FROM Eric Posner
Supreme Court '07-'08 Term Wrap-up When the US Supreme Court shut down last year for its summer recess, court watchers were stunned by the number of 5-to-4 decisions and the bitter language used by some of the justices. Chief Justice John Roberts had promised a collegial atmosphere that would produce greater unity. The court ended this year's term with a burst of 5-to-4 splits on high-profile issues, but for the most part, last year's patterns did not hold. We hear about the death penalty , voter ID , guns and Guantánamo Bay . Has President Bush succeeded in pushing the court to the right? With as many as three retirements possible, what can voters expect from John McCain or Barack Obama ?
Global Warming and the Rush to Claim the Arctic's Riches CNN calls it "an irony that even Al Gore might appreciate." As global warming causes the polar icecaps to recede, frozen oceans become navigable and undiscovered oil and natural gas becomes accessible. Russia's most famous Arctic explorer, Artur Chilingarov , has placed a flag on the seabed beneath the North Pole. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper is out on the Arctic Ocean making plans for an Army training center and a deep-water port. Melting ice may free up both the Northwest Passage and one quarter of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas. It's the Wild, Wild West all over again. Will the US assert its national interests? What are the prospects for international conflict?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?