Justice Kagan cautions Supreme Court can forfeit legitimacy

U.S. Court Watch

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan on Monday cautioned that courts look political and forfeit legitimacy when they needlessly overturn precedent and decide more than they have to.

Speaking less than three months after a five-justice conservative majority overturned Roe v. Wade’s constitutional guarantee of abortion access, Kagan said the public’s view of the court can be damaged especially when changes in its membership lead to big changes in the law.

She stressed that she was not talking about any particular decision or even a string of rulings with which she disagreed.

Still, her remarks were similar to points made in dissenting opinions she wrote or contributed to in recent months, including in the abortion case.

“Judges create legitimacy problems for themselves ... when they instead stray into places where it looks like they’re an extension of the political process or when they’re imposing their own personal preferences,” Kagan said at Temple Emanu-El in New York. The event was livestreamed.


The chief justice has been a consistent defender of the court’s legitimacy against complaints that the court is not much different from the political branches of the government.

But Kagan said the court risks damaging its own legitimacy when big changes in the law follow changes in the court’s membership.

The public has a right to expect, she said, “that changes in personnel don’t send the entire legal system up for grabs.” Kagan joined the court in 2010, an appointee of President Barack Obama.

Three of the justices who are part of the court’s conservative majority were appointed by President Donald Trump. They voted to overturn Roe, and also imposed limits on the Biden administration’s efforts to fight climate change, expanded gun rights and weakened the separation between church and state.

In the court term that begins next month, the court will take up a challenge to the use of race in college admissions, just six years after the court reaffirmed affirmative action in higher education.

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Grounds for Divorce in Ohio - Sylkatis Law, LLC

A divorce in Ohio is filed when there is typically “fault” by one of the parties and party not at “fault” seeks to end the marriage. A court in Ohio may grant a divorce for the following reasons:
• Willful absence of the adverse party for one year
• Adultery
• Extreme cruelty
• Fraudulent contract
• Any gross neglect of duty
• Habitual drunkenness
• Imprisonment in a correctional institution at the time of filing the complaint
• Procurement of a divorce outside this state by the other party

Additionally, there are two “no-fault” basis for which a court may grant a divorce:
• When the parties have, without interruption for one year, lived separate and apart without cohabitation
• Incompatibility, unless denied by either party

However, whether or not the the court grants the divorce for “fault” or not, in Ohio the party not at “fault” will not get a bigger slice of the marital property.