The Roberts Court

Photo by Tony RinaldoPhoto by Tony Rinaldo
Harvard Magazine
May 29, 2015
By Jonathan Shaw

To honor the life work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, L '59, LL.D. '11, an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (RIAS) convened a panel discussion of the Roberts Court on Radcliffe Day, traditionally held on the Friday after Commencement.

Dean Lizabeth Cohen opened the remarks by recalling that Chief Justice John G. Roberts '76, J.D. '79, said during his confirmation hearings that "Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules, they apply them." And he went on to say, she recalled, "[M]y job [is] to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat." In the years since 2005, when he was nominated to the court by President George W. Bush, M.B.A. '75, he has "made a lot of calls," said Cohen. The court has made decisions on "doctor-assisted suicide, voting rights, campaign-finance reform, and reproductive rights, to name a few."

The panel, she said, would discuss some of these calls, moderated by Margaret H. Marshall Ed.M. '69, former chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and senior research fellow and lecturer on law at Harvard Law School.

Read the complete Harvard Magazine story, "The Roberts Court," online

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