Supreme Court Decision Review

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and  Elena Kagan attend President Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012. Supreme Court Justices John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan attend President Obama's State of the Union speech on January 24, 2012. (Getty)

Slate senior editor and legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick talks about Monday's SCOTUS decisions, focusing on those prohibiting life without parole for juvenile offenders and overturning campaign finance limits in Montana.


Dahlia Lithwick

Comments [18]

gary from queens


Dahlia may be wrong on one point. I thought Kennedy's observation re corruption on citizens united was merely dicta. (I mean, how can bribery NOT occur sometimes.) Rather, I thought the majority held that speech cannot be limited (first amendment) nor unevenly applied (14 amendment - equal protections) to the extent that the statute limited Exxon Oil's politcal speech, but not Sierra clubs speech.

Beyond that, I feel the liberals on the court would have agreed with the majority had they read David Horiowitz's latest book, The New Leviathans, which shows with ample documentation that the wealthiest institutions are left wing, and contribute more to political causes than conservative. On both points, by huge, order of magnitude margins.

Jun. 26 2012 11:16 AM
gary from QUEENS

The court had trouble over the aspect that government can force you into commerce that government had created. Congress created the law that forces hospitals to treat, even if you dont want the treatment. Then government comes back later and says we need a law to force you to pay for this commerce because YOU MAY want treatment and YOU MAY be unable or unwilling to pay for it.


Jun. 26 2012 11:09 AM

Brian, take a look at the powers delegated to the congress as enumerated in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
Does the individual mandate to purchase health insurance fall within the powers given to Congress as described in that section?
Opponents of the mandate say no. Compelling citizens to purchase a certain product or service are not included in the list of the powers given to congress in Section 8.
Supporters of the Mandate however point to the third clause, otherwise known as the commerce clause, which is vague enough, to allow for the individual mandate especially since the mandate provides for "the general Welfare of the United States."

Jun. 26 2012 10:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Sheldon

Just having a little fun today. But nothing I can possibly say could be more ridiculous and outrageous than what actually goes on in this day and age. "Common sense" has ceased to exist, so anything goes...

Jun. 26 2012 10:37 AM
Amy from Manhattan

In a way, the Montana case reminds me of Voting Rights Act reauthorizations, only going the other way on whether a history of the conduct that led to enaction/use of the law justified continuing to use it.

Jun. 26 2012 10:35 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Jg is having a burst of sarcasm - I think.

Jun. 26 2012 10:34 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

The solution for Arizona is obvious: give it back to the Apaches. Allow only Apaches and Navajo to check for residency status. The Supreme Court should have ruled that only Apaches may have the right to stop and frisk and ask for ID papers, and nobody else! :)

Jun. 26 2012 10:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To John from Office

The problem with America is poor people! You get rid of them, you get rid of most of our problems! Look at Romney. Rich, good-looking, not a care in the world, and not a thought in his head! That's how Americans should be! Rich, good looking, no problems, and no "vision thing." All these poor people are causing all of our problems1 Get rid of 'em :)

Jun. 26 2012 10:21 AM

I would encourage anyone who thinks that Citizens United has, or will have, an influence on election outcomes to listen to the two Oral Arguments of this case. The mp3 audio is here:

Jun. 26 2012 10:20 AM
Nick from UWS

You can really see how the supreme court, that repulsive 9-eyed tarantula, is at the forefront of tightening the corporate stranglehold on our democracy as if we were a fly in a spiderweb. They are one of the most violently disgusting governing bodies ever seen in our history, selling out our entire democracy with a single sociopathic stroke of their pen.

Anyone thinking even 2 minutes about Citizens United can perceive the Orwellian core of it, even down to its very name which is Newspeak in its purest form. When it is proved that every single person working in a given company has precisely the same political viewpoint then maybe you might be able to make the case that that "corporation is a person". Otherwise, you might as well call it Citizens Bulldozed.

Jun. 26 2012 10:17 AM

Could Lithwick show her Left Wing biases any more blatantly?

Typical arrogance of the extreme left.
I'm turning this polemic off.

Jun. 26 2012 10:15 AM
john from office

jgarbuz, comments like that are the problem. Instead of dealing with the problems at hand, we are arguing if the president was born here. That is the ignorance of the harsh republican hard right. Hide the real problems with UFOs and black helicopters.

Jun. 26 2012 10:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Joe, I have no idea what JG was trying to say.

Jun. 26 2012 10:13 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

I say, just make corruption and bribery LEGAL, and that will end all the controversies once and for all! If you are not wealthy enough to bribe your representatives, then you are too poor to be living in America! We only want rich people capable of buying the best government for the rich possible! We don't want poor people bringing this country down! America is for the rich; everyone else GET OUT and go to your favorite third world hell hole.

Jun. 26 2012 10:12 AM

@jgarbuz from Queens-
You win the award for Most Ill Informed Comment Of The Day.

Jun. 26 2012 10:10 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

It is unconstitutional to check if a Black, Hispanic or Muslim person running for president of the USA is a citizen thereof, or an illegal immigrant, because that is racial profiling! ;)

Jun. 26 2012 10:07 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Brian Lehrer was really annoyed that the Court doesn't tell us when it's decisions will be made public.

Jun. 26 2012 08:27 AM
john from office

Brian, I heard your show yesterday and I viewed the Arizona decision as a loss for the forces of evil in Arizona and a victory, a limited victory, to pro immigration forces. I then heard the evening news on ABC and the decision was presented as a loss for pro immigartion forces and several other news outlets also joined in claiming that this was a victory for Arizona and their law. I understand that it was a partial victory for both, but how can it be painted so differently. It says something about the internet echo chamber and the failure of media to properly report the news without spin.

Jun. 26 2012 07:17 AM

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