Mark Tushnet

Mark Tushnet is the author of A Court Divided: The Rehnquist Court and the Future of Constitutional Law.

Recent Articles

The Roberts/Alito Court

We already know some of the dynamics of President Bush's nomination of Judge Samuel Alito: the president's low approval ratings, driven lower by defections from his base during the Harriet Miers episode, and his need to recapture some political ground by shifting attention from corruption and incompetence to a Supreme Court nominee who can't be challenged as an incompetent crony. One element in the political dynamics, though, may have been overlooked. The president is taking advantage of what might be merely a moment of unified government to consolidate conservative control of the Supreme Court. Facing the possibility (though hardly a certainty) of a Democratic majority in the Senate after next year's elections, and even of a Democratic president after 2008, Bush is following the tradition established by John Adams in 1800: If you think you might lose control of the political branches, try to plant your allies on the Supreme Court so they can as check the excesses (as you see them) of...