Allowing ourselves to become a nation of silent, secretive, timid citizens is likely to result in a system of democracy and justice that is neither very democratic nor very just.— Dahlia Lithwick
The most simplistic Dahlia Lithwick quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
The First Aphorism of Religion Cases: Only the religious convictions of other people are weird. Yours are perfectly rational.
We don't care what the framers would have thought of violent video games. Times are changing.
Am I right in saying that the locust of this problem is simply that judges in America are half political animals and half oracular demigods?
Taking legislative authority away from the federal government doesn't necessarily mean freer individuals. It might just mean granting vastly more authority to the states--which already have far broader police powers than most of us would care to admit.
Pulling a crystalline, cogent rule out of the murk of the court's First Amendment, public forum, and Establishment Clause doctrine is an act of creation too complicated for mere mortals.
Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel has not said anything, and in fact, cannot say anything.
But I would even broaden it out to, you know, judges who are victims of attack ads in say state Supreme Court elections can't talk back. Judges are really barred from commenting on this kind of huge public hue and cry.
I just don't think we think about jurists as rock stars or great thinkers, particularly in the political world.
The fact that the Constitution is sufficiently open-ended to infuriate all Americans almost equally is part of its enduring genius.
On a court full of great writers, I shouldn't say full of - there have been some bad writers on the court over the years.
I'm hardly the first person to say that you've [Jeffrey Rosen] written a book about a person who has more to say about the current state of being than almost anyone, Louis Brandeis, and yet nobody is talking about Louis Brandeis.
What's doubly, possibly triply weird about the [Donald] Trump claim is that I said something really hateful and offended an entire class of people, and in a case that actually has nothing to do with race he should still be conflicted out.
I want to stay on the subject of marriage equality because this is the part of the show that everybody loves but you hate if you're the one who has to hear your own voice.
There can be no difference between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples anywhere in the USA.
On the one hand we want to preserve the integrity of the judicial branch, and we want to talk about judicial independence, and how damaging and dangerous it is when Donald Trump calls out Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel. And at the same time, at the end of the day, judges work for us and we can recall them and we can impeach them.
There's such a kind of complicated line between politics and the law and we don't sit around and say, hey, you know, what would Oliver Wendell Holmes have had to say to this.
In [Philip] Howard's view, our reliance on law, lawyers, and lawsuits has turned Americans into fat, neurotic cowards who 'go through the day looking over their shoulder instead of where they want to go.'
The Constitution created a framework, not a Ouija board, precisely because the Framers understood that prospect of a nation ruled for centuries by dead prophets would be the very opposite of freedom.
What's exquisitely weird about the Donald Trump/Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel formulation is that this isn't even a case about race.
One of the things that drives me batty is people who think they're court watchers, who say, "Oh, Clarence Thomas. You know, his clerks do all the work for him. You know, he doesn't deserve to be there, and has never done anything."
Aaron Persky who is the judge who really I think it's fair to say there is a mob seeking to recall him because of what's perceived as a too-lenient sentence in a sexual assault case.
The criticism from the other side of [race] debate - and these are not necessarily I think defenders of [Donald] Trump, but they're certainly quick to say, you know, if you're going to live by the race card, you die by the race card.
I think particularly on the left, progressives wanted more bombast and more.
I've been thinking so much about how grateful I am to cover the court because the constraints of calm and civility are really palpable when you look across the street, and that, you know, I feel like the discourse has become so overheated that, you know, we talk about everything in the exact tone that seems to sort of preclude reason and to preclude the possibility of agreement.
Never believe in any faith younger than you are.
I think men get nervous when women start counting the number of female senators, and whites become edgy when they hear the next Supreme Court seat will probably go to a Latino. This isn't always because they object to sharing the spoils, by the way; it just reminds us that the melting pot may not be working, and we haven't yet achieved the ambiguous national dream of becoming a nation of indistinguishable beige atheists.
I wonder if there's just a sense that we have nothing to learn from any Supreme Court justice, including the great Chief Justice John Marshall.
For the most part, much of the legal world's attention has been focused on Donald Trump and his attacks on Gonzalo Curiel, the federal judge who is currently presiding over the Trump University fraud cases in California. Trump somehow managed to offend surprising numbers of establishment Republicans.
The Framers were no more interested in binding future Americans to a set of divinely inspired commandments than any of us would wish to be bound by them.
There is no rest stop on the misinformation highway.
Thurgood Marshall was uniquely able to understand and comprehend what it meant to grow up in the Jim Crow south.
A lot of conservative writers have twisted that argument in the conversation around Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel and said this is identity politics as played by liberals. And that I think what they're trying to say is that progressives are the first to say.
Even Merrick Garland can't get up and give a press conference in which he says, "Give me a damn vote." We just hear silence.
If Americans actually have the conversation about our disastrous prison policies, we'll understand the trends all move in very dangerous directions: we lock up more people, for less violent crime, at ever greater expense, breeding more dangerous criminals who often come out unemployable, violent and isiolated.
Donald Verrilli has argued 37 cases in five years on behalf of the [Barak] Obama administration. Many of them turned out to be truly landmark cases. He is the seventh-longest-serving solicitor general in American history.
Sonia Sotomayor is uniquely and exquisitely sensitive to race issues because she is a Latina.