I know they heard arguments on DOMA and Prop 8 Tuesday and Wednesday and met to discuss on Friday.
Yet we won't hear their decisions until late June.
Did they already make their decision Friday, leaving no room for mulling it over in the next 2 months?
Do they read the NYT, watch television news?
Do they pay attention, in general, to pundits and polls?
Might they be watching the coverage of this week's cases at all?
Is there still time for them to ponder the issues before they rule?
Or was Friday IT so to speak?
...and i meant to type naive of course...
[quote]Naiive SCOTUS question
Why can't you say "Supreme Court"?
OP, did you graduate high school? Take any history or civics classes? Are you 15?
I said it was naive.
Do you know the answers. r3?
Every Justice has been hovering over Datalounge all weekend...
Seriously, have you ever read a SCOTUS decision? It is very complex writing forming the basis for their decision.
[quote]Did they already make their decision Friday, leaving no room for mulling it over in the next 2 months?
I'm betting more than a few of them made up their minds before they even agreed to hear the cases.
Who is the DLer who gets so irritated when people say Scotus?
Likely the same one who chides us for saying Potus or flotus.
Oh for heaven's sake. Why doesn't someone just answer his questions.
The next two months is spent writing the various opinions. Each Justice probably has an idea about how he/she will vote, but the actual legal reasoning, opinions, wording, etc. are certainly subject to negotiation. The justices circulate the proposed opinions, other justices mark them up, etc. before the final ones are released.
I am sure they do read the news, watch the news and are aware of what the pundits are saying. I sincerely doubt that any of it has any effect on their vote or the legal reasoning behind their vote. Same goes for watching any TV coverage of the oral arguments
I am sure that all of them are pondering the issues from many different perspectives. Certainly each Justices law clerks have already summarized all the briefs, verified all of the citations and done a ton of legal research. Possibly even started a draft of an opinion. Former justices, in their memoirs, have written that they haqve changed their mind during the opinion-writing process.
Hope this helps, OP
thank you, r8. much appreciated.
so Scalia might see all the memes and opeds and cartoons skewering him, and yes, i am sure HE won't change his mind.
But MAYBE similar thinking and musing and reading and gauging the national "mood" MIGHT have a slight effect on Kennedy?
Well, that was certainly the case when Roberts came out in favor of Obamacare last year. Despite his own political leanings, he said he voted in favor of the law (and thus gave it a majority vote) because he realized in the greater historical picture it was the right thing to do.
I think for the same reason (the broader long view), several usually conservative judges will vote in favor of overturning DOMA.
The actual gay marriage question will most likely be seen as a "states" issue and the Court will rule that each state can determine that question individually. There won't be a national "gay marriage is legal" decision from the Supreme Court.
R3, there isn't a high school in America that teaches the arcane Supreme Court deliberation process, so you're a fucking santorum stain. Just die already.
To add to R8's informed statement, they did have a vote on Friday (maybe, the Catholics may have taken a holiday, so it could be next Friday) which is not legally binding or anything. If Roberts is in the majority, he gets to assign the majority opinion to whomever he likes. If he's not, it's the senior Justice in the majority. Then the writing starts. It is subject to comments and changes and, as R8 says, sometimes they actually flip their votes.
Separate opinions pop up when someone thinks they have something to say not covered in the majority/dissent.
They'll have a series of meetings to discuss where they stand on the issues raised by the case. Then, once a consensus is clear, The Chief Justice, if he is in the majority, assigns one of the justices to write the opinion. If he's not in the majority, the senior justice of the majority assigns it.
Sometimes justices switch sides, as we saw in the Affordable Care Act case. Roberts switched sides leaving Scalia's dissent sounding awfully much like a majority opinion. Which it was to have been...
And there's no guarantee they'll decide by June. The average time between oral arguments and decision is about three months. But Brown v. Board of Education was argued the first time in December of 1952 and the case was not decided until May of 1954!
Supreme Court Justices are keenly aware of their legacy and image, particularly Chief Justices. And yes, like everyone, they have preconceived notions. Remember, they actually vote on which cases to take; it's not like any other court, where the parties bring their grievances before the court. Sure, any judge can throw out a case, but plaintiffs still have the right to bring cases and get at least a hearing on the merits. Not so with the Supremes.
As to being aware of what pundits or others are saying about specific cases, lets turn to Tony the fatass, oh, I mean hairy fat ass, Scalia on what he said when questioned about Bush v. Gore: "Get over it." And he was testy when he said it, if not downright pissed that he would be questioned about the case that defines his tenure. We -- and he -- know that much like Dred Scott or other historically discredited opinions, that one will go down as one of the worst in all history. For an original Constitutionalist, it was one of the poorest examples of politics interfering in justice that we have ever seen, and Tony should be and is rightly ashamed of it. Too bad that unlike other opinions, we can't go back and reverse the decision.
Not to drone on about the fat ass, but if you need any further evidence that public opinion does indeed influence the court, go read the New York Times article on how the marriage cases were taken up by the court in the first place. Essentially, it boils down to the fact that opinion on the matter is changing so fast that Scalia thought the present was the conservatives' last great chance at thwarting gay marriage, saying that the chances for the court to have anything to say about it were diminished by the rapidly changing public acceptance. He banked on being able to sway Kennedy's vote, which fortunately doesn't look too likely. The fallback position is probably that Scalia will bargain with the liberal Justices to issue a very narrow ruling on Prop 8 using the standing argument rather than the merits of the case (wussing out, as I called it on another read) so that they won't have to issue a sweeping ruling that will open up marriage nationally, but limit it to states that approve gay marriage individually. I believe Scalia's efforts were meant to delay gay marriage, if not derail it altogether. After all, he was a Catholic before becoming a judge.
[quote]Well, that was certainly the case when Roberts came out in favor of Obamacare last year. Despite his own political leanings, he said he voted in favor of the law (and thus gave it a majority vote) because he realized in the greater historical picture it was the right thing to do.
No, he voted for it entirely because of his own ego. He didn't want HIS image & legacy tarnished by being on the wrong side of history, and in fact flipped his vote at the last minute for that exact reason. Roberts' clerks actually *wrote* most of the minority opinion that Scalia ended up using.
As for the rest, R8 is correct. To clarify R11's comments: the most senior justice in the majority *assigns* the writing of the opinion; they don't automatically do it themselves. Also, in reality the justices' numerous clerks do the vast majority of writing, research and citing in any given decision.
Finally, note that oral arguments don't necessarily have anything to do with the final opinion; the ACA case is a great example. Many pundits thought it was toast on the basis of oral arguments, and right now many are saying the same about the Prop 8 case (that the Court will issue a narrow ruling either limiting its effect to California alone or continuing the status quo of it being a "state issue"). Personally, while I read the article R13 quoted and can completely believe that Scalia forced everyone's hand in hearing the two cases before at least one of them is wholly "ripe" for review, I'm not convinced that Kennedy and the Court's liberal bloc will let Scalia get away with his gambit. (Abortion was still illegal, to varying extents, in at least 46 states when the Court issued its ruling in Roe v. Wade, for instance.)
It's pronounced "nave," OP. The "i" is silent.
[quote]in reality the justices' numerous clerks do the vast majority of writing, research and citing in any given decision.
And in some cases, the thinking. Not necessarily at the Supreme Court level, of course (except for Clarence Thomas).
R17 I listened to all of the testimony given in both cases this past week and all of the judges asked questions except Thomas. He is clearly the most useless judge in the history of the court. As an aside, I was really impressed with the attorneys who argued the cases and how mentally taxing the job of Solicitor General is. To make an argument and cite precedent on the fly with the judges firing questions at you left and right is quite an accomplishment. I am sure that they prepared ahead of time, but still to be able to address the subtleties of certain cases that the judges cited really takes smarts. I think that the job of solicitor general is one of the few jobs today that still requires high level critical thinking skills.
R12 -- I'm fairly certain they'll have a ruling out by the end of June. I'd be cautiously optimistic that DOMA itself will go by a margin of 7 - 2 (including Alito), and give even odds that the Prop 8 case gets 5 justices to use it for a right-to-marry ruling nationwide. Kennedy and/or Roberts know they can't keep ducking that one much longer.
I SO hope you're right, r19. I will bump this thread at the end of june and try to figure out how to buy you a drink if so.
[quote]I listened to all of the testimony given in both cases this past week and all of the judges asked questions except Thomas.
In his 20-odd years on the bench, I don't think he's asked a question in oral arguments a single time. Seriously. It's his "trademark" of sorts.
[quote]I'd be cautiously optimistic that DOMA itself will go by a margin of 7 - 2 (including Alito), and give even odds that the Prop 8 case gets 5 justices to use it for a right-to-marry ruling nationwide.
I'd call that EXTREMELY optimistic, not cautiously. There is not a single reason to think Alito will vote in favor of striking down DOMA, and based on oral arguments even the most liberal justices on the bench questioned whether now is the right time to legalize gay marriage for all. A *truly* cautious-optimistic belief is that DOMA will go down 5-4 and the Court will allow at least *part* of the Prop 8 case to stand, when they could very well issue no ruling at all on the basis of lack of standing.
I thought Alito had thrown out a question indicating he felt DOMA sec 3 over-rode States' Rights?
I've been sending telepathic messages to Antonin.
Pope Francis, still kissing feet
[quote]Why can't you say "Supreme Court"?
'Cuz SCOTUS sorta sound like SCROTUM.
And POTUS makes me think of POOTIE ...
[quote]I thought Alito had thrown out a question indicating he felt DOMA sec 3 over-rode States' Rights?
That doesn't mean he'll conclude the entire law is unconstitutional. It's actually pretty damn rare for the Supreme Court to rule against a federal statute in its entirety; regardless of whether its members are liberal or conservative, they generally give a substantial amount of deference to the legislature and president, and like it or not, DOMA was passed by Congress and signed by Clinton.