Columbia Experts Weigh In: Supreme Court

After the unexpected death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, there has been much discussion around what will happen in politics, on the Court, and in the country's legal and constitutional systems.

Here is a sampling of articles with Columbia experts weighing in.  Read on below, or follow news as it's announced - new articles will be posted to the Columbia in the News group in the online Alumni Community (UNI log in required). 

5 Questions on Filling the Supreme Court Vacancy


March 15, 2016 - Jeffrey Lax, an associate professor of political science at Columbia who specializes in the Supreme Court, speaks to the University regarding questions on filling the Supreme Court vacancy.  

Is It Time To Reconsider Lifetime Appointments To The Supreme Court?

Feb 17, 2016 - Thomas Merrill, a law professor at Columbia University and a former deputy U.S. solicitor general (1987-1990), said he's been "a little bit skeptical" of the idea of term limits for Supreme Court justices. But, Merrill said, his thinking has evolved.


Liberal Love for Antonin Scalia


Feb 14, 2016 - Antonin Scalia was my hero. He was deeply conservative. He belittled lawyers. His opinions, especially in dissent, could be downright nasty. No justice in the Supreme Court’s history insulted his colleagues more, or more memorably. He was as aggressive and outspoken as I am reserved and cautious. He was a smoker. He was, in short, everything I am not. But I have looked up to him for years.  Jamal Greene is a professor of law at Columbia.


The Battle Lines Over the Supreme Court
Letters to the Editor

Feb 17, 2016 - What a tribute to the memory of Justice Scalia it would make if somehow that ethos could cross North First Street from the Supreme Court building to reach the Capitol. Richard G. Liskov … The writer is a lecturer at Columbia Law School.


Three big questions about the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy: polling the experts

Feb 14, 2016 - The sudden passing of 79-year-old conservative stalwart Antonin Scalia has left a vacancy on the country's most powerful court, and several of his colleagues are over age 75, meaning the current presidential election could have repercussions on that court for decades to come. 

"This is as high-stakes as it can get," Lax says. "Not only can many cases be flipped with the switch from a strong conservative even to a moderate, even a moderate conservative, but Scalia provides a lot of intellectual heft by reputation, if not always through consistency of argument."