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2013-2014 Cato Sup. Ct. Rev. vii (2013-2014)

handle is hein.journals/catoscrev13 and id is 1 raw text is: FOREWORD

The Long View: Toward Restoring the
Roger Pilon*
The Cato Institute's Center for Constitutional Studies is pleased to
publish this 13th 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 term ahead-all from a classical Madisonian
perspective, grounded in the nation's first principles, liberty through
limited government. We release this volume each year at Cato's an-
nual Constitution Day conference. And each year in this space I dis-
cuss briefly a theme that seemed to emerge from the Court's term or
from the larger setting in which the term unfolded.
The most striking fact about this term, perhaps, is that nearly two-
thirds of the Court's decisions were unanimous, the highest percent-
age in over six decades, even if that was achieved in several cases
through narrow rulings, or if the rulings camouflaged very different
rationales. Complementing the Court's high unanimity rate, only 10
cases were decided 5-4, another low in recent years. On the surface,
therefore, it looks like Chief Justice John Roberts is maneuvering the
Court to speak as much as possible with one voice, as he had hoped
to do, even if the often narrow or fractured opinions that result give
less than clear guidance to the 13 federal appellate courts below
where some 60,000 cases a year are terminated.
It appears also, or at least it is said, that the 59-year-old Roberts
is taking the long view, even if it isn't entirely clear what that
means. About to begin its tenth term, and its fifth under the current
cast of justices, the Roberts Court seems to be following the course
* Vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute, founder and director of Cato's
Center for Constitutional Studies, B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies,
and publisher of the Cato Supreme Court Review.


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