For USA Today, Richard Wolf reports that “[f]or three eventful years of George W. Bush’s presidency – involving wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, battles over abortion and immigration, and two Supreme Court vacancies – Brett Kavanaugh held one of the most important jobs in the White House,” but “as the Senate considers Kavanaugh’s qualifications for the Supreme Court, his work as staff secretary – described by others who have held the job as the president’s inbox and outbox – remains a black hole.” For The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim reports that “[h]ow the Republican majority is handling Kavanaugh’s extensive records has infuriated Democrats,” noting that “what makes the fight for Kavanaugh’s records unusual is that the National Archives, which has played a central role for previous nominees in vetting their White House papers and sending them to the Senate, has effectively been sidelined.” In commentary at National Review, Ed Whelan explains why, “[o]n any sensible application of the cost-benefit analysis that always properly shapes the Senate’s demand for documents, demanding the staff secretary documents would be insane.” Thomas Jipping maintains in an op-ed at the Washington Examiner that “senators already have what [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer said they need, a complete record of the most relevant and revelatory material from Kavanaugh’s legal career.”

In an episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, “[f]ormer law clerk Justin Walker joins Elizabeth Slattery to talk about working for Judge Kavanaugh and Justice Kennedy, running the BK5K, and the single best Kavanaugh opinion.” At E&E News, Amanda Reilly takes a close look at a case that “provides a glimpse into [Supreme Court] nominee [Brett Kavanaugh]’s broader approach to environmental law and how that may translate on the Supreme Court bench,” noting that “[i]f … Kavanaugh had his way, EPA would be without an important tool for regulating air pollution that drifts across state lines.” Dr. Roger Klein maintains in an op-ed for The Hill that “Kavanaugh’s expertise in administrative and regulatory law makes him exactly the right appointment at the right time.”

For The Hill, Jordain Carney reports that “Kavanaugh met on Wednesday with Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), two senators at the center of the multi-million dollar Supreme Court fight,” who “gave no indication after the meetings of whether they will support President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.” At NPR, Sarah McCammon reports that the re-election campaigns of red-state Democratic senators “are being complicated by the Supreme Court fight, which has brought millions of dollars in ads and activists to their home states, as well as those of other moderate senators trying to save their jobs in November.” According to Dan Merica at CNN, “Democratic senators facing tough races in Republican-leaning states are the target of a new ad from a Democratic group that pressures them to vote down President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.” In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse considers the rash of televised ads promoting or opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation, writing that “assuming that there’s still a line somewhere, I believe the National Rifle Association has crossed it with a commercial declaring that ‘President Trump chose Brett Kavanaugh to break the tie’ between the ‘liberal justices’ who ‘oppose your right to self-defense’ and the ‘four justices’ (who are seemingly without left-to-right ideology) who ‘support your right to self-defense.’”

For The Daily Caller, Kevin Daley reports that “Jack Phillips, the Christian baker who prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court after declining to create a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, filed a lawsuit in federal court late Tuesday suing the Colorado Civil Rights Commission”; “Phillips and his attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom … say the Commission has revived its campaign against him …, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs.” Additional coverage comes from Amy Wang for The Washington Post, who reports that “[t]his time, the cake at the center of the controversy was not for a wedding” – it was “a custom cake that was blue on the outside and pink on the inside” to celebrate the anniversary of the day the customer “had come out as transgender.” In an op-ed at The Daily Signal, Jim Campbell of ADF urges the federal courts to “put a stop to Colorado’s unconstitutional bullying.”

Briefly:

  • At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Bob Egelko reviews Richard Hasen’s book, “The Justice of Contradictions: Antonin Scalia and the Politics of Disruption.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 16, 2018, 7:00 AM), http://www.scotusblog.com/2018/08/thursday-round-up-438/