We’ve heard what the Supreme Court had to say about their 5-4 decision to uphold President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” And if you’ve been paying even the slightest amount of attention, you’ve heard what the partisan pundits think on the various cable news talk shows. But how do scholars in public policy, economics and public health evaluate this hefty decision?
UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy wanted to find out — and share the experience with UCTV viewers–so they gathered together a panel of experts to analyze the impacts of the Supreme Court’s decision and what it means for future health reform, constitutional law, medical care, health insurance, public policy and politics. It’s a thorough, reasoned assessment — and one you surely won’t find on cable.
What are the nine unelected justices of the U.S. Supreme Court really good for?
In a new thought-provoking and at-times humorous interview, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer talks with David Faigman, professor at UC Hastings College of Law, about the importance of an engaged public, the balancing power of an unelected governing body, the politics behind court decisions, and more. Take a look at Legally Speaking: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer.
If you’re interested in the inner-workings of the Supreme Court, there’s more in UC Hastings’ “Legally Speaking” series. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg touched on everything from opera, marriage and work/life balance to doctrinal questions and cases from the 1970s to the present during her 2011 conversation with Professor Joan Williams.
And in 2010, Justice Antonin Scalia sat down for an interview with Professor Calvin Massey to reflect upon his 24 years on the Supreme Court bench.
We’ve asked Professor Massey to share his experience interviewing Justice Scalia:
“Justice Scalia is a delightful person. He is warm, witty, and completely comfortable with himself. There is nothing artificial or pretentious about him. That made interviewing him very pleasant.
Sometimes people who hold important offices forget that the office and their person are separate. As Harry Truman once said of being President: ‘I tried never to forget who I was, where I came from, and where I was going to return.’ I think Justice Scalia keeps Justice Scalia the Justice separate from Antonin Scalia the person.
The audience was mostly Hastings students and faculty, with some judges, alumni, and friends of Hastings also in attendance. They were attentive, interested, and appropriately polite. Everybody wanted to hear what the Justice had to say. So did I, and my questions were designed to allow him room to talk. I hope some of that feeling in the room is apparent in the video recording.”
The “Legally Speaking” series continues March 30 at 8pm (ET/PT) with writer and attorney Scott Turow, then April 20 at 9:30pm with constitutional lawyer and Yale University Professor Bruce Ackerman. The series returns in the Fall with a highly anticipated appearance by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
As University of Chicago Law School Professor Geoffrey Stone sees it, the Supreme Court issued its most aggressively activist decision in decades with the Citizens United case, which held unconstitutional the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. What does this tell us about the judicial philosophy of the current conservative majority on the Court and the future of American democracy?