Acton Institute Powerblog

Acton Line podcast: Supreme Disorder and SCOTUS politics with Ilya Shapiro

The untimely death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February of 2016 amplified questions about the Supreme Court in the 2016 election to new highs. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s high wire act in denying a hearing and vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill that seat, Judge Merrick Garland, ultimately paid off for him: President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, who was then confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

A year later, the political world was rocked again by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy and President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the bench. Following one of the most contentions confirmation hearings in modern American political history, Kavanaugh was also confirmed.

Now, the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has created another election year vacancy on the nation’s highest court. President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the seat. The political temperature has again risen.

In his new book, “Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court,” Cato’s Ilya Shapiro examines the history of the judicial confirmation hearings, how politics has invaded the Supreme Court itself, and how appointments to the Court have become one of the most explosive features of our system of government.

In this episode, Ilya Shapiro discusses his new book, how our politics of the judiciary got this way, how that politics affecting us as a nation, and what, if anything, can be done about it.

Ilya Shapiro at the Cato Institute

Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court – Ilya Shapiro

Term Limits Won’t Fix the Court – Ilya Shapiro

Roberts Rules – Ilya Shapiro

Everything you need to know about Amy Coney Barrett – Rev. Ben Johnson

‘A different kind of lawyer’: Amy Coney Barrett on Christian vocation – Joseph Sunde

High Court, high stakes: Replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Trey Dimsdale

Religious liberty at the Supreme Court – Acton Line

Eric Kohn

Eric Kohn is director of communications at the Acton Institute. In that role, he works to bring Acton's vision of a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles to a wider audience. Prior to joining Acton, Eric was director of community management at the Illinois Policy Institute, one of the nation's premier state-based think tanks. He was also the founder and CEO of Curious Task Strategies, a public affairs consulting firm. Eric is the leader of the Chicago chapter of America’s Future Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of classical liberal leaders in Chicago. Along with Joe Kaiser, Eric hosts Sources with Knowledge, which airs Sundays at 3pm on News/Talk 560 The Answer in Chicago and is available on numerous podcast feeds. He previously hosted The Eric Kohn Program on 1530-AM WJJG, and has guest-hosted the nationally syndicated The Guy Benson Show, Illinois Watchdog Radio on Cities 92.9FM in Bloomington-Normal, and Chicago’s Morning Answer on News/Talk 560 The Answer. He has appeared as a commentator on Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont, Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, The Michael Koolidge Show, WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and numerous news broadcasts in the Chicagoland area. Eric’s writings have appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Belleville News-Democrat and other publications. Eric grew up in Belleville, Ill., and is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, Ill.