The following essay by Professor Alan Dershowitz, What Kind Of Justice Will Alito Be?, appeared in Forbes on January 13, 2006: Almost all justices vote almost all of the time in accordance with their own personal, political and religious views. That is the reality, especially on the Supreme Court, where precedent is not as binding, and where cases are less determined by specific facts than by broad principles.
When Justices William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor left the bench last year, conservatives were in an anxious mood: though pleased at the prospect of shifting the Supreme Court to the right, they were worried by the record of past Republican appointments. The refrain in conservative commentary, repeated with special intensity during the Harriet Miers affair, was: Not another Souter. Not another Kennedy. Not another O’Connor.
Professor Charles Fried writes: I am convinced of the urgent necessity of such a surveillance program. I suppose but do not know — the revelations have been understandably and deliberately vague — that included in what is done is a constant computerized scan of all international electronic communications.
When it comes to Supreme Court nominees, conservatives are in agreement: Situation matters. Pundits on the right shouted down Harriet E. Miers over concerns that her evangelical backbone would whither under Washington winds. Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. stepped into her spot seeming of far more stalwart vertebrae, but as his backers have stressed recently, he is a creature of situation as well.
Professor Lucian Bebchuk, director of the HLS Program on Corporate Governance, recently delivered the John R. Raben Fellowship Lecture at Yale University. The lecture was based on a working paper titled “The Myth of the Shareholder Franchise,” in which Bebchuk argues that shareholders rarely, if ever, successfully vote to replace the board of a public company.
Professor Mary Ann Glendon has been named a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. She will be presented with the award tomorrow at an Oval Office ceremony with President Bush. Glendon is among a small number of Americans to receive the humanities medal this year, which was revealed yesterday in conjunction with the announcement of the National Medal of Arts recipients.
The following op-ed by Professor Laurence Tribe, Alito’s world, appeared in The Boston Globe on November 7, 2005: You can’t help doing a double-take when you read Judge Samuel Alito’s opinion holding Congress powerless to compel states to provide family medical leave to their employees.
Professor Charles Fried writes: What is indispensable is that [Miers] be able to think lucidly and deeply about legal questions and express her thoughts in clear, pointed, understandable prose. A justice without those capabilities — however generally intelligent, decent, and hardworking — risks being a calamity for the court, the law, and the country.