Cato Supreme Court Review 2004-2005

Cato Supreme Court Review 2004-2005

Cato Supreme Court Review 2004-2005

Cato Supreme Court Review 2004-2005


A timely review of the Court's recent decisions.


Roger Pilon*

The Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies is pleased to publish this fourth volume of the Cato Supreme Court Review, an annual critique of the Court’s most important decisions from the term just ended, plus a look at the cases ahead—all from a classical Madisonian perspective, grounded in the nation’s first principles, liberty and limited government.

We release this volume each year at Cato’s annual Constitution Day conference—held on September 14th this year since Constitution Day falls on a Saturday. That is far from the only thing that is out of the ordinary this year, however. At this writing we are less than a fortnight away from the start of Senate confirmation hearings concerning the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. for a seat on the Supreme Court. More than a decade has passed since the nation last witnessed such hearings, and it was almost fifteen years ago that we saw hearings as politically charged as those upcoming may be.

Quite apart from the salvos Democrats have been hurling at Judge Roberts, even in the president’s own party the gauntlet has been thrown down. Two weeks ago and again today, for example, Senator Arlen Specter, who will be chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, has written to Roberts to give him “advance notice” that he will be pressing the nominee for his views on the Rehnquist Court’s “judicial activism” of recent years—in particular, its decisions finding that there are limits on Congress’ regulatory power, which Specter sees as the Court’s “usurping Congressional authority.”

*Vice President for Legal Affairs; Director, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

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