The Devastating, Sneaky Genius of John Roberts’ Opinions

I am ever in awe of Chief Justice John Roberts. He has an unparalleled talent for making the sweeping seem small and the sharp seem mild. His rhetoric is all about sounding reasonable and earnest, even if (especially if) the outcomes of his rulings are anything but. He’s a champion of the long game. He’s Scalia’s stylistic opposite, the no-bombast justice. Isn’t it lucky for conservatives to have them both?


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“I Think the Court Will Disappoint You”

Welcome to Politics Tuesday, where a revolving cast of Slate politics writers and editors brings Slate Plus members one special extra….
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The Harder They Fall

Who are the kids who get picked on by other kids—and who suffer most as a result? We are used to worrying about the socially isolated misfits, the tweens and teens who are far down in the pecking order and can’t really defend themselves. We should still worry about those kids, especially if they’re disabled, or gay at a school where that’s not accepted. But they are not the only targets of teenage cruelty. The surprising finding in a new study is that it’s kids with social clout—the popular kids—who report the most distress when they say they’re victimized by their peers.


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DuPont Heir Got Probation for Raping His Daughter. Judge Said He Wouldn’t "Fare Well" in Prison.

What is wrong with Delaware Judge Jan Jurden, who gave a DuPont heir, Roberts H. Richards IV, probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter? In her mind-boggling order suspending Richards’ eight-year prison sentence, Jurden gave one rationale that should launch a tidal wave of hate mail: Richards “will not fare well” in prison. To ask the obvious, so what?


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How to Write About the Law and Not Put People to Sleep

More than once, I’ve heard Slate editor David Plotz guess that the average Slate reader is a lawyer. And Slate is fortunate to have smart readers, many of them professionally accomplished lawyers, academics, or scientists. Sometimes these readers even become writers.


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