Profs and Pints presents: “Where the Supreme Court Is Headed,” a guide to the Justices and their coming term, with Garrett Epps, professor of law at the University of Baltimore, Supreme Court correspondent for The Atlantic, and author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution.
[Advance tickets available at https://profspintsprecedents.brownpapertickets.com ]
The U.S. Supreme Court's Justices reassemble in early October to begin their new term. What major cases will they be hearing? What do we know about the court's newest members, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh? Join Garrett Epps, a law professor and astute court watcher, as he reviews insider speculation about a Court term that may radically affect the 2020 election and its aftermath.
Much of the talk will focus on the likely direction of a Trump-era Supreme Court, the outlines of which have not yet come into focus. He'll discuss how at the end of its previous term the high court offered the conservative legal movement and Republican Party both an important win and a stinging defeat. The win came with its holding that federal courts would not hear or decide challenges to partisan gerrymanders by state legislatures. The big defeat came with the change of one vote—that of Chief Justice John G. Roberts—who joined the four members regarded as liberal in holding that the Census Bureau could not include the question “Is this person a U.S. citizen?” on the 2020 Census form. Even more cutting was the rationale provided by Roberts: the administration, he wrote, had provided a false reason—a “pretext,” in lawyer language--for putting the question on the form.
For several long weeks after the Census decision Trump seemed to flirt with defying the Court. He finally backed down, but relations between the executive and judicial branches remain somewhat tense. Has the feud between Trump and Roberts reached the point at which it may affect the law? Might it even spread to other conservative Justices? Professor Epps will tackle these and other questions in a talk that will enlighten lawyers, journalists, and those who merely want a better understanding of where the Supreme Court, and the nation, are headed. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15. Save $2 with student ID. Time listed is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please arrive in plenty of time to place any order and be seated and settled before the talk begins.)