This article originally appeared on The Texas Tribune. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law Monday that capped the number of campaign dollars political candidates could use to repay themselves for money they personally loaned their campaigns, handing a victory to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who challenged the law.
The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday in Cruz v. Federal Election Commission legalizes a form of “political speech” that is virtually indistinguishable from bribery. By a 6–3 vote, the conservative majority struck down yet another provision of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act—this time lopping off a modest restriction on candidates’ ability to collect donations after an election to repay personal loans to their own campaigns. The ruling will encourage lawmakers to do political favors for donors who put money straight into their bank accounts. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that—as Justice Elena Kagan put it in her furious and mournful dissent—Monday’s decision will “bring this country’s political system into further disrepute.”
Here's a look at the life of Associate Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. She is the fourth woman to serve on the US Supreme Court. Education: Princeton University, A.B., 1981, graduated summa cum laude; Worcester College, Oxford University, M. Phil., 1983; Harvard University, J.D., 1986, graduated magna cum laude. Religion:...
In 1987 Kagan clerked for Judge Abner J. Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a year later clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the U.S. Supreme Court. As a lawyer for the D.C. firm Williams & Connolly, Kagan worked on five lawsuits rooted in issues of the First Amendment and media law. In the early 1990s, she took a job as an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Law School, where she published an influential law review article in which she argued that the SCOTUS should investigate governmental motives when dealing with cases concerning the First Amendment. Two years after she got her assistant professorship, Joe Biden appointed her as special counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she played a part in the confirmation hearings of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Prior to her nomination to the Supreme Court, Kagan worked as associate White House Counsel for President Bill Clinton from 1995 to 1996, as deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, and as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council. In the latter role, Kagan co-wrote a memo asking that Clinton back a ban on late-term abortions. After returning to academia for a decade, Kagan was nominated to the position of solicitor general by Barack Obama, and became the first woman in the role. Though considered to be part of the liberal wing of the SCOTUS, Kagan veers on the moderate side. Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court in 2010, and she was confirmed the same year.
New York City native Justice Elena Kagan completed a stellar academic career before clerking first for a U.S. Appeals Court judge and then later for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. After moving between careers in law, academia, and briefly, politics, she was confirmed for the Supreme Court after being nominated by President Barack Obama. The youngest justice on the court, as well as the only one with no judicial experience, Kagan's arrival signaled the first time in history that the Supreme Court would include three sitting female justices at the same time. She is known as the justice who is most in tune with pop culture and technology. You may also like: 50 ways the news industry has changed in the last 50 years
Elena Kagan graduated from Princeton in 1981, received an M.Phil. from Oxford’s Worcester College as a Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Fellow in ‘83, and earned her J.D. from Harvard Law School in ‘86, graduating with honors. At Princeton, Kagan was the editorial chair of The Daily Princetonian, and in collaboration with several other students, wrote a Declaration of the Campaign for a Democratic University, which detailed a need to retool university governance on a core level. At Worcester College, Kagan wrote a thesis on “The Development and Erosion of the American Exclusionary Rule: A Study in Judicial Method.” At Harvard, she worked as supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. She was described as being good with people and gained the respect of everyone despite divisive political views on campus.
President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court in 2010. Here's what to know about the Supreme Court justice.
Founded in 1911, the Ames Moot Court Competition judges students' ability to develop appellate briefs and advocate for a legal position. By Truong L. Nguyen. Harvard Law School affiliates congregated to watch United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan preside over the final round of the Law School’s annual Ames Moot Court Competition Tuesday night.
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan penned a powerful dissent following the court's Thursday 6-3 vote to uphold Arizona's controversial voting restrictions, declaring the ruling to undermine the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965. She was joined in her rebuke by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Thursday's ruling narrows the...
The Supreme Court is quiet. Too quiet. It is almost mid-June, and the court has yet to release any blockbuster decisions. What’s going on?. The simple answer is also the obvious one: These cases have sharply divided the justices, who are still circulating majority opinions, concurrences, and dissents between chambers, sniping at each other in acid footnotes that belie their public claims of collegiality, civility, and mutual respect. That’s nothing new; tempers frequently flare as the court completes its work for the term (usually by late June). This anger often boils over into smaller decisions that don’t grab headlines, but provide clues of what’s coming down the pike. On Thursday, the Supreme Court released such a decision. And while the outcome is progressive, the opinions themselves hint that the liberal justices are bracing for a wipeout in the coming weeks.
Last year, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Ramos v. Louisiana, prohibiting nonunanimous convictions of criminal defendants. Under the Constitution, the court declared, a split jury verdict is “no verdict at all.” On Monday, however, the court walked back this declaration. In Edwards v. Vannoy, the conservative majority held that Ramos does not apply retroactively—that is, to defendants who have already been convicted by split juries. The court then took the extraordinary step of overturning precedent that had allowed retroactive application of new decisions. No party asked the Supreme Court to reverse this precedent; the question was not briefed or argued. But Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s majority opinion reached out and grabbed it anyway, slamming the courthouse door on convicted defendants seeking the benefit of a new Supreme Court decision.