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April 20, 2016


Roberts and Sotomayor are having an affair.

My step one is always to go to SCOTUSblog, where Lyle Denniston says it's about actual judicial ideology and practice, not about how they align with the current parties.

Ginsburg et al. (the majority)

found that the six-year-old law did not flatly dictate the outcome of the victims’ claims but actually changed the controlling law underlying those claims, a typical legislative task. What Congress had left for the courts to do in deciding the case, she said, was not just a "fig leaf." She argued that the law was little different from many narrow laws that Congress has passed, some for the benefit of a single party in a lawsuit.
Dissenting, Roberts & Sotomayor
found that Congress "commandeer[ed] the courts to make a political judgment look like a judicial one," leaving the federal court in the Iran assets case with nothing to do but ratify the choice Congress already had made, awarding the assets to the victims and their families.
I wonder if the absence of Scalia's opinions, which were always very loud and claimed to be based on first principles (even though they often reflected the political needs of the moment), has freed up *all* the other Justices to think for themselves more. Now they don't have to react to/follow/argue against Scalia, so they have more energy to think about judicial issues.

It may be evidence that the Socratic method doesn't accomplish what it's supposed to, because you spend more time arguing with Socrates/Scalia/trolls than you do thinking for yourself.

Is separation of powers an ideological issue in party terms ?

The dissent seems to be a disagreement with the majority in terms of how broad a precedent the decision might set - and if you read the footnotes, the majority rejects the analogy on which the dissent is based, and comes up with its own (more reasonable) one.
The dissent is a useful marker of neuralgic concern about the separation doctrine (and goes some way to usefully establishing a narrower application of the decision) ?

grammer won

While spelling lost?


That's OK. My proofreading required proofreading.

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