June 01, 2011
It was announced on April 29 that HLS Professor Noah Feldman will become a regular contributor to Bloomberg View, the new opinion section of Bloomberg News, which debuted in late May on Bloomberg.com. Feldman, who is a regular contributor to The New York Times, has been named as part of an expanded, 14-person roster of columnists that also includes Harvard University Professor of Economics Edward L. Glaeser and Meghan O’Sullivan, professor of international affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
In the May 30 article “The United States of Justice Kennedy”—his first for the new forum—Feldman looks at the voting record of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, citing his opinions in several cases as examples of his role as a “swing voter.”
“It is Kennedy’s apparent unpredictability—and his willingness to make common cause with both factions in different cases—that is the source of his overwhelming power in court and country,” writes Feldman. “This year, there have been nine 5-4 cases; Kennedy has been in the majority every time.”
Feldman, who is the Bemis Professor of International Law at HLS, has written several books, including “Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Justices” (Twelve Books 2010). The American Bar Association recently selected the book to receive its Silver Gavel Award, which annually recognizes works that are exemplary in fostering the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system.
The following is an excerpt from Feldman's article:
The United States of Justice Kennedy
by Noah Feldman
It’s Justice Anthony Kennedy’s country—the rest of us just live in it. Or so it sometimes feels when the U.S. Supreme Court’s most important decisions come down from Mount Olympus, aka 1 First Street, NE, where the justices preside in their white marble temple in Washington.
The most recent 5-4 decision with Kennedy writing the majority opinion ordered the release of some 46,000 inmates from California prisons over the next few years unless the state can find room for them in alternative county lockups.
Justice Antonin Scalia fulminated shockingly on the danger of releasing “fine physical specimens who have developed intimidating muscles pumping iron in the prison gym” onto the unsuspecting populace. But dissent was all Scalia could muster: With the court’s four liberals behind him, Kennedy couldn’t be stopped. ... Read the full article at Bloomberg.com »