In the wake of the Court's decision earlier this year in Snyder v. Phelps — in which the Court held that the First Amendment protects protesters at military funerals from tort liability — twenty-five states have considered (and several have already passed) legislation intended to shield military funerals from such protests. As USA Today reports, one such effort is ongoing in Oregon, where a high school student has begun lobbying state legislators to pass a law that would extend buffer zones between protesters and those in funeral attendance. At NPR, Lee C. Bollinger notes recent examples of religious intolerance overseas and argues that the decision in Phelps has had a positive impact on Americans by guiding them to "shift their focus from seeing the value of speech itself to seeing the need to deal with the problems revealed in reactions to speech."
Coverage of this week's decision in Ashcroft v. al-Kidd continues. The editorial board of the (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review expresses concern that last week's decision "may have left the false impression that tap-dancing on the Fourth Amendment is noncontroversial, at least when the issue is terrorism." The Associated Press (via KLEW) has additional coverage.
In a post at TPM CafÃ©, Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center looks at the ongoing challenges to health-care legislation and emphasizes the need for judicial independence. In particular, he argues that what "is desperately needed . . . is a conservative voice" that will "follow the law, rather than partisan politics."
In light of the Justices' recent financial disclosures, in which Justice Thomas revealed that his wife had received money from a group organized to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Daily Kos (via FavStocks) encourages Justice Thomas to emulate Justice Alito (who has recused himself in cases in which he owns stock in one of the parties) and recuse himself from any challenges to the Act. Additional coverage of Justice Thomas's financial disclosures are available at NewsOne.
In commentary at WorldNet Daily, Nat Hentoff criticizes last month's decision in Kentucky v. King as "suspend[ing] the Fourth Amendment."
Recommended Citation: Kiera Flynn, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 3, 2011, 11:25 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/06/friday-round-up-78/