Some thoughts on our sad, predictable reaction to Scalia’s death

The words “giant” or “legend” get thrown around far too much these days, but they fit Justice Antonin Scalia.  The single greatest influence on the Supreme Court since, perhaps, Oliver Wendell Holmes, he almost singlehandedly effected a sea change in American jurisprudence. Prior to Scalia originalism and textualism (or course, I’m using words loosely here, a tendency Scalia himself often criticized) were not taken seriously; they were the province of the fringe and the intellectually lazy.  Now, they form the guiding principles for much of the work done by lawyers all…

Public Opinion and Politics at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s favorability numbers have been falling steadily since 2000, when it issued its (infamous or not, depending on your perspective) decision in Bush v. Gore, which stopped the endless recounts and bickering over hanging chads, made George W. Bush President, and unwittingly set Al Gore on the path to fame and fortune. Currently, just over 50% of Americans have a favorable view of the Supreme Court, down from between 70 and 80 percent in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While it’s impossible to know the precise drivers of…