This weekend, commentators again returned to the question of whether the Court should be required to adhere to the same Code of Conduct that governs other federal judges.  On the op-ed page of the Washington Post, Nan Aron argues that it should, and she notes that "[r]egardless of whether one shares fears of politicization, disputes are inevitable so long as the nation's highest court operates with almost no compulsory ethics rules to guide "” or constrain "” behavior."  The editorial board of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot agrees, writing that "[w]hen the issue of a code of conduct for the Supreme Court arises, politics is almost always involved. That’s all the more reason for the high court to take care of the matter now "” to embrace transparency and adopt the same set of standards that applies to other federal judges "” before the appearance of impropriety erodes public confidence in the court."

In the Washington Post, Robert Barnes offers "a reminder of the real people behind the court's cases" with a profile of Jason Pepper, the petitioner in Pepper v. United States.   In a similar same vein, the York Sunday News reports on letters received from the mother and grandmother of Matthew Snyder, who did not join the suit; his mother writes that "I am glad free speech prevailed. I love my son and as a Marine, Matthew was entrusted with defending and protecting our rights, liberties and Constitution."

David Savage of the Los Angeles Times discusses voting trends at the Court, and in particular the nearly unanimous defeats recently handed to employers and corporations by a Court "often described as conservative, divided and pro-corporate."  And, at the Volokh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker analyzes the December oral argument in Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, writing that "it looks as though e-Verify will do worse than the rest of Arizona's law, which may squeak through," a partial victory that "likely will be more symbolic than practical, because the part of Arizona's law that may survive simply says that businesses can lose their state business licenses if they knowingly hire illegal workers."

Briefly:

  • Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal reports on the Justices' participation in fictional trials.  Justice Kennedy has presided over a mental competency hearing for Hamlet; Justice Ginsburg has served on Custer's court-martial panel.
  • On his Washington Post blog on religion and politics, Brad Hirschfield writes on two of the Court's recent denials of certiorari in cases: one involving a public university's funding of a campus religious group, and the other a challenge by Michael Newdow to the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 14, 2011, 9:02 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/03/monday-round-up-68/