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Thursday round-up

As the Court nears the midpoint of its two-week-long recess, Court coverage continues even while headlines have largely shifted toward recent court of appeals decisions.

After Chief Justice Roberts spoke yesterday at Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis, Ken Kusmer of the Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times) highlights his remarks about fundamental legal disagreements among the justices and his mostly formal relationship with President Obama.  According to Jess Bravin at the WSJ Law Blog, the Chief Justice also mentioned his relationship with Justice Stevens: “I’ve always felt . . . a special affinity for Justice Stevens, who comes from Chicago.”

Harvard Law Professor Mark Tushnet tells the Harvard Crimson that, if Elena Kagan is nominated for the Court, Republicans may use her opposition to the Solomon Amendment as a “talking point” and draw attention to her lack of experience as a judge.  In a post at his Bench Memos blog on National Review Online, Ed Whelan gives three reasons why Kagan might face stiffer resistance in a Supreme Court confirmation than she did during her confirmation as Solicitor General.  In other discussion of a potential Court nomination, Law360 lists responses from leaders of top appellate groups asked to fill in the blank in the sentence “If I were Obama, my Supreme Court pick would be…”

As John Flescher of the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) reports, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce now estimates that closing the locks between Chicago and Lake Michigan to keep out Asian carp – which the State of Michigan has twice asked the Supreme Court to do – could cost the Chicago-area economy $4.7 billion over two decades.

In a new post on constitutional interpretation at Balkinization, Alison LaCroix argues that the current Court’s split in views about federalism has roots going back to the First Congress.

At Concurring Opinions, Tuan Samahon discusses a recently released audiotape indicating that that former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas may have lied during his confirmation hearing to be Chief Justice about his discussion of Court matters with his friend President Lyndon Johnson.

Concurring Opinions also posts on a new essay from the Virginia Law Review about Rent-A-Center v. Jackson, which will be argued later this month.

Finally, Josh Blackman analyzes more predictions of case outcomes from his FantasySCOTUS site, concluding that oral arguments generally introduce more uncertainty.