Mazie contends that the Court is less ideologically divided than most observers presume, issuing many more unanimous rulings than 5-4 decisions throughout the term that concluded in June 2015. When ruling on questions ranging from marriage equality to freedom of speech to the Affordable Care Act, the justices often showed a willingness to depart from their ideological fellow travelers—and this was particularly true of the conservative justices. Chief Justice Roberts joined his liberal colleagues in saving Obamacare and upholding restrictions on personal solicitation of campaign funds by judicial candidates. Justice Samuel Alito and the chief voted with the liberals to expand the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. And Justice Clarence Thomas floated to the left wing of the bench in permitting Texas to refuse to print a specialty license plate emblazoned with a Confederate flag. American Justice 2015 conveys, in clear, accessible terms, the arguments, decisions, and drama in these cases, as well as in cases involving Internet threats, unorthodox police stops, death-penalty drugs, racial equality, voting rights, and the separation of powers.
From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.
This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change, and technological progress mean that the court's decisions on key topics—including free speech, privacy, voting rights, and presidential power—could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government. Tribe—one of the country's leading constitutional lawyers—and Matz dig deeply into the court's recent rulings, stepping beyond tired debates over judicial "activism" to draw out hidden meanings and silent battles. The undercurrents they reveal suggest a strikingly different vision for the future of our country, one that is sure to be hotly debated.
Filled with original insights and compelling human stories, Uncertain Justice illuminates the most colorful story of all—how the Supreme Court and the Constitution frame the way we live.
Eric Segall, professor of law at Georgia State University College of Law for two decades, explains why this third branch of the national government is an institution that makes important judgments about fundamental questions based on the Justices' ideological preferences, not the law. A complete understanding of the true nature of the Court's decision-making process is necessary, he argues, before an intelligent debate over who should serve on the Court--and how they should resolve cases--can be held. Addressing front-page areas of constitutional law such as health care, abortion, affirmative action, gun control, and freedom of religion, this book offers a frank description of how the Supreme Court truly operates, a critique of life tenure of its Justices, and a set of proposals aimed at making the Court function more transparently to further the goals of our representative democracy.