For all round-up coverage of Elena Kagan since her nomination, see our collection of past links on SCOTUSwiki. Staff picks are marked by asterisks.

Commentators are still reacting to Monday’s orders and opinions.  At Balkinization, Stephen Vladeck finds “refreshing” the decision in Holland v. Florida, holding that a death-row inmate whose attorney missed a filing deadline could nonetheless seek an extension of that deadline.  In Vladeck's view, the Court's decision "reinforc[es] a classical view of the writ [of habeas corpus] that may well have been lost on other contemporary jurists.”  The L.A. Times editorial board applauds the decisions in Holland and Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, also decided on Monday, as a "rebuke of the legislative branch" and "a reminder that the court is charged not only to interpret the law but also to do justice."  Renee Feltz at the Huffington Post observes that the Carachuri decision could affect "thousands of lawful permanent residents who were mislabeled as aggravated felons.”

At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick was “horrified” by the Court’s denial of cert. in Arar v. Ashcroft, a challenge to the Bush Administration's rendition program.  She laments that, by deferring to the elected branches in cases like Arar’s, “[t]he courts have become complicit in the great American cop-out on torture.”

Responding to the Court’s announcement that it would hear Schwarzenegger v. Plata, an appeal of a federal court decision ordering the release of inmates from California's overcrowded prisons, Time’s Adam Cohen urges the Court to “step in and enforce the Constitution” by affirming that "inhumane” overcrowding conditions must cease.

This week the ABA released issue briefs by law professor Rory Little on HollandCarachuri-Rosendo, and another Monday decision, Dolan v. United States.  SCOTUSblog also has a plain English” discussion of recent decisions by Lisa McElroy, and a recap of Dolan by Matthew Scarola.

In nomination news, on Tuesday the White House organized a conference call for reporters with law school deans Joseph Kearney (Marquette) and Martha Minow (Harvard), who credited Elena Kagan for adding conservatives and libertarians to Harvard’s faculty.  At the same time, in responding to a question by Josh Gerstein about whether Kagan should bear responsibility for the school's failure to hire minority professors during her tenure, the deans emphasized that hiring “very largely in most places a faculty-driven process.”  Gerstein’s transcript of the exchange is on his Under the Radar blog at Politico.

The Boston Globe reports that Republican Senator Jeff Sessions again lambasted Kagan on the Senate floor for her policy on military recruiters at Harvard Law School.  From the same speech, FOXNews highlights an accusation by Sessions that Kagan was hypocritical in remaining silent when Harvard received a twenty-million-dollar gift from Saudi Arabia, a country that criminalizes homosexual acts.

As members of the House of Representatives continue drafting the DISCLOSE Act, a bill intended to curb the effects on campaign financing of the Court’s recent decision in Citizens United by requiring corporations and unions to report their campaign contributions, Lawrence Lessig criticizes the bill at the Huffington Post, complaining that Democrats have "squandered" "a chance . . . to rally a nation to real reform."  Meanwhile, two sponsors of the bill, Representatives Chris Van Hollen and Mike Castle, defend it in a Washington Post op-ed.


  • A death row inmate in Utah sentenced to death by firing squad is seeking a stay of execution from the Supreme Court, as reported by CNN and the Associated Press (via the L.A. Times).
  • After the Court earlier this Term summarily reversed a lower court’s judgment in favor of another death row inmate, Fernando Belmontes, the L.A. Times reports that the Ninth Circuit has affirmed his sentence.
  • Today Senator Al Franken will speak at the American Constitution Society’s national convention this weekend, offering a “real-world perspective on what we lose when we let conservatives control our constitutional discourse.” ACSblog hints that he may, as he did at Justice Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing, accuse the Court's conservative Justices of being "a leading force of activism from the bench."
  • A new study at concludes that "[Supreme Court] nominations have increasingly become a numbers game," as presidents recognize that they can influence the course of government for decades to come by nominating younger Justices.
  • At The Hill, reporter Kris Kitto has an interview with Jeremy Brandon, a former student of Kagan's who is now working on her confirmation as a Senate staffer.

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