Justice Antonin Scalia, Three Weeks Later

March 4, 2016

I wrote Justice Antonin Scalia on February 18, and thought I’d said pretty much everything I had to say. Alas, not!

Justice Scalia died on February 13, only three weeks ago. What has me writing again is the evident impact his death has had on the U.S. Supreme Court and the country. No observant person ever doubted the fact that Justice Scalia was a force on the Court. I suspect, though, that even the sharpest observers are, like me (who is not a part of that cohort), goggle-eyed about how much has changed in 21 days. For proof, read The Supreme Court’s New Era by Linda Greenhouse—is a part of the sharpest observer cohort, and should maybe be its honorary

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The U.S. Supreme Court, 2015-16 Term

October 4, 2015

First Monday in October is upon us. Tomorrow, the U. S. Supreme Court begins its 2015-16 Term. Here at Mark Rubin Writes we will follow the Court once again, relying heavily on SCOTUSblog.com and many other resources.

Adam Liptak’s Supreme Court Prepares to Take on Politically Charged Cases for the New York Times, today, provides an excellent overview of the coming Term. I noted in particular his three paragraphs about partisanship, relying on Neal Devins, a law professor at William & Mary. Here they are:

‘This coming term will again put into focus that the court is divided along partisan lines and that the 2016 presidential elections will be hugely consequential in shaping constitutional and other law for perhaps

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Musings on the First Amendment

March 23, 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., No. 14-144. The case involves specialty license plates, and a state’s right under the First Amendment to limit the messages. In a nutshell, almost, the Sons of Confederate Veterans want a specialty license plate in Texas. The state said no, the trial court said no, the Fifth Circuit said yes, and the Supreme Court said “let’s take a look.”

Lyle Denniston for SCOTUSblog provides his usual first-rate analysis in Assuming the Answer, Up Front. As it is with so many issues, the premise will often determine the conclusion. Here, as Mr. Denniston notes, the case turns on whose speech appears

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Writing Matters … Mostly!

March 5, 2015

When I was a young man I recall some discussion—today it would be Internet buzz—about how writing didn’t matter anymore. We all talked to one another, and that made writing unnecessary.

Wrong! Writing matters greatly, almost always. Very recently, I got a decision in a case. My clients were right on both the facts and the law; however, the case was complicated. I filed a motion for summary judgment. It’s a request to the court, asking the court to accept the other side’s version of the facts and still rule in your side’s favor, on account of the law being on your side.

My clients prevailed. The right decision, although I was concerned until I got the ruling, as I’m

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