• Politics after a SCOTUS opinion

    Some SCOTUS opinions stir up politics and legislation (think: Roe v Wade). Others tend to end the process. When the Court is interpreting a federal statute, if they get it “wrong” it is of course possible for the elected branches to reverse them. But for some of these issues, political stalemate in Congress gives the Justices the last word, perhaps for decades.

    Which makes the Roberts Court both activist and powerful.

    For more, see today’s Financial Times, quoting me.


    • The voting rights act might be a good test of the power of the court. There was no gridlock on that issue: the House of Representatives, for example, voted 390-33 to renew it just a few years ago. Hence, failure of the House to renew section 4 now with an updated formula would imply that the court is even more powerful than you say–able to overturn laws with near-unanimous support and no gridlock.