After four days of confirmation hearings, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has vowed to filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This week’s Public Bookshelf features four of our favorite PB articles about the Supreme Court, on topics ranging from Antonin Scalia’s originalism to Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir.
The High Power of the Lower Courts
In 2010 the National Rifle Association (NRA) and its legions of gun-rights supporters were on the verge of a constitutional revolution. In a pair of landmark decisions,1 the Supreme Court struck down gun laws in Washington, DC, and Chicago, bringing the long-moribund Second Amendment back from the dead and clearing the way for a full-frontal constitutional assault on all forms of gun control regulation. But something strange has happened in the six years since … Keep Reading
Is the Law Our Ally? Lessons from World War II
With Europe still reeling from the effects of World War II, the Allied forces set to work prosecuting a monumental trial. In Nuremberg, Germany, they gathered to condemn leading Nazi war criminals and to restore the rule of law to the continent. Yet for many observing the trial, it was precisely the law that was the problem … Keep Reading
The Future of Scalia’s Originalism
Speculation about Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy has quickly gravitated to the staying power of his originalist approach to constitutional interpretation. Whether it will long outlive him is hard to predict, however, because that approach itself is so hard to pin down. An interpretive method that offers to make sense of the Constitution by looking at the text’s original meaning, Scalia’s originalism nevertheless treats some aspects of textual meaning as so self-evident that no historical inquiry is required … Keep Reading
Sonia Sotomayor is not the only Supreme Court justice with a good story to tell. The tales of Thurgood Marshall or Clarence Thomas are, in some ways, no less dramatic. But Sotomayor may be unique in that she sees the promotion of her story as her most essential mission as a Supreme Court justice … Keep Reading