Carolyn Shapiro is an associate professor of law and co-director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the...
Attorney and constitutional scholar David J. Shestokas is author of the book, Constitutional Sound Bites, which grew from his...
Bob Ambrogi is the only person to have held top editorial positions at both National Law Journal and Lawyers Weekly...
The Supreme Court ended its term on Monday, June 27, 2017. Decisions were handed down in a variety of cases including cases involving big corporations, church and state, voting rights, and most notably, the controversial travel ban, put forth by President Trump.
On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, host Bob Ambrogi joins attorney and constitutional scholar, David J. Shestokas, author of the book, Creating the Declaration of Independence and Carolyn Shapiro, associate professor of law and co-director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at Chicago-Kent College of Law, as they discuss the Supreme Court’s end of term, landmark cases and decisions, the addition of Gorsuch to the high court, and look ahead to upcoming cases on the docket.
Attorney and constitutional scholar David J. Shestokas is author of the new book, Creating the Declaration of Independence, which takes you through the thoughts of the men and the political climate of the day as they forged the bold and barrier breaking document embracing the ‘law of nature and nature’s god’, as a foundation for self-government.
Carolyn Shapiro is an associate professor of law and co-director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at Chicago-Kent College of Law. From 2014 through mid-2016, Professor Shapiro took a leave of absence from Chicago-Kent to serve as Illinois solicitor general.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer – Law News and Legal Topics
The Supreme Court’s End of Term
Carolyn Shapiro: It was a fairly significant term because you saw the court first of all trying very hard to reach consensus so that they could avoid having 4-4 split decisions during the period before Justice Gorsuch joined the court. And there was a lot of decisions that continue along the lines that the Roberts Court has charted out that essentially restrict access to the courts in a variety of different ways.
David Shestokas: They put off deciding things regarding the Trump issue, the North Carolina Voter ID Law, they decided to essentially determine that there was not circumstances where they couldn’t actually determine who had standing to follow-up on the case. And so there was — I think even though they were trying to reach consensus in a number of ways, it’s quite clear that they were unable to reach consensus in some very, very important places and sort of kick the can down the road.
Intro: Welcome to the award-winning podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer with J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi, bringing you the latest legal news and observations with the leading experts in the legal profession. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Bob Ambrogi: Welcome to Lawyer 2 Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network. This is Bob Ambrogi coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, where I write a blog called LawSites. I also host another Legal Talk Network Program called Law Technology Now along with Monica Bay.
My co-host here on Lawyer 2 Lawyer J. Craig Williams is out of the country today and unable to be with us. Before we get to today’s topic, let me just take a moment to thank our sponsors Clio and Litera.
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Well, the Supreme Court ended its 2016-2017 term on Monday, June 27. Decisions were handed down on a variety of cases, including cases involving big corporations, church and state, voting rights, and most notably the controversial travel ban put forth by President Trump.
Today on Lawyer 2 Lawyer we are going to take a look back at the Supreme Court’s most recent term, the cases that came out of it, the addition of Justice Gorsuch to the court, and take a moment to also look ahead at what’s coming down the pike for the court going forward.
To help us look at the Supreme Court’s term today, we have two guests. Let me introduce each of them in turn. First of all, I would like to welcome to the show attorney and constitutional scholar David J. Shestokas, author of the book, ‘Constitutional Sound Bites’, which grew from his weekly radio show, ‘Constitutionally Speaking’, and his website Constitutional Legal Education and News featured at HYPERLINK “http://www.shestokas.com” shestokas.com.
David’s newest book, ‘Creating the Declaration of Independence’, takes the reader through the thoughts of the men in the political climate of the day as they forged the bold and barrier breaking document embracing the ‘Law of Nature and Nature’s God’, as a foundation for self-government.
Welcome to Lawyer 2 Lawyer David Shestokas.
David Shestokas: Thank you so much Bob. It is a pleasure to be here with you today.
Bob Ambrogi: And nice to have you. Also joining us today is Carolyn Shapiro, Associate Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law and Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at the Law School.
In 2014-2016, Professor Shapiro took a leave of absence from Chicago-Kent to serve as Illinois Solicitor General. She also blogs at ISCOTUSnow, which she co-edits and on the Chicago-Kent Faculty Blog and its related CK Now and on the American Constitution Society Blog as a guest blogger. She also posts at the Huffington Post.
Welcome to the show Carolyn Shapiro.
Carolyn Shapiro: Thank you for having me.
Bob Ambrogi: So I wanted to start with kind of the big picture and we will try and get in to some of the details going forward. But Carolyn, I wonder if I could start with you and ask, how would you characterize this most recently completed term, overall?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, overall it was a relatively quiet term, at least in terms of the types of cases that normally are headline grabbers. But it was a fairly significant term because you saw the court, first of all, trying very hard to reach consensus so that they could avoid having 4-4 split decisions during the period before Justice Gorsuch joined the court. And there was a lot of decisions that continue along the lines that the Roberts Court has charted out that essentially restrict access to the courts in a variety of different ways and using variety of different mechanisms.
Bob Ambrogi: David, same question to you, what’s your sort of big picture characterization of this most recently completed term?
David Shestokas: As Professor Shapiro said, there was certainly some restrictions on access to the courts, which were curious. In some respects, some of the things that have happened was what they didn’t do. One of the cases that we will be talking about has to do with California and gun laws and the fact that they essentially denied certing that matter.
They put off deciding things regarding the Trump issue, the North Carolina Voter ID Law, they decided to essentially determine that there was not circumstances where they couldn’t actually determine who had standing to follow-up on the case. And so there was — I think even though they were trying to reach consensus in a number of ways, it’s quite clear that they were unable to reach consensus in some very, very important places and sort of kicked the can down the road.
Bob Ambrogi: Why did it seem that they were focused on trying to reach consensus in these cases, were they simply trying to avoid a deadlock because they only had eight justices for much of the term, was that what they were doing and how did that impact their decisions in cases, Carolyn?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, I definitely think that they were trying to do that. If they split 4-4, what happens is the case — the lower court decision is affirmed by an equally divided court, and the lower court decisions stands, but there is no Supreme Court precedent, no guidance. And that can be very problematic in particular in situations where they took a case, for example, because there was a circuit split or so that you have different law in different parts of the country, depending on how the lower courts have ruled.
But in general I think Roberts likes to try to find consensus, he likes to try to come up with rulings that at least at first blush appear to be fairly narrow and then he may later build on them for broader, more controversial propositions. But I think that as an institutional matter the Chief Justice prefers for the court to avoid 5-4 decisions or obviously 4-4 decisions when possible.
And I think you saw that most recently in the Holy Trinity Church case that was decided the very end of the term. It was actually a 7-2 decision, requiring the State of Missouri to consider providing funds directly to a church to repave its playground through a state program that provides money to repave playgrounds with recycled tires.
Missouri had refused to do that because it has a state constitutional provision prohibiting any funding going to religious institutions and the court said, no, you can’t do that at least here. And it’s the ‘at least here’, that sort of the narrow part of the decision that clearly brought at least some of the justices on board with the Chief Justice’s majority decision, and it’s impossible to know at this point how broadly future courts will read that precedent.
Bob Ambrogi: Wasn’t that the case in which, I think Justice Thomas, who was kind of critical of the court for the way it tried to narrow the holding there?
Carolyn Shapiro: Yeah, so there is a footnote in the majority decision that says essentially this case is about the refusal of the state to provide funds for this playground repaving program. We are not talking about any other type of restrictions on funding to religious institutions or any other type of discrimination against religious institutions, whether that would be constitutional or not.
And Justice Thomas joined by Justice Gorsuch I believe said, that footnote was too narrow, refused to join that footnote, although they joined the rest of the opinion and disagreed the narrowing effort of that footnote. Justice Breyer, who didn’t in fact join the majority opinion but wrote separately, basically in his separate opinion reiterated what that footnote said and said, I agree with the results with that kind of caveat.
Bob Ambrogi: So David, Carolyn mentions Justice Gorsuch, I wondered, I read a great quote somewhere that said Justice Gorsuch kind of defined the court’s term this year, especially when he wasn’t there. What’s your perception of the impact the Justice Gorsuch nomination had on the court this year and for the period of the term that he actually sat on the court, what was your impression of him?
David Shestokas: Well, certainly we got a preview of what Justice Gorsuch is going to be like in many respects. In many of the decisions he agreed with the outcome of the court, but he also, as Professor Shapiro noted, would indicate that the court was doing things too narrowly. He certainly disagreed with the court when it came to the denial of certiorari in the Second Amendment case out of California.
And he sided with Justice Thomas in a couple of reservations about the general court decision while concurring in the judgment. It seems as though he is kind of finding his way in terms of doing that, joining the consensus, but opening the door to broader decisions, both when it comes to things like church and state issues and when it comes to situations like the Second Amendment.
His complaint along with Justice Thomas on the Second Amendment denial of certiorari was an indication that he would certainly view it much more broadly than the court did and indicated that the court currently is treating the Second Amendment as a second class right.
So I think he has revealed some interesting things about himself in the early going and I think it will have some impact.
Bob Ambrogi: Carolyn, what about you? What’s your impression so far? I mean I imagine it takes some period of time for a new justice on the court to kind of really establish his or her presence there. But Justice Gorsuch certainly had a lot of judicial experience before coming on to the court. So what’s your impression of what you have seen of him so far?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, I agree with David. He is actually somewhat unusual in his apparent willingness very, very early on in his tenure to write separately, sometimes entirely by himself, and sometimes with a tone that I think some people find a little bit pedantic, as if he is telling his colleagues what to do or how to do their jobs better, although he is the new kid on the block.
But whether that will stick is hard to say. As you say, it can take a new justice a while to sort of figure out exactly what they want their role to be. Some of them come in because of that being fairly quiet and tentative and wait a while before they start speaking out separately as much as Justice Gorsuch has. But the fact that he is doing that off the bat, I don’t think necessarily means that that’s how he will be conducting himself say three years from now.
Bob Ambrogi: I guess one other personnel question before we get on to some of the cases, and that’s of course Justice Kennedy. He was again this term a significant vote on the court. He was in the majority I read something like 90 — more than 90% of the time. There have been persistent rumors and I think it has now been confirmed, if I understand it, that he plans to retire sometime in 2018. What would be the impact on the court if Justice Kennedy does in fact retire?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, let me just say, I don’t think it has been confirmed that he is planning to retire. He reportedly told a clerkship applicant that he is thinking about retiring, but not that he is going to retire and certainly not that he is going to retire during any particular term, unless there is some news that’s new that I have missed.
Bob Ambrogi: Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that, I thought I had read a report of that, so I am sorry. I stand corrected on that.
Carolyn Shapiro: I think my Twitter feed would have blown up if it would have been confirmed. But obviously he is the swing vote right now between sort of the liberal block and the conservative block. So if he were to step down during the Trump administration, we would see a dramatic shift, undoubtedly a dramatic shift in the overall ideological profile of the court. The most likely new swing justice would be Chief Justice Roberts, who is — he is not a liberal justice by anybody’s lights.
So I think to be honest, Justice Kennedy, whether or not he in fact steps down at the end of next term or at some other point in the next few years, depends obviously on many factors; some of them personal, some of them health-related, but I think also it will depend on how chaotic things are with the Trump administration and our national politics. I think that if the Trump administration appears to be melting down, if there appears to be some kind of major constitutional crisis involving that presidency, which doesn’t seem implausible at this point.
Bob Ambrogi: It certainly does.
Carolyn Shapiro: Then I think Justice Kennedy might very well decide that it’s not a good time to have a confirmation battle and that he should wait.
Bob Ambrogi: Interesting. David, do you have any thoughts on Justice Kennedy’s influence on the court now and what might happen going forward?
David Shestokas: Well, he has clearly, as the professor pointed out, been a swing vote. Everybody knows that situation and I think he is obviously aware of the political implications and certainly the long-term implications for the court should he leave, because certainly the President has selected Justice Gorsuch off his previous list of 21, and you review the previous list of 21 that he submitted during the campaign for the people’s review, you will find more folks like Justice Gorsuch. So it would clearly tip the balance of the court.
So the fight turns out to be — the real problem turns out to be in the Senate and the situation with of course having exercised the nuclear option, it may make some difference, but Kennedy is obviously quite aware of the politics associated with his decision.
On the other hand, he is not a young man and I think as a practical matter his comments to his potential clerks on the situation just recognizes the reality of that matter. I am certainly not capable of getting into his mind, but I think he understands his place on the court and his place in history and the politics, it’s very likely that we would not see something on the order of a Judge Bork, Justice Thomas kind of hearings for whoever President Trump would select as a potential successor and I am quite certain that those kinds of considerations are in Justice Kennedy’s mind.
Bob Ambrogi: Well, I want to move on to talking about some of the cases that were decided this term, but let me just take a short break. So before we move on to further discussion of these cases, we are going to take a quick break to hear a message from our sponsor. We will be right back. Please stay with us.
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Welcome back to Lawyer 2 Lawyer. This is Bob Ambrogi and with us today is attorney and constitutional scholar David J. Shestokas, author of the book ‘Creating the Declaration of Independence’. And Carolyn Shapiro, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
And I think there seems to be a general agreement that this term differed from some and that there weren’t a lot of blockbuster cases decided. But Carolyn, if I asked you to pick one or two cases that really stood out to you as the most significant ones; I know you have already mentioned Trinity Lutheran, what else, were there one or two other cases that really kind of jumped out at you as important this term?
Carolyn Shapiro: Yeah, there were two cases involving racial gerrymandering; one out of Virginia and one out of North Carolina. And in both of those cases the court held that there was unconstitutional racial gerrymandering in districting decisions and what’s interesting is that the type of racial gerrymandering that’s being complained about in those cases is different from prior racial gerrymandering cases that the Supreme Court has decided.
And in prior cases, starting in the 90s, the court sometimes struck down congressional or other legislative districts as race predominated unconstitutionally in cases that were brought by white voters who were unhappy about being in majority-minority districts. What we see in these new cases is cases being brought by minority voters, who are complaining that they are being packed into districts, which has the effect of diluting their overall voting strength in the state as a whole. So if all of the African-American voters are in two districts and they can’t influence elections or influence legislators in the other districts.
The Supreme Court upheld lower court decision striking down these districts and rejected the idea that the fact that there was a partisan motivation could justify or overcome the racial gerrymandering concern.
I mean these cases are very important for lots of reasons. One is that I think many people thought that it was possible to sort of insulate gerrymandering entirely from constitutional review by just saying, well, this is partisan and we are allowed to take party into account when we redistrict. And the court said, no, certainly not in a situation where party and race are so closely correlated as they are in parts of the American South.
I think it opens the door to the court saying in upcoming case, this coming term that partisan gerrymandering itself is problematic, because being able to rely on sort of excuse, well, I didn’t discriminate on the basis of race, I discriminated on some other basis might leave a bad taste in the mouth of a number of different justices, and the court will be deciding this upcoming term whether or not there are constitutional limits to how much party can come into play in redistricting.
Bob Ambrogi: Is that the case out of Wisconsin?
Carolyn Shapiro: Yeah, it’s called Gill v. Whitford and it’s a very important case.
Bob Ambrogi: Okay. David, what about you, what case jumped out at you as perhaps the blockbuster or important?
David Shestokas: Well, you mentioned the fact that there were things that are not blockbusters or they weren’t tremendously news making kinds of cases, some of which that have far-reaching implications but are a little bit more esoteric include things like Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, because that has to do with personal jurisdiction and certainly brought back long memories of law school and civil procedure when you have never really thought much about International Shoe and World-Wide Volkswagen for a long, long time.
But the issue of where and when and how someone can bring a lawsuit is really, really important for just about everybody. And the limitations that the court came up with relative to this lawsuit involving Plavix and how they limited the fact that nonresidents of California could not file in California Courts, even though Plavix was sold and traditionally those overcame the minimum context necessary for finding jurisdiction over Bristol-Myers in the California courts. But they said nonresidents, for whom there was no damages, no actions took place in California despite the fact that the defendant had significant contacts with the State of California, it restricted them from their ability to bring lawsuits in such a form.
And it seems like that kind of thing relative to personal jurisdiction and the issues of general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction while kind of more esoteric, and like I said, when I was reading that I hadn’t thought about World-Wide Volkswagen since law school some 30 odd years ago, but it brings to the forefront of mind that procedure is just as important as substance.
And I think the court made those kinds of things important both in that matter and in Ziglar v. Abbasi, relative to restrictions that they placed on peoples’ abilities to bring suits against federal officials for constitutional torts if such a constitutional tort has not been defined by the Congress. They really, really restricted courts’ abilities to provide damages to people who have had constitutional violations. Because of course Section 1983 allows for suit against state officials, but there’s no similar provision for federal officials. And so the tendency of the court to restrict access to the courts I think is really — it’s not blockbuster, it’s not the kind of thing that makes headlines or has people walking around with signs in front of the courthouse, but it has tremendous, tremendous implications for the ability of people to enforce their rights.
Bob Ambrogi: Well, I think certainly Justice Sotomayor in the Bristol-Myers case wrote a dissent making that very point that this is going to limit the ability of plaintiffs to bring lawsuits against corporations for certain kinds of injuries. So certainly it may be esoteric, but the implications are significant.
There were a number of business rulings, intellectual property rulings, patent rulings this term, Carolyn, I wonder if you wanted to just kind of speak — I don’t know if there is any in particular that you would want to speak about, but it seems to be a term in which businesses fared pretty well in the court and got what they wanted.
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, that has generally been one of the themes of the Robert’s Court. I mean Bristol-Myers Squibb is definitely an example of that. Another example of that would be the Microsoft v. Baker case. This is a case out of the Ninth Circuit and it has to do with — both of these cases really have to do with the ability as a practical matter of groups of plaintiffs being able to band together to bring a lawsuit where it might just not be financially viable for them to do it as individuals or even to do it in smaller groups.
Lawsuits are very expensive, they can – there are expert costs, and so that’s why people, plaintiffs like to bring class actions or group actions of various kinds and Bristol-Myers Squibb basically says, well you can’t aggregate claims from around the country in one location, in one state outside of particular circumstances.
Microsoft v. Baker says, well if a lower court says, we don’t think that this is a suitable class action, so we’re not going to certify it, the plaintiffs really have no right to appeal that to the Appellate Court. That was already fairly clear and the plaintiffs in the Microsoft case tried to get around that by saying well, we’ll dismiss our individual claims with prejudice so that we can appeal the denial of class certification.
The issue as well if you’re just missing your individual claims with prejudice or trying to do so conditionally, is there anything left to appeal? And the court said, No, there’s not. And so, we’re back to the situation where, if a defendant can successfully defeat class certification, they may be able to actually successfully defeat the lawsuit as a whole without ever getting to the merits of the case.
Bob Ambrogi: David, anything on the business side standout to you in terms of significance?
David Shestokas: Well, we talked about Bristol-Myers and the fact is that, yes, businesses fared very, very well, but that’s the tendency under the Robert’s Court, and it will probably and it’s likely to continue.
Bob Ambrogi: What about criminal law? Were there any notable decisions in that realm?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, there were a couple of interesting decisions where the underlying facts of the cases were really extraordinarily disturbing, and the court really in some sense kind of reached out to get to the underlying merits. One of those cases is case out of Texas involving a capital defendant whose own attorney put on the stand an expert who testified that Black people are more likely to be dangerous than White people, the defendant was Black.
This expert had testified in a series of cases in Texas and the Texas courts had actually vacated all of the capital sentences except this one involving this expert and the reason that courts had not vacated this one or the state of Texas had actually protested vacating this one is because it was the defendant’s own attorney who put the expert on the stand as opposed to the prosecution.
And the Supreme Court said, no, this guy is entitled to a new sentencing hearing and kind of interestingly to some degree he had to blow past a bunch of different procedural problems that might have made it difficult to get to that outcome, had they not really truly been outraged by what happened at the trial.
Bob Ambrogi: I’m sorry to run low in time here and I did want to just take a moment to look ahead at the next term a little bit and David, I want to just ask you if you’ve have any thoughts or predictions or thoughts about some of the cases that the court is already looking at for the next term?
David Shestokas: Well certainly coming up in terms of a blockbuster or something that has gotten a lot of headlines will be the arguments and ultimate decision on the Trump immigration orders. Although frankly it does seem like the decision to stay in part and go with Justice Robert’s approach to reach compromise and create a bit of an exception for people with context in the country, gives a pretty good preview I believe on what the courts going to wind up doing with those Executive Orders, there are either well, one or two situations is going to happen either –of course they have certain terms 90 and 120 days for different kinds of reviews and things like that.
So the court might determine that the cases are moot because the orders have expired and done their work, or in fact, they might wind up deciding them, but I think there’s a good preview of the fact that they’re going to uphold the President in those circumstances, and of course, Justice Thomas and again Justice Gorsuch objected to the fact that the court carved out an exception for people with a context, and essentially it would appear as though they told both the Ninth and Fourth Circuits that it’s incredible that these are in fact, the powers of the President.
In terms of a preview we discussed Ziglar v. Abbasi earlier and the limitations on certain actions and there’s a line in Ziglar v. Abbasi in terms of how the court should be reluctant to intrude upon Congress and the President when it comes to matters of national security. And I found that line that was in Ziglar v. Abbasi almost probably a preview of what we’re going to wind up seeing in the Trump Immigration Orders.
Bob Ambrogi: Carolyn, what’s in your radar for the term ahead?
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, obviously like David, I’m looking at the Trump immigration case and I would add — I think my money is on the court actually never reaching the merits. I think that they crafted an extremely clever order that allows — the executive order has kind of run its course, so that by the time the court would be hearing arguments it would essentially be moot. And I think that was done deliberately. Chief Justice Roberts I suspect really doesn’t want to be in the middle of this kind of very partisan, very public political fight if he can avoid it.
I mean I would say the other in case I’m focused on again is this partisan gerrymandering case out of Wisconsin. The partisan gerrymandering creates enormous skew in both State legislatures and in Congress in terms of the percentage of representatives who are of a certain party as opposed to the percentage of voters who vote for those parties. There are some studies that say as many as 22 members of Congress would be democrats as opposed to Republicans, but we’re not for partisan gerrymandering. So my eye is very much on that case.
Bob Ambrogi: We’re just about time before we wrap up. I do want to give each of you an opportunity to give your closing thoughts on the just completed term. David, let’s start with you.
David Shestokas: I would say as we talked about business fared very, very well. There was more restriction on access to the courts both in Ziglar and Bristol-Myers which is kind of a disturbing situation. I do know that they also declined to decide a number of things as I indicated at the top of the show. Certainly among them was the North Carolina voter ID law but in the upcoming situation there’s a similar Texas case that they might wind up deciding those things and voter ID circumstances are certainly important to consider.
And we really don’t know yet Justice Gorsuch, but as the professor pointed out he has in fact stepped out early on to kind of distinguish himself and sort of indicate that he will be a force in the days to come.
Bob Ambrogi: David where can our listeners find more about your work and about your latest book?
David Shestokas: They can find me on Twitter @shestokas, and of course there’s my own website shestokas.com. My most recent book as I mentioned is ‘Creating the Declaration of Independence’. It just came out the 14th June in time for the 4th of July because certainly as I believe it’s very, very unfortunate, many, many people know that there’s fireworks and hotdogs and barbecues but hardly anybody knows why and it’s a — it’s a terrible, terrible shame that they don’t understand that these men that were doing this at that time, in fact really in reality faced the possibility of having their heads cut off.
And it’s a shame that I think we’ve lost those situations. So ‘Creating the Declaration of Independence is in fact available on Amazon, both in Kindle and print and I would hope that people would visit that. Also take a look at Constitutional Sound Bites which has a 150 frequently asked — I think they are frequently asked questions about all the things like what did Jefferson mean when he said all men are created equal and we answer that in about 90 or 100 words.
Bob Ambrogi: Great and I will check it out. Carolyn Shapiro, your final thoughts.
Carolyn Shapiro: Well, I think in a lot of ways this term could be summed up as everybody was holding their breath, waiting to see first what was going to happen with the election and then of course who was going to be appointed to replace Justice Scalia and next term we will sort of see the consequences of all of that. It’s going to be a much more important term in terms of the types of cases that are going to be heard, and I think one thing that’s going to be interesting to watch is the relationship between what’s happening in politics at large and how the court responds. I don’t know that I have a prediction about that other than to say that I think the Chief Justice cares a lot about the court’s institutional standing and it’s institutional legitimacy and so he would be reluctant to have the court perceived as a purely partisan and purely political entity.
We saw that arguably in the first Obamacare case, where he split from the other conservatives to vote to uphold Obamacare so we may see more of that kind of effort on at least on his part to avoid what looks like overtly partisan determinate decisions by the court.
Bob Ambrogi: And Carolyn, what’s the — how can our listeners learn more about your work and follow up with you if they want to do that?
Carolyn Shapiro: So, my Twitter handle is @cshaplaw and the best way of find other things that I have written and written about is through my faculty page at HYPERLINK “http://www.kentlaw.iit.edu” www.kentlaw.iit.edu.
Bob Ambrogi: We have been speaking today with David J. Shestokas, author of the book ‘Creating the Declaration of Independence’ and Carolyn Shapiro, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States at Chicago-Kent College of Law. David and Carolyn, thanks very much for being with us today, I really appreciated your insights.
Carolyn Shapiro: My pleasure.
David Shestokas: Thank you so much, Bob.
Bob Ambrogi: That about does it for this week’s show. That’s all we have got for you. Thanks for listening. Please remember if you want legal, think Lawyer 2 Lawyer, join us again next time for another great legal topic.
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