U.S. Supreme Court

Poverty Is Not What You Think It Is

Poverty fell off a cliff after the Second World War. It fell like a stone, including for American blacks. The economy was booming and everyone benefited. The poverty rate dropped from 35 percent in 1950 to less than 20 percent when President Lyndon Johnson, nonetheless, announced his War on Poverty. By the time the War [...]

Religious Liberty Wins Again in the Supreme Court

In its decision in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer this week, the Supreme Court took another significant step in furthering its contemporary jurisprudence emphasizing the free exercise of religion. Trinity Lutheran Church operates a daycare and early-learning center on its church property in Boone County, Missouri. The church explicitly states that its early learning program is one of [...]

Obergefell and the Apotheosis of Judicial Will

With the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, many social conservatives breathed a sigh of relief. From what we know of his record, Justice Gorsuch does seem to be a worthy successor to Justice Antonin Scalia. Even if Gorsuch is somewhat less distinguished as a legal mind than Scalia, he is clearly [...]

How to Avoid Judicial Tyranny

The Founding Fathers envisioned the Supreme Court of the United States as an apolitical branch of government, co-equal to the others but devoid of any partisanship or politicking. Alexander Hamilton wrote that judges in the new American system would have “neither force nor will, but merely judgment.” The question of confirming a justice to the [...]

When Policy Preferences Masquerade as Rights

Recently, I took my son swimming at a local rec center. Entering the men’s locker room, we encountered a sign: “Children over 6 must use the appropriate locker room.” For a moment, I was tempted to speed dial the ACLU and Human Rights Watch to roust some federal judge that Sunday morning who could save [...]

How to Curtail Judicial Activism

I hear frequently in this year’s election campaign that Supreme Court appointments should be the key consideration in the choice between the presidential candidates. That’s certainly understandable, and perhaps true. It reflects, however, an unfortunate attitude—widespread and deeply ingrained in the American psyche—that the Court is somehow the ultimate, sovereign institution in the United States. [...]

The Court Has Completely Destroyed Its Own Legitimacy

It is a week for mourning certainly. We mourn the loss of an important Supreme Court case that would have protected women in abortion clinics. We mourn the inevitable loss of life that will be the direct result of this decision, the lives of unborn children but also women who would have otherwise had at [...]

The Left Replaces Rule of Law with Rule of Politics

A review in Washington Lawyer magazine of U.S. Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer’s recent book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities declared that he “makes a ringing defense of the rule of law.” That was a curious conclusion, in light of how Breyer—one of the most preeminent leftists in [...]

The Little Sister’s Last Stand for Religious Liberty

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell. This is a case in which a small order of nuns is seeking exemption from an Obama Administration requirement that they help distribute free contraceptives and abortifacients (drugs that cause abortions) through their government-mandated healthcare plan. Why does [...]

What to Look for in a Supreme Court Justice

As we brace ourselves for the political firestorm that is already beginning around filling the vacancy on our highest court, it would be useful to engage in a little “cultural catechesis” on the nature and purpose of the office in question. Though some will decry the “politicization” of the selection process, an honest review of [...]

The Flowering of Legal Cynicism

More than one commentator has noted that the majority decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, requiring states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, actually was decades in the making. No-fault divorce and our culture of sexual promiscuity, separating sex and even pregnancy from childbirth, inevitably dissolved the social consensus recognizing the natural family, including its children, [...]

First Steps Toward Protecting Parental Authority

In a recent article on the Obama Administration's incremental assault on parental moral authority, Caleb Henry observes that the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision portends the government’s imposition of a progressive “moral reeducation program” against private schools and families. Pointing to increasingly explicit public school interjection into morality traditionally entrusted to the family and church, Henry asks, [...]

The Danger of “Theocratic Majoritarianism”

Judge Richard Posner and Professor Eric Segall took to the pages of the December 2 New York Times to warn against the threat of “majoritarian theocracy.” Although summoning readers to beware of U.S. Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia’s religious predilections, one might suggest the authors look in a mirror to ponder, instead, their own. For [...]

Cruz Pledges to Ignore Unconstitutional Obergefell Decision

Editor’s note: Below is an excerpt from an interview with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) conducted by Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University that aired November 25 on EWTN. The interview series, titled “Candidate Conversations 2016,” will pose a number of questions to presidential candidates on topics of particular concern to Catholic voters. The passage [...]

Time to Knock the Supremes Down a Peg or Three

Besides doing something about certain lawless decisions made by our black-robed masters, something must also be done about how we came to such a place where they can cast their gaze across the fruited plain and whatever catches their fancy becomes the law of the land, indeed higher than the Constitution. Roe was bad enough, [...]

Planned Parenthood and the Origin of Life

The recent Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors and medical technicians casually describing fetal dismemberment are an instructive slap across the face for all who remain anesthetized to what happens in an abortion. One well-known cable news anchor was visibly upset when discussing the first video with her on-air guest: "Where is your humanity?" she asked. [...]

Justice Kennedy Creates Same-Sex “Marriage” Ex Nihilo

In Obergefell v. Hodges, America was once again confronted with the pseudo-philosophical and theological ruminations of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Though one’s initial, reasonable tendency would be to assess any court decision on legal grounds, Justice Kennedy’s opinion is founded on a constitutional jurisprudence that went awry long ago. Instead, perhaps the more appropriate hermeneutic for [...]

Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Crisis of Leadership

Many see the new putative constitutional right to same-sex “marriage” and the developments leading up to it as a result of a crisis of culture. It is that, to be sure, but it is also a result of a crisis of leadership. This has become further apparent in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell [...]

The Supreme Court: A Despotic Agent of Change

We have seen all this before. The Supreme Court takes on an important and controversial case. One side aims clearly at an end-result based on personal and ideological predilections.  It knows that it has the votes to win a majority of the court and to impose its decision on the nation. Yet, it is not [...]

Unnatural is the New Normal

In 1968, Pope Paul VI predicted that the widespread adoption of contraception would effectively sever the procreative and unitive purposes of sex in the popular mind and consequently lead to profound moral and sociological changes (see Humanae Vitae 17). British philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe likewise argued that accepting the liceity of contraception would leave no principled [...]

Taking Back Marriage

The only thing surprising about the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5–4 decision requiring all 50 states and the District of Columbia to perform gay “marriages,” and to recognize such unions contracted in other states, is that it took so long. The writing was on the wall 11 years ago, when the Republicans controlled both houses of [...]

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