Next year will mark a decade that the United States' highest court has been under the leadership of Chief Justice John G. Roberts. But the nine justices' conflicting opinions in several key rulings and the American media's often reductionist approach have made it difficult to define the Robert's Court in any certain terms.
Or so says Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, who stopped by Studio Three today to talk to Margery Eagan and Jim Braude about his new book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution.
Tribe delved into the Court's rulings on laws pertaining to gun ownership, gay marriage andprivacy, made some surprising predictions about what the Court might do in the future and spoke candidly about his remarkable career as a law professor-- for example, how surreal it is to see former students now running the country and sitting on the Supreme Court bench. "When Barack Obama was my research assistant, I said to myself, this is a guy with an unlimited future. I said the same thing about Elena [Kagan]."
Below is a quick recap of some of the landmark rulings the Court has made so far:
Overall, Tribe said the national media and legal cognoscenti have been quick to depict the Roberts Court as aggressive compared to previous courts, increasingly conservative and at odds ideologically. But examining the individual motivations of the nine justices that make up the Court reveals a far more complex story about its influence on law and politics.
Listen to Laurence Tribe's take on the Roberts Court below: