narrowing the American Dream to Exclude the American Worker

My sister-in-law works as a labor organizer for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). I’m proud of the work she does and remain resolutely convinced that her efforts to facilitate the unionization of workers count among the most important contemporary attempts to reform the American workplace and reduce income inequality. ButContinue reading “Narrowing the American Dream to Exclude the American Worker”

Breaking News: The US Supreme Court is a Political Institution

Yesterday in Florence vs. Board of Freeholders, the US Supreme Court ruled that if you are arrested–for any reason whatsoever–the law-enforcement officials in charge of you can strip-search you. Over at ScotusBlog, Lyle Denniston sums it up a little better: Insisting that it has no expertise in how to run a jail or prison, theContinue reading “Breaking News: The US Supreme Court is a Political Institution”

Statutory Interpretation, the “Nietzsche Rule”, and Stevens and Scalia in Zuni

From Chapter 8, (‘Doctrines of Statutory Interpretation’), Section 1, A. ‘Textual Canons’, 2 ‘Grammar Canons’, (f) ‘The Golden Rule (Against Absurdity) – and the Nietzsche Rule.  of William N. Eskridge, Jr., Philip Fricket, and Elizabeth Garrett, Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, Thomson West, American Casebook Series, Saint Paul,Continue reading “Statutory Interpretation, the “Nietzsche Rule”, and Stevens and Scalia in Zuni”