In the News

Supreme Court justices have malleable view of democracy

An op-ed by Michael Klarman. By a narrow 5-to-4 majority, the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges has ruled that the US Constitution requires states to permit gay and lesbian couples to marry. The decision raises many interesting questions about the court and its role in American society: the extraordinary influence of one man (Justice Anthony Kennedy) on the court’s decision-making, the malleability of constitutional interpretation in the face of rapidly shifting social norms, and the justices’ willingness/reluctance to advance beyond public opinion in their constitutional interpretations. Yet the most interesting aspect of Obergefell may be the way the conservative justices chose to frame the issue in their four separate dissents: Each criticized the court’s refusal to defer to democratic decision making on the issue of gay marriage.Continue Reading at The Boston Globe »

Kennedy Key to Same-Sex Marriage Decision, Law Profs Say

Following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision Friday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage, several Harvard Law School professors said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who authored the majority opinion, played an extraordinary role in advancing the cause.

“The majority opinion by Justice Kennedy was a triumph of reason and passion alike,” Law School professor and former Supreme Court clerk Laurence H. Tribe ’62 wrote in an email. … Law School professor Michael J. Klarman wrote that Friday’s decision “confirms the extraordinary influence” of Kennedy, adding that he believes Kennedy is “the most powerful justice in history.” … Law School professor Richard H. Fallon agreed that people opposed to same-sex marriage may be angry about the verdict, they are unlikely to act politically, given a shift in public support for same-sex marriage in recent years.

 Continue Reading at Harvard Crimson »

Happy about the Supreme Court’s ACA decision? Thank a law professor

An op-ed by Rachel Sachs, Academic Fellow. The core of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has now survived its second trip to the Supreme Court…Three years ago, it was clear from both the oral argument and opinions that the justices did not fully appreciate the health policy consequences of their ruling. But in the oral argument in King v Burwell, the justices displayed a much more sophisticated understanding of the law. And, happily, that understanding is reflected in Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion – in part thanks to law professors.Continue Reading at The Conversation »

See All »

Featured Video

On the Bench, Commencement 2015 (video)

Always a popular photo spot, the Harvard Law School sign (and sometimes bench) is even more popular at graduation. This time-lapse video, taken on May 28, condenses six hours of foot-traffic to and from Commencement ceremonies into two minutes.Continue Reading »

Recent Highlights

Read All »