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Here Me Roar: What Provokes Supreme Court Justices to Dissent from the Bench
Unformatted Document Text:  6 dissent in Gonzales v. Carhart. 16 In this public argument, she explicitly asked Congress to, “correct the Court’s mistake” in its most recent abortion decision. 17 Richard Lazarus argues that reading a dissent from the bench is significant for a justice. As he puts it, “It’s a different order of magnitude of dissent.” For Justice Ginsburg, Lazarus suggests her dissents “may be signifying an increasing frustration [with the Court’s decisions].” 18 One other notable announced dissent from the liberal side of the Court came in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1, et al. 19 In open court Justice Breyer argued that, “It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much.” 20 Like Ginsburg’s dissents, Breyer’s indicates a clear dissatisfaction with the direction of the Court’s legal policy choices. The reading of dissents from the bench on the Roberts’ Court is not relegated to the moderate or liberal justices, however. Indeed, during the 2005 term Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas read angry dissents in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. 21 As Tony Mauro and Jason 16 127 S. Ct. 1610 (2007). 17 To hear audio of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, navigate to: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000- 2009/2006/2006_05_380/opinion/. 18 Quoted in Barnes, supra note 15. 19 127 S. Ct. 2738 (2006). The reader should note that Justice Thomas himself points out that this is the first time he dissented in his 15 years on the High Court. To hear his words, navigate to www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2005/2005_05_184/opinion/. 20 Breyer’s dissent, as well, as available in the Oyez audio file, supra note 19. 21 126 S. Ct. 2749 (2006). To hear these dissents, navigate to http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000- 2009/2005/2005_05_184/opinion/.

Authors: Johnson, Timothy. and Black, Ryan.
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6
dissent in Gonzales v. Carhart.
16
In this public argument, she explicitly asked Congress to,
“correct the Court’s mistake” in its most recent abortion decision.
17
Richard Lazarus argues that reading a dissent from the bench is significant for a justice.
As he puts it, “It’s a different order of magnitude of dissent.” For Justice Ginsburg, Lazarus
suggests her dissents “may be signifying an increasing frustration [with the Court’s decisions].”
18
One other notable announced dissent from the liberal side of the Court came in Parents Involved
in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1, et al.
19
In open court Justice Breyer argued
that, “It is not often in the law that so few have so quickly changed so much.”
20
Like Ginsburg’s
dissents, Breyer’s indicates a clear dissatisfaction with the direction of the Court’s legal policy
choices.
The reading of dissents from the bench on the Roberts’ Court is not relegated to the
moderate or liberal justices, however. Indeed, during the 2005 term Justices Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas read angry dissents in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
21
As Tony Mauro and Jason
16
127 S. Ct. 1610 (2007).
17
To hear audio of Justice Ginsburg’s dissent, navigate to: http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-
2009/2006/2006_05_380/opinion/.
18
Quoted in Barnes, supra note 15.
19
127 S. Ct. 2738 (2006). The reader should note that Justice Thomas himself points out that
this is the first time he dissented in his 15 years on the High Court. To hear his words, navigate
to www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2005/2005_05_184/opinion/.
20
Breyer’s dissent, as well, as available in the Oyez audio file, supra note 19.
21
126 S. Ct. 2749 (2006). To hear these dissents, navigate to http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-
2009/2005/2005_05_184/opinion/.


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