Why the Colbert Report is wrong about friend-of-the-court briefs

Various news and entertainment outlets have questioned the usefulness of friend-of-the-court briefs (also known as amicus briefs) at the Supreme Court. Both the New York Times and the Colbert Report recently endorsed a law professor’s article questioning the validity of … Continue reading

NR-PLF Supreme Court preview event: fish and raisin jokes, and some serious Supreme Court analysis

National Review/Pacific Legal Foundation’s “first annual” preview event on Monday of the Supreme Court’s term was a great success, as reflected by the live coverage and two re-broadcasts by C-SPAN. The event’s focus was on cases the Supreme Court had … Continue reading

PLF files amicus brief in support of California raisin farmers

Under a draconian, Depression-era regulatory scheme, California raisin farmers are required to hand over a portion of their crop to the “Raisin Administrative Committee” (RAC), rather than selling it on the open market. The RAC is an unelected board overseen … Continue reading

An inside look at Fisher

There’s a new book out on Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor.  I have not read the book, but PLF friend Josh Blackman has the scoop on an interesting story about the Fisher decision in the book. According to Blackman (via Nina Totenberg), the case … Continue reading

Federal courts expanding disparate impact analysis in recent Voting Rights Act cases

Here on the Liberty Blog, we have often posted about the perils of “disparate impact” laws; that is, laws that allow courts to find illicit discrimination in a facially neutral action without any showing of improper intent (here, here, and here, … Continue reading

Race-based redistricting heads back to the Supreme Court

On November 12, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a pair of legislative reapportionment cases: Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama.  Plaintiffs in these cases contend that the Alabama legislature violated the … Continue reading

Can governments rely on outdated rationales to justify onerous regulation?

In 1952, Emmett Ashford became the first African American umpire in organized baseball and Dwight Eisenhower was elected President of the United States. That same year, the Pennsylvania legislature decided that funeral homes needed to be heavily regulated. Under a 1952 … Continue reading

Understanding the difference between disparate treatment and disparate impact

There are two types of discrimination recognized by our various civil rights laws: disparate treatment and disparate impact. The former is conscious, intentional discrimination.  The latter is unintentional, and is demonstrated through statistical disparities.  Here on the Liberty Blog we have often … Continue reading

Private property versus public recreation: the debate continues

Earlier this month, I published a guest column about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States with Jurist, an online journal run by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. The article takes … Continue reading