The "question on everyone's lips" yesterday (according to former Court reporter Linda Greenhouse) was how many "“ and which "“ Justices would attend President Obama's State of the Union speech. In particular, Marcia Coyle noted in a post at the Blog of LegalTimes before the speech, "the real question of who [will] attend this year has focused on the chief justice." A Court spokeswoman announced midmorning that six Justices would attend; and last night, Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan all entered the House chamber. At the New York Times, Adam Liptak suggests that the Chief Justice, despite his "distaste" for the event, "may have concluded that the court's reputation as an avowedly apolitical institution would be harmed should only the court's more liberal justices attend." NPR's Nina Totenberg offered a different take, speculating that "the Tucson shooting . . . changed his view." Many news outlets reported on the Justices' plans for the evening, including the New Yorker's News Desk blog, the Associated Press (via USA Today), the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, the Washington Post, the WSJ Law Blog and Washington Wire blog, CBS News's Crossroads blog, Fox News, and ABC News's The Note blog.

Reports have now emerged from Justice Scalia's closed-door speech on the Constitution to the Tea Party Caucus, held Monday evening on Capitol Hill. (Democrats were also invited to the event.) According to NPR's Nina Totenberg, the controversy surrounding the event "appeared to be more fizzle than sizzle" by Monday night; she reports that Republicans in attendance regarded Scalia as "a rock star" and "talked about him afterward a bit like teenagers with a crush." David Ingram reports for the Blog of LegalTimes that the talk included Justice Scalia's advice on drafting legislation, as well as his responses to questions on Roe v. Wade, Massachusetts v. EPA, and the line-item veto. The WSJ Law Blog and Washington Wire blog also have posts on Justice Scalia's talk.


  • Courthouse News Service summarizes several prominent cases that the Court recently declined to review, including cases on media defamation and over-the-counter Plan B access.
  • Yesterday the Court denied a last-minute petition from Georgia death row inmate Emmanuel Hammond. Hammond's attorneys had raised questions about the supplier of one of the drugs in the three-drug lethal injection cocktail that was used on Hammond last night. The Associated Press (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WRCB) has the story, as does ABC News's The Note blog.
  • ACSblog adds two more installments to its symposium marking the one-year anniversary of the Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The latest posts are from the Constitutional Accountability Center's Elizabeth Wydra and election law expert Joseph Sandler.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Adam Chandler, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 26, 2011, 7:27 AM),