Constitutional law experts Jesse Choper, Goodwin Liu and John Yoo gave their perspectives on changes expected to sweep the U.S. Supreme Court at two recent events for Boalt alums in Los Angeles. Dubbed the Great Debate, their discussions drew dozens of attendees at receptions sponsored by Boalt’s Los Angeles Alumni Chapter.
All three professors are former U.S. Supreme Court clerks. Choper, Liu and Yoo identified some of the hot-button issues facing the Supreme Court as abortion, federalism, the right to die, the death penalty and the war on terrorism.
Choper, Boalt’s Earl Warren Professor of Public Law, said the recent confirmation of Justice Samuel Alito signals the most significant philosophical turning point on the High Court in 35 years. Liu suggested dividing the justices into three judicial tendencies: lawyer-judges, legal purists and weather vane justices. Yoo described Justice Anthony Kennedy as a “flywheel” vote on the new court and doubted there were enough votes to overturn Roe v. Wade.