Thomas Goldstein, an experienced supreme court litigator spoke at Lewis and Clark Law School Tuesday as the guest of the Sixth Annual Justice Anthony Kennedy Lecture Series.
Goldstein, a founding partner of Goldstein & Howe, P.C. (now Goldstein & Russell, P.C.) has served as counsel in roughly 10 percent of all supreme court cases over the past 15 years, nearly 100 in total, and has personally argued 31 of those cases. Covering nearly every topic in federal law, Goldstein was named as one of the nations 40 most influential lawyers of the decade by National Law Journal.
Delivering an eloquent and witty lecture titled “Reflections of a Supreme Court Practitioner” Goldstein spoke on a number of topics including use of media by the court, the court’s potential docket for the coming year, the decision making process of Justice Kennedy (who is often considered to be the court’s swing vote) and the pull between siding liberally on some issues while conservative on others.
“I think it’s a terrible and unfortunate mistake” said Goldstein when addressing the no media policy that includes no video or photography. “We’ve got Jon Stewart to blame for that” joked Goldstein explaining his theory that the justices are afraid to be mocked with what they say if video is allowed. Goldstein predicted major issues to be heard in the court for the coming year, some included same-sex marriage, affirmative action, abortion, and Obamacare.
Providing some insight into Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling, Goldstein described how Kennedy would rule on same sex marriage and affirmative action. Justice Kennedy’s ruling are often considered odd, being pro same-sex marriage but anti-affirmative action.
Explaining with the well-spoken clarity of a Supreme Court advocate, Goldstein lay out how Kennedy focus is on individual cases and will not discriminate or stereotype. By ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, he would expel that discrimination within the law. Yet in the case of affirmative action, Justice Kennedy will most likely rule against it because by grouping minorities as a disadvantaged race, that is stereotyping.
Goldstein continues to provide counsel at Goldstein & Russell, P.C. as well as teach Supreme Court Litigation at Harvard University. For more information on him see his profile on his website here: http://ghrfirm.com/attorney-profiles/thomas-goldstein