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Garrett Epps

Garrett Epps is a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He teaches constitutional law and creative writing for law students at the University of Baltimore. His latest book is American Justice 2014: Nine Clashing Visions on the Supreme Court.
Results 1-10 of 27

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up United States v. Texas

January 21, 2016 The state of Texas and its traditional enemy, the United States government, both got a small surprise on Tuesday, when the U.S. Supreme Court granted review in the state’s challenge to the Obama administration’s program of “deferred action” for certain categories of undocumented immigrants. The grant wasn’t surprising. Lower courts...

Will the U.S. Supreme Court Gut Public-Employee Unions?

January 12, 2016 The most important fact about Monday’s oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is that this case—one of the most important of the term—will be decided on the basis of no facts at all. The petitioners in Friedrichs are asking the Court to hobble...

The U.S. Supreme Court and American Empire

December 30, 2015 The dawn of this century has marked the rise of the American periphery. To understand what I mean, consider presidential politics. In the last century, American voters preferred their presidents to be firmly rooted in the heartland—Plains, Georgia (Jimmy Carter), Tampico, Illinois (Ronald Reagan), Hope, Arkansas (Bill Clinton). How things...

It's Past Time for Congress to Debate the War on ISIS

November 19, 2015 In the late summer of 1950, the United States made a momentous choice—one that, in the end, may have transformed a prospective military and diplomatic triumph into disaster. The choice was made during what is now often called “the forgotten war”—the three-year conflict in Korea at the outset of the...

When the House of Representatives Can Sue the President

September 14, 2015 In the town where I grew up, there was a gentleman who was known for his gruff demeanor. One day, it was said, he was sitting at his desk when a neighbor called him. “Your house is on fire!” he said. “Well, is it bothering you?” the old man answered,...

What Does the Constitution Say About the War on ISIS?

August 24, 2015 “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell wrote in 1946. Here’s a corollary: The real scandal in any given system is usually the thing there’s no argument about. We hear a lot of discussion about executive power and the military these days....

One Year into the War That Congress Won't Declare

August 24, 2015 “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell wrote in 1946. Here’s a corollary: The real scandal in any given system is usually the thing there’s no argument about. We hear a lot of discussion about executive power and the military these days....

When Public Servants Refuse to Serve the Public

August 17, 2015 Thirty-five years ago, as a reporter for The Washington Post, I spent 13 weeks following young recruits through Marine Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. That February, 226 candidates entered OCS; in April, 117—about half—got their lieutenant’s bars. One of the candidates wanted to be a Marine aviator. He was...

North Carolina's Rightward Turn

June 10, 2015 Senator Jesse Helms looked right at the camera and named two of my neighbors as threats to the people of North Carolina. Their offense: They were gay. The year was 1984. After two terms as the furthest-right senator in Washington, Helms faced a formidable opponent—North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. Helms...

Breaking the Law—and Blaming the Supreme Court

May 13, 2015 Executive overreach, now as always, is in the eye of the beholder. George Will, for example, has railed against “institutional vandalism of Barack Obama’s executive unilateralism.” But in his admiring profile of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, George Will says that Rauner has “a powerful voice and a plan to break...