Monday, October 27, 2014

Justices Drawing Dotted Lines With Terse Orders in Big Cases

By ADAM LIPTAK, NYT
OCT. 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — People used to complain that Supreme Court decisions were too long and tangled. Those were the days.

In recent weeks, the court has addressed cases on the great issues of the day without favoring the nation with even a whisper of explanation. In terse orders, the court expanded the availability of same-sex marriage, let a dozen abortion clinics in Texas reopen, and made it harder to vote in three states and easier in one.

Judges and lawyers who used to have to try to make sense of endless, opaque opinions now have to divine what the Supreme Court’s silence means.

There is something odd about the court’s docket these days. When the court considers a minor case on, say, teeth whitening, it receives a pile of briefs, hears an hour of arguments and issues a carefully reasoned decision noting every justice’s position.

(More here.)

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