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Ken Starr, Drew Days Discuss Revealing Supreme Court Term

Publication Date: 
August 09, 2008
ABA Journal
Jill Schachner Chanen

The ABA Journal references Professor Pamela S. Karlan's participation in a Supreme Court "wrap-up panel" at the annual ABA meeting:

The Section of Litigation presented a high-powered U.S. Supreme Court wrap-up panel today featuring two former U.S. solicitors general and a nationally known Stanford Law School professor providing commentary at its session “The Roberts Court—The Terrible Twos, or Childhood Bliss?”

Panel members Kenneth W. Starr, solicitor general under George H.W. Bush, Drew Days III, solicitor general under Bill Clinton, and Stanford's Pamela S. Karlan offered a wide variety of perspectives on the last term, but few conclusions were drawn as to whether the Roberts court moved in any specific direction. Rather, they said, the court was more chameleon-like, depending on the issue at hand.

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision on the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller, Karlan said the case was striking for the sheer amount of constitutional jurisprudence found in the decision. All the justices on each side of the decision used varying methods to interpret the Second Amendment—from original text to historical context to contemporary community standards—to help reach their decision. In the end, however, Karlan said the justices just disagreed over their respective interpretations.