In many ways, the ability to confess error is the highest level of prosecutorial discretion, and a concrete example of the SG’s mandate to ensure that justice is done. It is a rare enough thing to admit fault, either in the real-life Washington, D.C., or the fictionalized version in House of Cards.
In a response to the Alabama Supreme Court struggle over the legality of same-sex marriage, Ben Kaufman ’17 and Wyatt Smitherman ’16 debate the moral and practical arguments at play for and against same-sex marriage in the United States.
Like many legal debates, this one reflects changing social ideas about what race, structural inequality, and discrimination mean, and how they are best addressed. Answers to those questions won’t come from a judicial opinion. But the Court’s decision here might demystify how states and citizens can talk about race and voting in a legal context.
There aren’t easy answers in this arena. But a good start might be to separate the publishing decision from those who actually write the opinion. Doing so could remove the (real or perceived) incentive to insulate the decision from review.
Super Tuesday columnists Matthew Cohen ’18 and Johnathan Bowes ’15 debate the legality of Obama’s executive action on immigration reform in reference to the recent lawsuit. Cohen argues for its necessity while Bowes claims it is unconstitutional.
This case requires that they balance their own notions of judicial integrity and impartiality against the on-the-ground reality of the judicial elections, which they have never experienced. How they evaluate the compelling interest at stake in Florida’s law may do more than tell us about the Court’s vision of the First Amendment; the opinion might also reveal something about the Court’s vision of itself, and about the judicial role in an increasingly political world.
Integrity Staffing Solutions may be a bad decision, but it is “bad” as a matter of results, not as a matter of jurisprudence: the Court did exactly as it was required to do in applying the law and precedent and articulating a rule of decision. We wouldn’t want it to do more. What we do want, and what has become increasingly impossible in the recent partisan gridlock, is for the law to change.
Whatever the Justices are thinking, the fate of Obama’s signature achievement again rests in their hands (though probably not for the last time). Oral argument will likely be heard sometime in March, with a decision expected by late June. In the meantime, Americans that depend on the subsidies for life-saving healthcare will be waiting with bated breath.