Author: Stephen Duvernay

Stephen Johnson Field: Near-Great Justice, or Near-Greatest Justice?

Stephen Johnson Field: Near-Great Justice, or Near-Greatest Justice?

Let us set the playing field. Stephen Johnson Field is no John Marshall. Nor is he Holmes, nor Brandeis, nor Story. He lacks the weight of Warren, the influence of Black, the force of Rehnquist. We do not argue otherwise. This is our modest proposal: When considering the vast tier of second-rate justices, Justice Field deserves to be at the top.[1] Field set the pace for the also-rans; of those justices whose ideas were discarded, Field’s had the most force. He is the most distinguished of the indistinguishable, as measured by numbers, substance, or more subjective qualifications. David S. Terry,...

A look forward to arguments in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen

A look forward to arguments in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen

Later this year the Supreme Court of California will hear arguments in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bowen, a dispute over the scope of the legislature’s power to place so-called “advisory measures” on the ballot for voter consideration. This case poses a number of important questions bearing on separation of powers under the California Constitution, specifically, between the legislative power allocated to the legislature and that reserved for the citizens. Under the California Elections Code, advisory measures allow voters to “voice their opinions on substantive issues,” or to indicate approval or disapproval of the ballot proposal to the “sponsoring legislative...