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Articles written by David Adler

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 By David Adler    Opinion    August 15, 2022 

Lochnerizing: Supreme Court cements substantive due process

In its recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court denounced judicial resort to the doctrine of substantive due process to pour the foundation for the fundamental right to access contra...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    August 8, 2022

"Like a loaded weapon": The Korematsu ruling as a threat

The Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. United States (1944), upholding the forced evacuation of American citizens of Japanese descent from their homes for no reason other than their ancestry was, as scholars have characterized it, a national...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    August 1, 2022

Korematsu: A heart-breaking landmark decision

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Korematsu v. United States (1944), upheld a government program that required the exclusion of Japanese American citizens from areas along the West Coast on the premise, without benefit of any evidence, that...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    July 25, 2022

Constitutional Principles for the ages: McCulloch for Maryland

Chief Justice John Marshall’s landmark opinion for the Supreme Court in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), articulated foundational principles that have shaped American constitutional law to this day. In words that have become a legendary incantation,...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    July 18, 2022

McCulloch: Shaping the future of American constitutional law

The constitutional issues that the Supreme Court addressed—and answered—in the landmark case of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), have shaped our nation’s constitutional law for two centuries. McCulloch is of such surpassing importance that a...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    July 11, 2022

McCulloch v. Maryland: The greatest of landmark decisions

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), widely regarded by scholars as the most important decision ever rendered by the nation’s High Tribunal, provided firm footing for national action and continues to shape...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    July 4, 2022

We the People: Constitutional responses to emergencies

The Steel Seizure Case (1952) raised the critical issue of the constitutional prescription for confronting emergencies. President Harry Truman, facing a nationwide steel strike, which he believed would undermine America’s participation in the...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    June 27, 2022

Emergencies and the Constitution: Retroactive Ratification

The Supreme Court’s rejection in the Steel Seizure Case of President Harry Truman’s assertion of an inherent executive power to seize the steel mills to thwart a nationwide strike, generated questions about the location in the Constitution of aut...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    June 20, 2022

We the People: Supreme Court rebukes Truman's seizure of steel mills

In his 6-3 opinion for the Supreme Court in the landmark case, Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952), Justice Hugo Black rejected President Harry Truman’s assertion of an inherent executive power to seize the steel industry as a means of...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    June 13, 2022

Steel Seizure Case ruling reins in presidential power

The 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the Steel Seizure Case reminds us of the capacity of the nation’s High Tribunal to stand tall in the defense of the rule of law and American Constitutionalism. On 2, 1952, the court,...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    June 6, 2022

Loving: The Supreme Court upholds interracial marriage

Fifty-five years ago, on June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the landmark case of Loving v. Virginia, struck down in the name of equal protection and due process a state law banning interracial marriage. The court declared that the right of...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    May 30, 2022

Saluting the flag: A matter of speech and religious liberty

It is fair to say that the government’s preeminent responsibility is to provide for the nation’s defense. When necessary, civil liberties protected by the Bill of Rights must yield to the demands of national security. In Minersville v. Gobitis...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    May 23, 2022

Supreme Court: A right to refuse to salute the flag?

In 1940, in Minersville v. Gobitis, the Supreme Court upheld a state law requiring school children to salute the flag, despite religious objections by Jehovah Witnesses, who said the statutory requirement violated their religious liberties under the...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    May 16, 2022

Supreme Court: State actors may not lead school prayer

In 1962, in Engel v. Vitale, the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the most controversial decisions of the Warren Court era, held school-led prayer unconstitutional for violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Engel was the first school...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    May 9, 2022

The Supreme Court and religion: Entering the maze

The U.S. Supreme Court’s first major ruling on the meaning of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause was in Everson v. Board of Education, in 1947, when it upheld a state law that provided busing of students to parochial schools. The...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    May 2, 2022

We the People: Brown and racial equality in public education

In his unanimous opinion for the Supreme Court in the watershed case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Chief Justice Earl Warren asked the foundational question: “Does segregation of children in public schools based solely on race, deprive...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    April 25, 2022

We the People: The Brown decision and America's commitment to equality

“If it was not the most important decision in the history of the court,” Justice Stanley Reed observed of Brown v. Board of Education, “it was very close.” The Supreme Court’s opinion in Brown, delivered on May 17, 1954, held segregation...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    April 18, 2022

Earl Warren: Finding "The Notion of Equality"

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's recess appointment of Earl Warren to the chief justiceship of Supreme Court on September 30, 1953, constituted a watershed mark in the history of the court. His...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    April 11, 2022

The Brown decision: Twists and turns shape the Constitution

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, the most-celebrated civil rights decision in our nation's history, is a reminder of the unpredictable twists and turns...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    April 4, 2022

We the People: Justice Harlan's imperishable dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson

Justice John Marshall Harlan was the only dissenter from the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson, in 1896, in which the majority invoked the "separate but equal" test to uphold...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    March 28, 2022

Plessy v. Ferguson: An infamous landmark ruling

Not all landmark Supreme Court decisions are admirable. Some are frankly infamous, including Plessy v. Ferguson. In 1896, in Plessy, the court constitutionalized racial segregation in the South. The court’s opinion plundered Black Americans...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    March 21, 2022

Without freedom of the press: Life behind an iron curtain

Vladimir Putin’s infliction on the Russian people of a second Iron Curtain has demonstrated more effectively than any number of seminars and lectures possibly could the critical importance of freedom of the press to governmental accountability. Put...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    March 14, 2022

We the People: Supreme Court rules on secrecy v. public's right to know

The Pentagon Papers case, which proceeded through the federal courts at record pace, presented the U.S. Supreme Court with a sharply drawn question of great importance to the First Amendment: Does...

 
 By David Adler    Opinion    March 7, 2022

We the People: The Pentagon Papers case and the right to know

Thomas Jefferson once observed that fearless, independent newspapers were indispensable to the American experiment, and to "the people's right to know." Without an informed citizenry to scrutinize,...

 

The Sullivan decision: Affirming the right to criticize government

For a nation grounded on the republican values of self-government and freedom of expression, both of which are served and constitutionally fortified by freedom of the press, the Supreme Court's...

 

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