A Fractious, And Fractured, Term
Professor Jeffrey Fisher spoke with the National Law Journal's Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle about the Supreme Court's 2012-13 Term and how the division of the Court's justices led to a "mixed bag" of rulings.
It was a U.S. Supreme Court term for the history books, with a final week that will be remembered for its powerful — and to some, contradictory — rulings on equality.
During the term that began last October, the court made headlines with decisions on issues ranging from gene patenting to drug-sniffing dogs. But it was the final week that updated the story line of the Roberts Court — a divided group of justices that takes on society's biggest issues without hesitation, even if the resulting opinions are sometimes fractious and fractured.
"You have a conservative court with two justices — Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — with libertarian streaks who feel the power of the state can cut both ways," Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey Fisher said. "That's why you get a mixed bag in the criminal area."