Of property rights the court became increasingly

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of property rights, the Court became increasingly conservative as the era wore on. Lochner v. New York (1905) (strikes down state law regulating # of work hours) Overturned 12 New Deal statutes from 1934-1937 FDR’s response: a court-packing plan. It fails in Congress, but the Court gets the message: the very same justices start voting in a more liberal direction. Through retirements, FDR changes the composition of the Court to his liking.
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Era III: Civil Rights and Liberties A liberal federal judiciary overturns (mostly state) laws in favor of equal treatment and personal liberty from government control Civil rights: Brown v. Board of Education (1954) [racial segregation] Romer v. Evans (1996) [gay rights] Civil liberties: Engel v. Vitale (1962) [prayer in public schools] Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) [birth control] Miranda v. Arizona (1966) [informed of right to counsel] Roe v. Wade (1973) [abortion]
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The Court Today Federal judiciary now more conservative than at any time since New Deal Era
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The Court Today Federal judiciary now more conservative than at any time since New Deal Era For example, in three recent notable cases, it has overturned laws with conservative rulings: Campaign finance regulation in Davis v. FEC (2008) Local gun control law in D.C. v. Heller (2008) School desegregation in Parents Involved v. Seattle (2007) But this may eventually change, as the appointees of two eight-year Democratic presidencies eventually come to the fore. And certainly, the Court has had its share of recent liberal high-profile rulings, too: U.S. v. Windsor (2013), Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) [DOMA and gay marriage] NFIB v. Sebelius (2012), King v. Burwell (2015) [health care law]
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The Court Today: Three Arguments for Your Consideration 1. On its own, the Court has no power to change policy (Rosenberg) 2. The Court’s activities can have important consequences for public opinion (Egan et al) 3. The Court has the jurisdiction it does only because the other two branches want it to (Whittington) •. A question looms: the Court has neither the power of the sword nor the purse (according to Hamilton in the Federalist ). So what power does it have?
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Rosenberg: The Hollow Hope Rosenberg’s argument: Relying on the Court to change public policy is a “hollow hope”: without the acquiescence of other political actors, change is difficult. E.g.: Roe v. Wade liberalized abortion laws, but access was already increasing at a sharp rate beforehand. Several factors must be in place for any new right to be implemented: Widespread support for the right must be found among political elites and the public. Focuses specifically on how availability of abortion can be limited today One in three women has an abortion at least once in her lifetime One in five pregnancies ends in abortion But 87% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider.
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Egan, Persily, Wallsten: Courts and Backlash Can court decisions change public opinion?
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