John Roberts

John Roberts: Stupid Like a Fox

Hiding Behind Anti-intellectualism to Obscure a Political Agenda

Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t think much of law reviews: Pick up a copy of any law review that you see and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria, or something, which I’m sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, …


The Roberts Court’s Corporate Romance

Forty years ago, before going on the Supreme Court, Lewis Powell wrote a call to arms for business interests, calling on them to counter “enemies of the free enterprise system” like Ralph Nader.  Among other things, he recommended a concerted campaign to influence the courts.  The campaign seems to have been a success. The NY Times …


One More For the Supreme Court Scorecard: Chief Justice Roberts Feels Very Sorry for Multinational Corporations

In my view, Dan’s helpful post the other day about the Supreme Court’s environmental cases neglected one very important case decided just a few days ago: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, about which I have blogged earlier.  The “in my view” in the last sentence is more than throat-clearing, for Kiobel raises the question, also …


Conditional Spending and the Clean Air Act

Ann suggests that Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion today in Sebelius might open up the Clean Air Act to new challenges.  That seems right, but it also seems to me that there are two key differences between Medicaid and the CAA/Highway Spending nexus. 1)   Medicaid is an entitlement program; in other words, federal money flows more …


The Health Care Cases: Instant Uninformed Reaction!!

1)  Wow.  On the specific issue here, I’ll take it. 2)  Environmental lawyers will need to look at this decision very carefully.  From an initial very quick parsing, it appears as if Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion has cut back the scope of Commerce Clause authority and under the Necessary and Proper Clause as well as …


How the Financial Crisis Destroyed Standing Doctrine

Environmental scholars are very familiar — perhaps too familiar — with how the constitutionalization of standing doctrine has restricted the ability of environmental groups to challenge agency actions.  I’ve recently read several books about the financial crisis, and it’s occurred to me that Wall Street innovation may have made traditional standing doctrine a dead letter. My …


Waiting for Connecticut v. AEP

I like New York in June.  The Supreme Court, not so much. June is when the Court finishes up its term and releases any decisions still pending.  This year, that means we will soon get a ruling on Connecticut v. AEP, the public nuisance climate case, which was argued in April.  Just so you can keep score at home, …


Of judges and umpires

With the Senate about to begin hearings on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and major league baseball at the all-star break, thoughts turn naturally to the intersection of America’s Court and America’s pastime. That intersection, of course, lies at the question of whether the judge should play the same role in …