Wither the high court?

I happened to be at the annual Florida Bar Conference, in Orlando, the day the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision overturning decades of precedent and invalidating Roe v Wade.

Speakers at a Bar First Amendment seminar were asked to comment on the court’s decision, and among them were Merritt McAlister, professor of law at the University of Florida. I thought her observations were worthy of passing on.

“It comes down the day after a consequential second amendment case” (in which the court declared unconstitutional a New York law restricting the right to carry guns in public), she said.

“This is an originalist court in lots of respects. It is going to focus on history and tradition.”

“We do see a court that is bolder and willing to issue decisions that are big and consequential, and that trend may continue

“The court is not all that sensitive to public opinion.”

“This is a consequential court that will make big rulings. This is just the beginning. The court is moving to examine the grounds of due process itself.” (This is reference to the recent ruling that police can’t be sued for Miranda violations.)

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