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Newer Justices Could Transform Supreme Court

Publication Date: 
October 02, 2009
The Washington Post
Robert Barnes

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 Washington Post article on the influence of newer Supreme Court Justices in the upcoming term:

With three new members in the past four years and the prospect of more change ahead, the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. next week commences what could be a transformative term.

New Justice Sonia Sotomayor will receive the most attention, as President Obama's historic choice begins to reveal the judicial philosophy that remained largely cloaked during her confirmation hearings. And speculation will build about whether a retirement by one of the aging liberal justices will give Obama another opportunity to make his mark.


Michael McConnell, a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench who recently left to head the Stanford Law School's center on constitutional law, said there could be a pushback from the court similar to that experienced by another president who came to office with a bold plan for change -- Ronald Reagan.

"If you look in history, each time an administration arrives with a new and ambitious agenda, it encounters resistance from the court," McConnell said.