Coverage of the Court ushered in the New Year with reflections on the issues of 2011 and and predictions for the rest of the Term.

Almost every major news outlet reported on the Chief Justice’s year-end report on the federal judiciary, in which he discussed judicial ethics and emphasized his “complete confidence” in the Justices’ recusal decisions.  Lyle Denniston covered the report for this blog; Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, Reuters, USA Today, CNN, and the Los Angeles Times and also have coverage of report. At the Atlantic, Andrew Cohen characterizes the report as “just as interesting for what it does not include” – discussions of judicial emergencies and criticism of the attacks on the judiciary’s independence – “as it is for what it does,” while Doug Berman of the Sentencing Law and Policy blog notes that the report also includes notable criminal justice caseload statistics.

Elsewhere, Newt Gingrich’s criticism of the Court and the federal judiciary continues to generate discussion. UPI considers whether his comments constitute a “dark omen” for courts, while an op-ed in the Washington Post suggests that the comments “hark back to a time when progressives were committed to curbing court power.”

Looking ahead to this Term’s cases, Lyle Denniston of this blog concludes his ten-part series on the health care cases, scheduled for argument in March; NPR also previews the health care arguments.  And at Cato@Liberty, Ilya Shapiro previews the issues in United States v. Home Concrete and Supply, LLC.


  • At the Opinionator blog of the New York Times, Linda Greenhouse examines public perceptions of the Court and concludes that “the way people think about the Court is complicated and filled with contradictions; that’s what makes this subject so rich.”
  • The Los Angeles Times reports on a recent visit by retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to that city to promote iCivics, a program aimed at improving government and civics education.
  • Lyle Denniston of this blog reports on the Montana Supreme Court’s decision to ban independent corporate spending on state elections, a decision seemingly in conflict with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC; Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog and the Volokh Conspiracy also have coverage.
  •  The Federal Evidence Review looks at the Court’s recent Confrontation Clause cases.
  • At Slate, Rick Hasen reports on the recent decision by the Department of Justice denying approval for South Carolina’s voter id law and discusses the likelihood that the case could reach the Court soon.

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 3, 2012, 3:12 PM),