How Will the Presidential Election Affect the Supreme Court?

The Las Vegas Lawyers Chapter
Start : Friday, October 19, 2012 11:45 AM
End : Friday, October 19, 2012 01:00 PM

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Featured Speakers:
Ilya Shapiro



  • Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute; Editor-in-Chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review

The Court has taken up many big cases providing plenty of material for discussions of federalism, individual rights, and the role of the judiciary—and how it all benefits the Obama/Romney campaigns. But turn that around: whoever wins in November, the repercussions on the Court will be huge. Judicial nominations are among the most consequential decisions a president makes, and are especially so now for three reasons: (1) The average term of a justice is now 25 years, spanning more than six presidential terms. (2) The science of appointing justices who reflect the philosophies of those who nominate them has grown more precise. (3) The Court’s balance is up for grabs. Since Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall 21 years ago, no president has had a chance to alter the Court’s precarious 5-4 conservative majority. But during the next administration, three justices—Ginsburg, Kennedy, and Scalia—will turn 80.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, and also regularly provides commentary for various media outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, and "The Colbert Report."

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