Breaking News

Thursday round-up

The news is full of snow today, but the Supreme Court also got some coverage.

Adam Liptak of the New York Times has a feature on Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder, in which the Court will consider a constitutional challenge to a law criminalizing the provision of material support to designated terrorist organizations, noting that this is the first time since the September 11 attacks that the Court will hear a case over First Amendment rights in the context of terrorism.

Proposals for new laws in the wake of the Citizens decision continue. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ralph Nader and Robert Weissman call for a constitutional amendment to limit corporate rights, but they also propose three interim solutions: the currently pending Fair Elections Now Act, which would provide candidates with funding; a policy that would limit corporate political contributions to those supported by a majority of shareholders; and a ban on political spending for corporations under contracts with or receiving subsidies from the government.  Jonathan Turley has an opinion piece in the L.A. Times in which he dismisses campaign finance reform as a superficial solution to political corruption and proposes a series of more fundamental election reforms – including constitutional amendments – to end “the stranglehold the two parties have on our political system.”

In his opinion column at the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger discusses the First Amendment debate between Justices Stevens and Scalia in their Citizens United opinions. A video of an interview with Henninger about the decision is also available on the Journal’s website.

At her Court Beat blog, Joan Biskupic discusses the aversion of the Supreme Court press corps to contacting current law clerks for information about cases, and relates it to reporting done by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong in their famous 1970s book on the Court, The Brethren.

Briefly, the Cavalier Daily, the University of Virginia’s campus newspaper, has a story on the involvement of the Supreme Court litigation clinic at that school in Abbott v. United States, in which the Court recently granted cert.