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

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

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

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in National

Just In