Coverage of Monday’s opinions continues apace, while Court watchers continue to anticipate an opinion in the Affordable Care Act cases.

Coverage of Monday’s decision in Williams v. Illinois, in which the Court held that the admission of expert testimony about the results of DNA testing performed by non-testifying analysts did not violate the Confrontation Clause, continued yesterday.  Jess Bravin reports on the Court’s opinion for the Wall Street Journal, while Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic criticizes the decision as “display[ing] virtually all the dysfunction the justices’ most vocal and powerful critics ever could realistically contemplate.”   At ACSblog, Brandon L. Garrett predicts that “[n]ow that the Court has moved away from an unqualified defense right to cross-examine in rare cases that go to trial . . . we will continue to see mounting wrongful convictions and forensic scandals.”  Conversely, at the Confrontation Blog, Richard D. Friedman suggests “the damage to the Confrontation Clause may be much less than I might have guessed it would be given the result.” And at Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger offers “a couple of points to keep in mind” for “those trying to figure out what the law is after” the Court’s decision. 

Speculation and anticipation continue with regard to the cases challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr argues that “the mandate decision may end up being less significant than many people think”; Ilya Somin responds by describing how the case “could have an important impact both legally and politically.”  In an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, Douglas F. Gansler argues that “[t]hrough the Affordable Care Act, Congress is helping states tackle a major economic problem with national dimensions, precisely the type of problem the Framers wrote the Commerce Clause to address,” while at Concurring Opinions David Orentlicher contends that “critics of the Affordable Care Act[] may win a Pyrrhic victory if the Supreme Court strikes the individual mandate down.”  Tom Murphy at the Associated Press reports that, even if the the individual mandate is upheld, “an estimated 26 million U.S. residents will remain without coverage.”  And in another post at the Volokh Conspiracy Orin Kerr discusses a recent speech by Justice Ginsburg – which Jess Bravin also covers at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog – and the prospect that, as a result of the speech, “some are speculating that Ginsburg’s tone reflects some satisfaction with how the case came out.”

At this blog, Lyle Denniston reports that Senators Patrick Leahy and Charles Grassley “have asked the Supreme Court to permit live television coverage of the Court’s announcement of its [ACA] ruling.”  Todd Ruger at the Blog of the Legal Times and Sam Baker of the Hill cover the request, while Peter Landers of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog observes that although it is “hard to predict how the Supreme Court will rule on the Obama health law . . . we can safely forecast the court’s action in one aspect of the case: It will strike down [the] request . . . to televise the ruling.”


  • At the Volokh Conspiracy, John Elwood suggests that the majority opinion in First American Financial Corp. v. Edwards, the final case left from the Court’s December sitting, “was at least initially assigned to Justice Thomas.”
  • At the Huffington Post, retired judge H. Lee Sarokin discusses a recent report in The New York Times on the Court’s low public approval rate and criticizes “the concept that somehow judicial decisions should and must be popular,” while at the Nation Barry Friedman speculates that one of the reasons for the Court’s low approval rate is “partisanship.”
  • Reuters has announced on Twitter that it has unveiled a web page that will provide live coverage of Supreme Court rulings.  (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link.)
  • At the ABA Journal, Richard Brust discusses the new book by Justice Scalia and Bryan A. Garner.
  • At the Boston Review, Pamela S. Karlan argues that – thanks in part to the “interaction between Supreme Court decisions and post-Watergate reforms” – “our political system is more awash than ever in secret money.”

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 20, 2012, 10:17 AM),