Chief Justice John Roberts is a complex and subtly innovative jurist. The Supreme Court’s census decision revealed his skills, particularly seen against the backdrop of the gerrymandering case decided the same day. His ruling against the executive may actually strengthen deference to executive discretion when wielded by a future normal presidency, but in his decisive opinion (joined in full by no other justice), Roberts also refined a neglected counterdeference tool—pretext analysis.
David A. Martin is a professor of law emeritus at the University of Virginia, where he taught courses in presidential powers and constitutional law. He has held executive branch positions in three administrations, including Acting General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security during the first four months of the Obama Administration.
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