Monday, May 20, 2024

Supremely Conservative Replacements

By Paige Gottorff
Paige Gottorff is a recent graduate of the Class of 2024 at Albany Law School.
Prior to attending law school, Paige earned a degree in Legal Studies at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, where she was a member of the Women’s Lacrosse Team. 
At Albany Law School, Paige served as Managing Editor for Research and Writing for the Government Law Review, Vol. 17, where she worked on the Writing Competition and edited second-year students’ notes and comments. She was also a member of the Albany Law Negotiations Travel Team and the Albany Law Student Trial Advocacy Competition Travel Team.  Additionally, Paige competed in numerous in-house moot court competitions.
Following the bar examination, Paige will be working as an Associate Attorney for Vahey Law Offices, PLLC, in Rochester, NY.

The United States Supreme Court has recently been on a history-making streak.  And not for admirable reasons, but for the alarming regularity with which the Court has been stripping individuals of their rights.

The current bench is the most conservative panel the Court has seen in ninety years.  This is frightening when pondering the trend expected regarding basic human rights cases about which the Court grants certiorari and opts to conceal from public scrutiny by deciding through the shadow docket.

Since the earliest of times, death has been a valid punishment for crimes with minuscule societal impact.  As history progressed, methods of execution began at the most barbaric levels and slowly shifted to consider the ethics of executing a fellow human being.  Presently, “more than seventy percent of the world’s countries have abolished capital punishment in law or practice.”  But in 2022, the United States was in the top five of the world’s countries that performed executions--fewer only than China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

As a vast majority of death penalty cases are petitioned to the Supreme Court, the nine Justices who don the black robe are the same ones who “okay” the executions.  How has the United States gone from abolishing the death penalty to reinstating it and using it the fifth most frequently in the world?  A closer look at the individuals who have made and are currently making these critical decisions may give us a sense of what is really going on at this country's “Court of Last Resort.”
To read the paper, open HERE.