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U.S. Supreme Court


Will Obama Become the Next William Howard Taft?

Did the president hint at his potential career ambition of becoming a Supreme Court justice during a recent news conference?

What Does Mitt Romney Think About Chief Justice John Roberts?

A look back at what Romney and the 2012 GOP field said about the now controversial Chief Justice who wrote to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama vs the Supreme Court: Rhetoric of the 44th President

Obama's critical comments of the Court outweigh favorable comments by more than a 4:1 margin since taking office.

Will Confidence in Supreme Court Erode or Rebound After Obamacare Decision?

The U.S. Supreme Court's net confidence rating during Barack Obama's presidency is at an all-time low since Gallup's measurement began in the early 1970s.

Humphrey Institute Event to Examine Impact of Citizens United

Includes panelists from Common Cause Minnesota, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, and the executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

Increased Partisan Opposition in Kagan Confirmation Vote Continues Historical Trend

Six of the last seven presidents have faced increased opposition to get their second SCOTUS justice seated; Kagan receives third most 'nay' votes among successful nominees in history

The Great Divide: Birth States of U.S. Supreme Court Justices

Only 11 of 111 justices have been born in the 24 states west of the Mississippi River; just 25 percent over the last 50 years

Breeding Brilliant Legal Minds: Minnesotans on the U.S. Supreme Court

No other state west of the Mississippi River has given birth to more justices than the Gopher State

Should Kagan's Partisan Past and Policy Work Derail Her Confirmation?

Over half of Supreme Court Justices throughout history have served in or sought partisan legislative or executive offices

History Suggests Kagan Confirmation Process Will Be Rockier than Sotomayor's

Presidents since Woodrow Wilson have faced increased Senatorial opposition in attempts to get their second Supreme Court Justice seated; only 1 such nominee out of 13 received greater support from Senate

A Year in Smart Politics

A brief survey of five of the top stories at Smart Politics in 2009

Republican Opposition to Sotomayor Marks Largest Supreme Court Confirmation Vote Dissent in GOP History

Last week's vote in the U.S. Senate confirming Sonia Sotomayor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court was noteworthy foremost, of course, for Sotomayor being the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on the Court. But the Senate vote was also significant for the Republicans and what emerged...

Republican Senators Ignore 'Hispanic Effect' in Sotomayor Confirmation Vote

In the months after President Barack Obama's selection of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, political analysts and even a few Republicans (e.g. Joe Scarborough) have characterized GOP opposition to and harsh questioning of the new Associate Justice as politically unwise. Such Republican Senators were cautioned and urged to...

Are Supreme Court Justices Living Longer?

Yesterday Smart Politics challenged the popular notion that Presidents have been eying younger Supreme Court nominees in recent years, presumably to deepen their impact and legacy on the Supreme Court as the judicial branch has become seen as more partisan. But an analysis of U.S. Senate confirmation data found the...

Are Supreme Court Nominees Getting Younger?

Many commentators and political analysts have speculated that Barack Obama's nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court was based not only on his agreement with her judicial philosophy, but also her gender, ethnicity (Hispanic), and youth (54 years old). In fact, political observers have...

How Many Senators Will Vote for the Next Supreme Court Nominee?

With the recent announcement by Associate Justice David Souter that he intends to retire from the Supreme Court this year, all eyes are on President Barack Obama to see who he will send up to the U.S. Senate for confirmation hearings in the coming weeks or months. Obama, of course,...

Does Supreme Court Abortion Decision Signify Shift in Attitudes?

In a 5-4 decision reached last week the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a federal ban on the medical procedure known as 'partial birth abortion.' The procedure was a rallying cry for right-to-life advocates, although even some abortion rights supporters were in favor of the ban. But...



Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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