Thursday, November 08, 2018

The Most Dangerous Branch?

Terry Gross, of the NPR program Fresh Air, interviewed author David A. Kaplan, author of the recently published book intitled The Most Dangerous Branch. The book criticises the role of the U.S. Supreme Court today. The subtitle of his book is « Inside the Supreme Court’s Assault on the Constitution ».  37 min, transcript available.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

More on the Harvard Admissions Suit

The trial to hear evidence about how Harvard chooses which applicants to admit is over, with a ruling to come much later because the evidence is so « dense », according to Max Larkin of NPR’s local Boston station. You can find his report here. 4 min, transcript available

Monday, October 15, 2018

How Harvard Chooses Its Students and Is That Legal

NPR’s All Things Considered has a piece about a lawsuit, brought on behalf of Asian-American students, criticizing how Harvard chooses its students. 3 min 41 sec, transcript available.
NPR's Morning Edition speaks with a reporter from their Boston affiliate. The report can be found here. 3min 36 sec, transcript available.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

More Cakes and Gay Rights

A baker in Northern Ireland refused to make a cake with the message "Support Gay Mariage" for a gay man and the UK Supreme Court has just ruled that the bakery has the right to do so. The announcement of the judgment of October 10, 2018 can be found here. 8 min 52 sec, no transcript. The Supreme Court website has a written summary of the judgment and links to videos of the court hearing oral arguments in May of this year. The BBC’s coverage of the case contains several short videos and a history of this legal battle.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided a case about a wedding cake for a gay mariage in June of this year. This blog's posts about the case before it was decided can be found here. Some reports of the June decision can be found here and here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

October 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Term Opens

The Brett Kavanaugh nomination to fill the seat of departing Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court is still pending, so the Court has begun its new year (or term) with only 8 justices. Nina Totenberg of NPR has this report about the first cases on the new docket. 3 min 58 sec, transcript available. The recording talks about a case involving the protection of an endangered species, the dusky gopher frog, but Totenberg’s article accompaning the recording also presents upcoming cases involving the death penalty, the rule of precedent, the power of administrative agencies and immigration.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The History of Gerrymandering 

There have been several mentions of gerrymandering on this blog, but for some in-depth historical background, you can to to a New York Times retro report on the subject and learn its relationship to an attempt to ensure that minorities, especially black Americans, could be elected. 11 min, 36 sec, no transcript, but the video is accompanied by a long newspaper article. You can also turn on the subtitles.
Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

The U.S. Senate is holding hearings before giving their "advice and consent" to President Trump's pick to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The hearings this time are especially acrimonious. To put them in historical perspective, The New York Times has a video presentation, How Supreme Court Confirmations Became Partisan Spectacles. 4 min 44 sec, no transcript but you can turn on subtitles.