Summary of “The Justice Who Built the Trump Court”

Hyperbole is the native tongue of political prognostication, but it’s no exaggeration to assert that the Supreme Court appears headed for a conservative era unlike anything since the 1937 “Switch in time that saved nine”-when the court began to validate the New Deal legislation it had struck down all through Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first term.
If you’re looking for the real source of what is happening, I propose a different, and at first blush, unlikely candidate: a justice who retired nine years ago, and whose departure had no impact on the ideological composition of the court.
His court decisions on almost every issue reflected a consistent conservative philosophy.
The blowback from Souter made the Supreme Court a key-if not the key-issue for conservatives when judging candidates for high office.
More telling, the court turned out to have far more salience as a voting issue with conservatives than with liberals, who were perhaps comforted by the past 60 years of court history.
Even after Mitch McConnell refused even to hold hearings for Antonin Scalia’s successor, even with the clear evidence that the court’s future was at stake, Supreme Court voters-the 1 in 5 who cited the court as their top issue-broke 56-41for Trump.
Almost 30 years after Souter’s nomination, the prospect of a court that, well into the future, will be fighting their deepest beliefs has sent at least some of the liberal community into the same desperate search for alternatives as the right went through half a century ago.
Conservatives argued for everything from removing justices–to limiting the court’s jurisdiction, to creating a court composed of state Supreme Court judges to overrule them.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The New York Review of Books”

If Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced his retirement on June 27, is confirmed by the Senate, the Supreme Court will have a stable majority of conservative justices for the first time since before the New Deal.
A federal court blocked the law, but its passage signals clearly that the Court will come under pressure to revisit Roe v. Wade.
Many Court observers, including Ginsburg, have suggested that it generated lasting controversy because the Court decided it without first laying the foundation with prior incremental decisions.
Just as liberals would no longer be able to rely on the Supreme Court to strike down anti-abortion measures, they would have to concentrate on winning elections and lobbying members of Congress to secure other rights that they are currently seeking to win in court.
In the Lochner era, so-called after a 1905 decision blocking a New York State maximum-hours law for bakers, the Court struck down much progressive state legislation as violating the liberty of contract, a right it found in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
It is what happened during the New Deal, when the justices’ resistance led Franklin Roosevelt to try to pack the Court.
Today’s Court enjoys more independence and public legitimacy than the Court that Roosevelt confronted did, and it is far from obvious that it would give in to Democratic pressure.
A durable conservative majority on the Supreme Court could impose substantial changes in American rights and law, especially in areas where liberals have in recent decades relied on courts and administrative agencies rather than Congress or state legislatures to implement progressive policies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The supreme court has already reshaped America”

Amid the torrent of political news, White House scandals, special counsel surprises and presidential tweets, the power of the supreme court as one of the nation’s primary instruments of change can recede.
While executive orders and acts of Congress can be interrupted or reversed by the partisan pendulum, supreme court rulings are meant to bridge generations.
Josh Blackman, 33, a professor at the South Texas College of Law specializing in the supreme court and constitutional law, hailed the term just concluded from the other side of the ideological spectrum.
While past courts have had liberal or conservative bents, since the Bush v Gore decision that decided the 2000 election, the court has taken on a more explicitly political feel.
In rulings on issues such as workplace arbitration, sexual harassment, voting rights, consumer rights and civil rights, the court could have a particuilar impact on society’s most vulnerable.
The opportunity for Republicans, who account for only 27% of voters, to lock in a conservative supreme court for a generation represents a tremendous payoff in a series of gambles for a party that has appeared in danger of breaking apart.
In one of his most audacious power plays, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, refused to consider Merrick Garland, Obama’s final supreme court pick, for eight months in 2016, arguing that the choice had to wait for the election.
Although 3 million more Americans voted for Clinton than voted for Trump, the reality show star triumphed in the electoral college, ascended to the presidency and now is prepared to name a second supreme court justice, following his successful nomination of Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Supreme Court surveillance opinion nudges us to think nationally, act locally”

After deliberating the decision for months, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Carpenter v. United States, a case in which the court was asked to answer the question: is it OK for police to obtain 127-days worth of someone’s cell-site location information without a warrant?
In a 5-4 decision, the court found that the answer was “No.” This is clearly a landmark step toward stronger privacy protections, and the opinion builds on two other related cases that the court unanimously decided in 2012 and 2014.
With the court clearly imposing a warrant standard, police just have to do a little more legwork ahead of time, but getting a warrant is not difficult.
Now, while the Supreme Court plays a critical role in helping all of us understand what the law is, it is equally important to remember that privacy advocates big and small cannot afford to wait.
The wheels of justice famously move slowly, and cases often takes several years to reach the Supreme Court, if they ever do.
As Tim Carpenter’s prosecution unfolded, he was eventually convicted at trial, lost on appeal, and finally got to the Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in October 2017.
Put another way: how much better has surveillance technology improved since Tim Carpenter perpetrated his armed robbery several years ago? With increasingly inexpensive police drones and the advent of companies that are literally called “Persistent Surveillance Systems,” this problem will only get worse.
“A person does not surrender all Fourth Amendment protection by venturing into the public sphere,” a majority of the Supreme Court concluded in Carpenter.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy?”

“The Right to Privacy” is where Sarah Igo begins “The Known Citizen”, her mighty effort to tell the story of modern America as a story of anxieties about privacy.
As in Douglas’s dissent, privacy functions as a kind of default right when an injury has been inflicted and no other right seems to suit the case.
Douglas got a second crack at applying his theory of privacy as a constitutional right in 1965, in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut.
“Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights,” Douglas wrote for the Court, “Have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.” The right to privacy was formed out of such emanations.
People invoke their right to privacy when it serves their interests.
How far the constitutional right to privacy can be made to stretch is the subject of Cyrus Farivar’s lively history of recent Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, “Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech”.
The right to privacy does not attach to property, the Court now said; it attaches to persons.
The Supreme Court found that the use of the device violated Jones’s right to privacy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Denis Shapovalov Is the Thrilling, Gutsy Teen of Tennis”

I am walking with Denis Shapovalov on the grounds of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden when a woman approaches him and, after apologizing for being a bother, wishes him luck.
Indian Wells has lots of open practice courts, allowing fans an opportunity to get quite close to their favorite players.
Just a quick glint in a player’s eye that sizes up the stranger-is it a fan? A sponsor? A tournament volunteer? But Shapovalov is, for now, unusually unguarded.
Throughout the tournament, Shapovalov had been staying at the family home of close friend and fellow Canadian tennis player FĂ©lix Auger-Aliassime.
Occasionally, you can get the sense that, when a lower-ranked player takes the court against an all-time great like Nadal or Federer, they do so with the modest hope of just not getting blown off the court.
“You can’t just put the ball in and hope Rafa misses. It’s not going to happen. He’ll just run you around the court and make the shots he needs to make. When I play the top guys, I make sure that if I have an opening, I go for it.”
“As a person,” he says, “I find myself to be shy and not that exciting, but on the court I feel like a different animal. We’re entertainers. That’s our job: to give the fans a good show. I grew up wanting to play on the big stages in front of all these fans, so when I finally get the chance to do it, I’m so happy that I let myself go. For me, I feel like the point is to go out there and express your emotions and your feelings for the game.”
“The obligations they must have? Players like Roger and Rafa can’t go anywhere unnoticed, within tennis and outside of tennis. They can’t go to malls. They can’t go to the movies and just relax. They always have to be cautious. And then they somehow balance everything and still play at the highest level. If I were in their position, I don’t know if I could do it for as long as Roger or Rafa. I’ll probably retire earlier than…well, definitely earlier than Roger!”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Habeas Data excerpt: How a mugger helped create the modern NSA surveillance program.”

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been secretly relying on Smith, which began as a late-night robbery in Baltimore in 1975, to justify a massive surveillance program at the National Security Agency.
Today, the third-party doctrine works like this: If Alice calls Bob using Verizon, the fact that this call went over Verizon’s network means that a third party was brought into the mix.
In Smith, the Supreme Court found that a Baltimore robber, Michael Lee Smith, did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the numbers that he dialed-the third party here was the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. As such, the police did not need a warrant to obtain the numbers dialed through the use of a device called a pen register.
In an unusual move, the Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, ordered that it hear the case before it had a chance to be adjudicated by the state’s middle court.
In a 4-3 decision on July 14, 1978, the court of appeals found that because a pen register was not a device that “Intercepts” a telephone call, it did not violate the state’s wiretap law and was not a search.
“There can be no doubt that the fact that Smith made certain calls from his home telephone is highly relevant information in a criminal prosecution for obscene or annoying phone calls.”
Three months after the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was signed into law on Oct. 25, 1978.
The new law was designed to strike a balance between the needs of the government to conduct secret surveillance and providing adequate oversight by creating an entirely new court, FISC. The FISC, unlike all others nationwide, would have not only secret proceedings but also a secret docket.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Bail Feels Less Like Freedom, More Like Extortion”

Unlike payday lenders, the bail bond industry deals with potential criminals whose very involvement with the law raises questions about their trustworthiness.
Some bail bond practices have drawn the ire of judges who complain that payment plans are too lenient on people accused of serious crimes, allowing them to get out for just a few hundred dollars or even no money down.
The bond agency, Blair’s Bail Bonds, stopped Mr. Egana, who had prior felony convictions, from going to court on charges of fleeing an officer, but had bailed him out in June 2016 after he was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, a firearm and stolen property.
Had Mr. Egana been wealthier, he might have been able to post his full bail of $26,000, then gotten it back when he returned for court.
Like most defendants, Mr. Egana had to turn to a commercial bail bond agent that charges a nonrefundable fee for the service of guaranteeing the bond.
Jeffrey J. Clayton, the executive director of the American Bail Coalition, an industry group, said that credit bonds, as the payment plans are called, should be more tightly regulated and require at least a minimum down payment.
The bond company detained him several more times, according to court records.
Jeffrey Orey, a spokesman for Blair’s Bail Bonds, while denying any wrongdoing, declined to comment on the specifics of Mr. Egana’s lawsuit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Chief Justice Roberts Is Reshaping The First Amendment”

Whichever way the rulings come down this spring and summer, it’s almost certain that the winning side will include Chief Justice John Roberts, who has spent his 12-plus years at the helm of the high court quietly carving out a space as a prolific and decisive arbiter of free speech law.
Roberts has authored more majority opinions on free speech than any other justice during his tenure, signaling that this is an area where he wants to create a legacy.
Chief Justice Roberts assigns more speech cases to himself Free speech-related* Supreme Court cases, by author of the majority opinion, 2005-16.
Roberts has presided over – and participated in – a deliberate and systematic expansion of free speech rights in the realm of campaign finance and commercial speech.
The court’s determination that campaign spending limits on corporations violated free speech in the 2010 case Citizens United v. FEC was just one in a series that struck down a range of campaign finance laws on First Amendment grounds and expanded corporations’ right to speech in other venues, like drug advertising and trademark regulations.
Although the Roberts court seems to be interpreting free speech in a new way with these decisions, some historians say that free speech has always been ideologically flexible.
According to Laura Weinrib, a historian and professor of law at the University of Chicago, corporate titans like the Ford Motor Company were part of the early push for broader free speech protections precisely because they recognized the power of the First Amendment for advancing their own causes, while organizations like the ACLU strategically accepted a “Neutral” vision of free speech that protected the strong as well as the weak in order to secure early victories for labor rights.
There’s disagreement about whether the Roberts court, by upholding these government restrictions on speech, is undermining its reputation as a court dedicated to a broad view of free speech.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Markelle Fultz’s Lonely Search for His Jump Shot”

Video snippets have bounced across the internet, brief and inconclusive, taken during warm-ups or workouts far from the fans’ glare.
One shows glimpses of Fultz unsteady from point-blank.
In another, taken over the last week, he stands alone at 3-point range, and actually hits his shot.
During timeouts, he hovered near players who got instructions from head coach Brett Brown.
Fultz nodded his head, but sat with his hands clasped together at his waist.
At halftime, out in the concourse, Sixers’ fans wore red, white and blue jerseys.
One photo showed Fultz looking over his right shoulder.
Slowly, he walked off the court, down an aisle, and out of view.

The orginal article.