Thursday, October 05, 2017 11:44 AM

THE SUPREME COURT'S GERRYMANDERING CASE AND STRATEGIES FOR WINNING JUSTICE KENNEDY'S VOTE - THE NEW YORKER

The secret to advocacy before the contemporary Supreme Court is nosecret: its all about pandering to Justice Anthony Kennedy. With theother eight Justices evenly split between liberals and conservatives,lawyers in controversial cases spend most of their energy indulging theidiosyncratic passions of the rangy Californian who sits beside theChief Justice.

That means, for the most part, talking about the First Amendment. In histhirty years on the bench, Kennedy has displayed an almost Pavlovianreceptivity to claims of infringement on the freedom of speech. This hasalternately pleased and enraged partisans on both sides. Liberals rueKennedys opinion for the Court in Citizens United v.FEC[1], the 2010landmark decision that invalidated campaign-finance regulations, on theground that they violated the free-speech rights of corporations. At thesame time, Kennedy has been a reliable vote in favor of the rights ofpolitical dissenters, such asflag-burners[2].To get on the right side of Justice Kennedy, advocates know, it helps toget on the right side of the First Amendment.

Paul Smith, who represented the Democratic challengers to Wisconsinsgerrymandered legislative map this week, in Gill v. Whitford, ...

News source: Supreme Court

See also: Davis & Hoss