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Supreme Court

The Takeaway

Who is Sonia Sotomayor? Personal Views

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor grew up in the projects in the Bronx, then went on to Princeton and Yale Law School before working as a Manhattan DA and then a federal judge. Yale Law Professor and novelist Stephen Carter was in Sotomayor's law school class, now he teaches some of her opinions in her own classes. He'll join John and Farai to share his professional—and personal—perspective on the nominee. Also joining the conversation is Jenny Rivera who clerked for Sotomayor in 1993 and is now a law professor at the City University of New York Law School.

Click here for a slideshow of pictures from Sotomayor's life.

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court Fashions

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One of the many issues the new Supreme Court Justice will have to address is what to wear. A lace jabot like Sandra Day O'Connor? Something more... modern? The Takeaway talks to Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham Law School who writes the blog Counterfeit Chic. ...(And click here for a photo gallery of judicial fashions)

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The Takeaway

The New Liberal on the Court

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

As President Obama puts his mark on the Supreme Court, Republicans are cautioning against a return to a liberal court. But New York Times Magazine contributor – and law professor – Jeffrey Rosen says Obama is redefining the ideological debate.

For more, read Jeffrey Rosen's story in the New York Times Magazine, What’s a Liberal Justice Now?. Also read Rosen's article in The New Republic, The Case Against Sotomayor.

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The Takeaway

Surprises on the Supreme Court

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday. His pick is a New York Puerto Rican who is generally considered left-leaning. But once a judge is actually on the court, there's no way of knowing how they will rule. FDR hated Felix Frankfurter's love of judicial restraint. And David Souter, whose seat Sonia Sotomayor is nominated to fill, surprised George H.W. Bush, the president who nominated him, by becoming one of the more liberal justices. Joining us to discuss how Supreme Court justices develop their view is Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman, who once clerked for Justice Souter, and John Schwartz, the legal correspondent for The New York Times.

In case you missed it, here's President Obama officially nominating Judge Sotomayor:

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The Takeaway

The Jurisprudence of Judge Sotomayor

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Obama is about to announce his Supreme Court pick: Sonia Sotomayor, the first American of Puerto Rican descent to be appointed to the Federal bench in New York City, now in the Appeals Court of the 2nd Circuit. Judge Sotomayor earned a reputation as a sharp, outspoken and fearless jurist, someone who does not let powerful interests bully, rush or cow her into a decision. For more about the potential Justice we turn to Jenny Rivera, who clerked for Judge Sotomayor in the Southern District of New York Court in 1992 and is now a professor at the City University of New York Law School and the Director of the Center for Latino and Latina Rights and Equality. We are also joined by Slate Magazine's Senior Legal Correspondent Dahlia Lithwick.

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The Takeaway

Sotomayor: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Obama will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as his first appointment to the court. New Yorkers have long known this judge who grew up in the Bronx in the shadows of Yankee Stadium. Back in 1995, Judge Sotomayor issued an injunction against major league baseball owners, effectively ending a baseball strike of nearly eight months. For what the rest of the nation needs to know about this likely pick to fill the seat of retiring Justice David Souter, we turn to New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny.

Here is a clip of Sotomayor speaking at Duke University in 2005, which has stirred some controversy.

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The Takeaway

Introducing Judge Sotomayor: Her Life and Her Record

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Several administration officials say President Obama has settled on his pick for the Supreme Court. The name that's being floated is Sonia Sotomayor, who's been a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998. Joining us to discuss her background and her record as a judge is Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent for the New York Times.
"There's something wrong with a society that's 50/50 men and women and there's only one woman on the court."
—New York Times correspondent Adam Liptak on the Supreme Court nomination

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The Takeaway

Obama's Nominee: The Supremes' First Hispanic Woman

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Obama is expected to announce that he will fill retiring Justice David Souter's seat on the high court with Sonia Sotomayor. She would be the first Hispanic member of the Supreme Court. Sotomayor is a self-described "Newyorkican" who grew up in housing projects in the Bronx after her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. She attended Princeton University and Yale Law School before becoming a prosecutor and a federal judge. She also has a bipartisan background, having been appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush and then nominated to the appeals court by Bill Clinton. And did we mention that she helped end the baseball strike? For more about the potential Justice we turn to Slate Magazine's Senior Legal Correspondent Dahlia Lithwick.

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The Takeaway

Sonia Sotomayor: Obama's Supreme Court Pick

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Early reports say that President Obama has made his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court. The pick to fill retiring Justice Souter's seat appears to be Sonia Sotomayor. She has been a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998. Before joining the appeals court, she served as a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of New York. The Takeaway turns to Columbia Law Professor Nate Persily for more.

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The Takeaway

For the Supreme Court, a Good Judge of Character

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

President Obama consults today with Senate leaders on his pick to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter; he hopes the nominee can be through the confirmation process before Congress breaks in August. Should his nominee be female? Black? Latino? Joining us is Judge Judith Kaye, counsel with Skadden Litigation Group. Judge Kaye was the Chief Judge of New York Court of Appeals for 15 years until her retirement in 2008, and served longer than any judge in New York's history. She joins The Takeaway with her thoughts on what makes a good judge.

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The Takeaway

Who Will Reign Supreme?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Justice David Souter's retirement gives President Obama the chance to start reshaping the Supreme Court. Who's on Obama's short list? And what are the quialities that make someone a high-impact justice? Joining the Takeaway are Adam Liptak, Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times and Dahlia Lithwick, senior legal correspondent for Slate . They discuss what role the new justice could play.
"The ability to persuade, to slightly modify your view in order to get a fifth vote, that's a critical quality, almost more important than your own jurisprudential view."
—Dahlia Lithwick of Slate Magazine on nominees for the Supreme Court

For more, read Dahlia Lithwick's and Hanna Rosin's article, An Unnatural Woman: The secret life of a Supreme Court short-lister and Adam Liptak's article, Souter’s Exit Opens Door for a More Influential Justice in the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

The Republicans' Secret Weapon

Friday, May 08, 2009

Get ready to start hearing about Rule IV. An arcane regulation among the rules of the Senate Judiciary Committee has emerged as the best, and probably only, hope for the GOP to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee if they choose to try. How will they use their leverage? Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich explains Rule IV and why it could be even more powerful than the “nuclear option” of a filibuster.

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The Takeaway

The role Justice Souter played in court

Friday, May 01, 2009

Justice David Souter is planning to retire after more than 19 years on the Supreme Court, giving President Obama his first chance to fill a vacancy. What was Souter known for, and what will his retirement mean for the Supreme Court? To answer these questions on The Takeaway is Nate Persily, a professor of law and political science at Columbia University. He was at the Supreme Court this week watching the events unfurl.
"I think it's likely that he's going to get three pics. I think Justice Ginsberg and Justice Stevens are likely to retire in the next three years. At least those two."
—Columbia law and political science professor Nate Persily on Obama's Supreme Court picks.

Click through for a transcript.

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The Takeaway

Supreme Court Justice Souter to retire, leaving open seat for Obama to fill

Friday, May 01, 2009

Justice David Souter has reportedly told the White House that he will retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the court's term in June. Justice Souter's retirement would give President Obama his first pick for the high court. Adam Liptak, the Supreme Court correspondent for the New York Times, joins The Takeaway to discuss what role Souter played in the high court and who are likely replacements for him.

For more on the Justice Souter story, watch this clip from The Rachel Maddow Show.

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The Takeaway

A look at the docket for the Supreme Court

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Supreme Court has set its agenda for the week and will hear arguments on two cases involving civil rights. The first case involves the strip search of a young girl by school administrators hot in pursuit of...ibuprofen. They had received a tip that she was distributing, but turned up nothing in their search of the honor student. While this seems like a blatant and outrageous violation of the girl's fourth amendment rights, the Court has upheld such searches and allows the court to revisit the issue of whether civil rights can be limited at the schoolhouse door in order to protect the health, safety, or morals of the children within.

Next on the docket is a look at affirmative action in practice in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. The court will hear arguments on behalf of several firefighters (mostly white, but one is Latino) who feel that the city violated their rights to equal opportunity for work by eliminating a test that put firefighters who passed the exam on track for promotion. One of the firefighters, who had severe dyslexia, got tutoring and studied for thirteen hours a day and passed it. But no African American candidates on the firefighting force passed it, which prompted the city of New Haven to eliminate the test on the ground that it showed a gross disparity of opportunity for black firefighters than for whites.

Joining The Takeaway to discuss these cases and more is Kenji Yoshino, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Law at NYU law school.

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