Today's news, in brief:

  • In response to Adam Liptak's recent story for the New York Times on Justice Thomas and oral argument (which James covered in Monday's round-up), the New York Times' Room for Debate blog features a discussion about whether a Justice can "effectively perform his duties without participating in oral argument." Orin Kerr, Jamal Greene, Vikram Amar, and Timothy Johnson discuss the value of oral argument and offer different takes on the question.
  • Matt Sedensky of the Associated Press reports on a recent speech by Justice Breyer in Palm Beach, Florida.  "[H]e gave no inkling to his stance on" the legality of WikiLeaks, but indicated that "the Bush v. Gore ruling "was totally wrong' and that the case should have never been heard." Michelle Dargan of the Palm Beach Daily News (thanks to How Appealing's Howard Bashman for the link) also has coverage.
  • The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz reports that Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) has announced his intention to introduce legislation "that would require Supreme Court justices to publicly disclose why they have recused themselves from cases . . . and require the Supreme Court to develop a process that would allow parties to a case to "request the Court to decide whether a particular justice has a conflict of interest.'"
  • On Wednesday, the Court declined to stay the execution of Ohio death-row inmate Frank Spisak. Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle) reports that Spisak is "a Nazi sympathizer who shot to death two men and a teen more than a quarter century ago on the campus of Cleveland State University." The murders were part of a "shooting spree over several months that evolved from "hunting parties' that targeted blacks." UPI and Crime and Consequences also have coverage.
  • At her Court Beat blog, Joan Biskupic discusses Snyder v. Phelps, the First Amendment case concerning anti-gay demonstrations at a military funeral. The Court heard oral argument in the case in early October and no decision has yet been issued.  In hypothesizing about what might be "holding up Snyder," Biskupic highlights a new paper from the Cultural Cognition Project, which found that individuals' perceptions of the protest at issue in Snyder "depends on their own views and values."

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amanda Rice, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 17, 2011, 9:38 AM),