2012 Supreme Court Roundup

From the October 2012 Print Edition

Students in my constitutional law course are usually surprised, and often skeptical, when I propose that the most important case they will study is not about abortion rights, the death penalty, or the status of Guantanamo Bay, and does not concern Ten Commandments monuments, Christmas displays, or . . . . Continue Reading »

Things Not Caesar’s

From the March 2012 Print Edition

Clarity and unanimity have not exactly been the hallmarks of the Supreme Court’s efforts to interpret and enforce the Constitution’s religion clauses. In the two Ten Commandments cases decided in 2005, the nine justices managed to deliver ten opinions, with two different five-justice . . . . Continue Reading »

Kagan Proves Elections Matter

From First Thoughts

Sometimes, even things that are obviously true need to be underscored, and brought home. Here is one such thing: Elections matter. And, the election of President Obama has turned out to matter a great deal for the future decisions and direction of the Supreme Court. Solicitor General Kagan is, . . . . Continue Reading »

Misreading Cardinal George

From Web Exclusives

My friend and former colleague, Prof. Douglas Kmiec, opened his September 9, 2008 Chicago Tribune op-ed (“How Catholics can oppose abortion, back Obama”) with an endearing expression of respect for Chicago’s cardinal archbishop, Francis George. He then continued with his ongoing, . . . . Continue Reading »

Speechless in Seattle

From First Thoughts

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit handed down recently a free-speech decision that is raising some eyebrows and might be of interest to readers. Of particular interest, perhaps, is the fact that the majority opinion in the case, Berger v. City of Seattle , was written by . . . . Continue Reading »

Free to Believe

From the May 2007 Print Edition

Religious Freedom and the Constitution by Christopher L. Eisgruber and Lawrence G. Sager Harvard University Press, 352 pages, $28.95 These might seem depressing days for our public conversations about religion and public life. The bookstores’ shelves are creaking with the sermons of smug . . . . Continue Reading »