The Supreme Court short list.

Taking stock of people and ideas in the news.
July 1 2005 11:34 AM

The Supreme Court Shortlist

The views of the likely candidates.

(Continued from Page 2)

Habeas Corpus
Joined a unanimous opinion denying the claim of a prisoner who argued that by tightening parole rules in the middle of his sentence, the government subjected him to an unconstitutional after-the-fact punishment. The panel reversed its decision after a Supreme Court ruling directly contradicted it. (Fletcher v. District of Columbia, 2004)

For Bush I, successfully helped argue that doctors and clinics receiving federal funds may not talk to patients about abortion. (Rust v. Sullivan, 1991)


Judicial Philosophy
Concurring in a decision allowing President Bush to halt suits by Americans against Iraq as the country rebuilds, Roberts called for deference to the executive and for a literal reading of the relevant statute. (Acree v. Republic of Iraq, 2004)

In an article written as a law student, argued that the phrase "just compensation" in the Fifth Amendment, which limits the government in the taking of private property, should be "informed by changing norms of justice." This sounds like a nod to liberal constitutional theory, but Roberts' alternative interpretation was more protective of property interests than Supreme Court law at the time.

Emilio Garza

Emilio Garza
Emilio Garza

Age: 58 Graduated from: University of Texas School of Law. He used to be: a Marine captain, a Texas trial judge, a U.S. District Court judge in the Western District of Texas. He's now: a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (appointed 1991).

His confirmation battle: Garza would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice since Benjamin Nathan Cardozo  in the 1930s, making him harder for liberal groups to oppose. His lengthy record on the bench is conservative. One exception: Garza has expressed some concern about the Texas death penalty, which in recent years has come under repeated scrutiny by the Supreme Court. Still, he usually affirms lower-court decisions approving executions.

Civil Rights and Liberties
Agreed with a decision by the 5th Circuit as a whole to reverse a ruling in favor of the father of a 14-year-old girl who sued a Texas school district on a civil rights violation after his daughter was kept after school by her teacher and then raped in an empty classroom. The court found that schools do not have a constitutional duty to protect students, who, unlike prisoners and mental patients, return home each day. (Doe v. Hillsboro Independent School District, 1997)

Dissented from an earlier decision finding that a 15-year-old girl whose teacher had sex with her had a winning civil rights claim, on the theory that schoolchildren have a liberty interest in their bodily integrity. Garza's dissent argued that the school district was not liable because the state did not authorize the teacher's behavior. He joined in another dissent noting that the girl "was of sufficient age to bear children" and arguing that it was not clearly established that she was "sufficiently immature" to warrant a finding that she'd been sexually abused by the sex with her teacher. (Doe v. Taylor Independent School District, 1994)

Over a dissent, wrote for the 5th Circuit as a whole in rejecting the civil rights claims of a mother who was arrested and handcuffed for not wearing a seatbelt, not fastening her children's seatbelts, driving without a license, and not providing proof of insurance. The opinion found that the police had probable cause to arrest the mother and did not conduct the arrest in an extraordinary manner.  (Atwater v. City of Lago Vista, 2000)

Environmental Protection and Property Rights
Over a dissent, wrote for the 5th Circuit as a whole in rejecting a suit by environmental groups challenging a U.S. Forest Service policy of clear-cutting in the Texas forests. Held that, because the groups were challenging the forest service's general practices, the court could not grant them relief. (Sierra Club v. Peterson, 2000)



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

The Ludicrous Claims Women Are Pitched at “Egg Freezing Parties”

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Oct. 1 2014 11:48 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
Oct. 1 2014 1:11 PM This Company Wants to Fight World Hunger With Flies 
The Eye
Oct. 1 2014 1:04 PM An Architectural Crusade Against the Tyranny of Straight Lines
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 1:01 PM Can Activists Save Reyhaneh Jabbari?  
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 10:54 AM “I Need a Pair of Pants That Won’t Bore Me to Death” Troy Patterson talks about looking sharp, flat-top fades, and being Slate’s Gentleman Scholar.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 1:13 PM The Essence of Gender Roles in Action Movies, in One Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 1:25 PM Japanese Cheerleader Robots Balance and Roll Around on Balls
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 12:01 PM Rocky Snow
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.