The death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the battle over nominating his successor continue to dominate coverage of and commentary on the Court. With the president slated to meet with Senator Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, this week, David Savage and Michael Memoli of the Los Angeles Times look back to the 1980s and observe that “the last great clash between the president and the Senate over a vacant Supreme Court seat ended with a private meeting at the White House between Ronald Reagan and Sen. Joe Biden, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”  And in USA Today, Richard Wolf observes that any eventual nominee “not only will have big shoes to fill — he or she may have many shoes to fill.”

At Vox, John Patty and Tom Clark urge the president to nominate a conservative to succeed Scalia, while in The Guardian they suggest that “it makes sense that the president would reportedly consider the likes of [Republican governor Brian] Sandoval (who declined the possibility) and Sri Srinivasan if his picks are viewed as a giant game of chicken with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.”  At Hosts of Error, Will Rosenzweig compiles a short list of potential nominees, while in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times Sam Ayres and Dan Driscoll urge the president to nominate a wartime veteran.  In his column for The Economist, Steven Mazie argues that, “by sitting on their hands, [Republicans] are threatening real damage to the institution of the Supreme Court as an arbiter of the nation’s disputes and to the American system of justice itself.” And at Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost deems it “astounding[]” that “Senate Republicans refuse to take the responsibility for considering a nominee and then voting up or down.”

As Lyle Denniston reported for this blog, “Dow Chemical Co. said on Friday it had settled a billion-dollar class-action case it has pending before the Justices, rather than risk a loss following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.”  Lawrence Hurley reports on the announcement for Reuters, citing it as “evidence that Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is a blow to businesses that have had success recently in challenging class action cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.”

And at the Brennan Center for Justice, Andrew Cohen argues that “we all have a right to know whether and to what extent our justices are ailing.”

Other coverage and commentary focus on the cases in which the Court will hear oral arguments this week.  In The Huffington Post, Dorothy Samuels looks ahead to the judicial-recusal case Williams v. Pennsylvania, arguing that, “[e]very so often, a state judge’s conflict of interest in deciding a particular case is so extreme and antithetical to fundamental fairness that the Supreme Court needs to step in to cleanse the taint.”

And in her column for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse weighs in on Wednesday’s challenge to Texas abortion regulations, arguing that the “notion that when it comes to restricting abortion, facts shouldn’t count, is to give ‘abortion exceptionalism’ a new meaning.  It is a meaning the Supreme Court will reject if it is true to its precedents and principles.”  The editorial board of The New York Times also weighs in, arguing that the law at issue “places so heavy a burden on hundreds of thousands of women across the state – particularly those in poorer rural areas – that it has effectively destroyed their constitutional right to an abortion.”

At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Samantha Millar previews tomorrow’s argument in the sex-offender-registration case Nichols v. United States and concludes that, “given the statutory ambiguity, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see the Court find in favour of Nichols in this instance—particularly when the failure to register carries with it criminal sanctions (perhaps implicating the rule of lenity, as argued by petitioner)—and send the issue back to Congress for clarification.”


  • Danielle Blevins of Talk Media News reports on last week’s oral arguments in the pair of cases “regarding whether the state of Maryland’s Public Service Commission had overstepped its authority to when it opened up a bidding auction for energy sellers involving wholesale energy.”
  • In an op-ed for the Denver Post, Senator Cory Gardner urges the Court to grant review in a challenge to a Colorado county’s school choice program.
  • In The American Prospect, Sarah Posner argues that an amicus brief in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth-control mandate by Douglas Laycock, who “has long been seen as one of the staunchest and most thoughtful advocates for religious exemptions from state and federal mandates,” “signals that the plaintiffs in these cases may have overplayed their hand.”

If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) news article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 29, 2016, 6:53 AM),