NYTimes Op-Ed Cites Geof Stone's Research into Ideology in SCOTUS Decisions

Supreme Injustice
Thomas B. Edsall
New York Times
May 6, 2014
The Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this spring in McCutcheon v F.E.C., which increased the amount of money donors can contribute to political campaigns for federal office, has added new fuel to an 80-year-old debate between those who contend that the Supreme Court decides cases on the basis of abstract principles of law and those who argue that judicial rulings are based primarily on political and economic considerations...

In contrast to the doubters, Geoffrey Stone, an expert in constitutional law at the University of Chicago, has done his own wide-ranging, if unusual, study of recent court decisions.

Last year, Stone asked fellow law professors to name the most significant constitutional decisions handed down by the Supreme Court between 2000 and 2013. From those suggestions, Stone created a master list of the 20 most important cases of that time period. These cases include rulings on the Violence Against Women Act; Bush v. Gore; parochial school vouchers; a challenge to a “three strikes” law; affirmative action in higher education; the prohibition of “same-sex sodomy”; the death penalty for minors; the display of the Ten Commandments in a county courthouse; a redevelopment plan affecting property rights; two cases involving Guantánamo detainees; partial birth abortion; integration in public schools; gun regulation; the Affordable Care Act; the federal Defense of Marriage Act; Crawford v. Marion County; Citizens United; and Shelby County v. Holder.

The full list can be found in Stone’s 2013 paper, “The Behavior of Supreme Court Justices When Their Behavior Counts the Most.”

Geoffrey R. Stone