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New Court Term Hints At Views On Regulating Business

Publication Date: 
October 05, 2009
The New York Times
Adam Liptak

Professor Michael McConnell, an expert in constitutional law and former federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, is quoted in this article on the new Supreme Court term. The New York Times reports:

The new Supreme Court term that begins Monday will be dominated by cases concerning corporations, compensation and the financial markets that could signal the justices’ attitude toward regulatory constraints at a time of extraordinary government intervention in the economy.

The justices’ decisions will be closely watched at a time when, constitutional scholars say, Obama administration initiatives are generating fundamental questions about the structure and limits of government power that will, in short order, reach the court.

“There will be major ways in which these interventions will produce legal and constitutional issues,” said Michael W. McConnell, a former federal appeals court judge who is now director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center.


The Obama administration, meanwhile, took office in the middle of the last term and its lawyers made only minor adjustments in pending cases. They will be freer to chart their own course now. One result, Professor McConnell said, will be an inevitable clash, one echoing confrontations with other ambitious presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.

“Every time in American history when you see a consequential administration,” he said, “you see a heightened tension between it and the court.”