The Law: 10 Days to Watch in 2013

From memorable anniversaries to game-changing new rulings, some dates to mark this coming year

Atlantic writers preview the stories, trends, and ideas to watch. See full coverage

I can't predict the legal events of 2013, any more than I can predict the particular path a raindrop will travel down a car window. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, there are the "knowns" -- the new year will end with too few court nominees confirmed to the federal bench. There are the "known unknowns" -- the Supreme Court will tick off a hundred million Americans, no matter which way it rules on voting rights and same-sex marriage. And there are "unknown unknowns" -- legal events and issues that will come from nowhere to stop us cold in the coming year. The peril and joy of this beat -- of any beat, really -- is that you never know what you are going to get.

So I don't have any great detail to share with you about what's on tap. But I can give you a sense of the timing. Here's a list of 10 important legal dates in 2013, days when you'll likely be paying a little more attention than usual to the world of the law. Some of them represent the beginning of new realities we'll have to deal with next year and beyond. Some of them are timely commemorations of important dates in legal history, reminders that many of the same fighting faiths that animate our current national arguments were around in times past.

I'm already on the record as suggesting that 2013 will be as intense or even more intense for the law than the year we've just endured. Here are some reasons why.

Presented by

Andrew Cohen is a contributing editor at The Atlantic. He is a legal analyst for 60 Minutes and CBS Radio News, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, and Commentary Editor at The Marshall Project

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

Just In