Cato Supreme Court Review 2005-2006

By Roger Pilon; Robert A. Levy et al. | Go to book overview

Finding Bickel Gold in a Hill of Beans

Douglas A. Berman*

“First, do no harm,” is a common aphorism for the medical profession. If the Supreme Court was judged by this principle, its work in Hill v. McDonough1 might lead some to urge revoking the justices’ licenses. The Court’s decision to consider Clarence Hill’s challenge to Florida’s lethal injection protocol resulted in widespread legal confusion and the disruption of executions nationwide. The Court’s subsequent ruling in Hill raised more legal questions than it answered and ensured that death row defendants would continue to disrupt scheduled executions by pursuing litigation over lethal injections protocols.

But, though harmful to the orderly administration of capital punishment, the Supreme Court’s work in Hill has its virtues. The Court’s consideration of Hill’s claims has brought greater (and long needed) scrutiny to the particulars of lethal injection protocols. And the narrow ruling in Hill presents a valuable opportunity for other institutions to grapple more fully with the difficult issues raised by any method of state killing.

Consequently, Hill might be lauded for reflecting Professor Alexander Bickel’s wise insight that the Supreme Court ought sometimes seek to avoid resolution of certain constitutional claims. Professor Bickel suggested that the Supreme Court should, in some settings, avoid definitive resolution of certain constitutional questions to allow other (more democratic) branches of government to take a second look at important issues.2 But, for the Hill decision to produce

* William B. Saxbe Designated Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.

1 126 S. Ct. 2096 (2006).

2 See Alexander Bickel, The Least Dangerous Branch 111–98 (1962) (chapter discussing at length “the passive virtues”); see also Guido Calabresi, A Common Law for the Age of Statutes 16–30 (1982) (discussing Bickel’s visions of and suggestions for constitutional adjudication).

-311-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cato Supreme Court Review 2005-2006
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 401

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.