on Jun 11, 2010 at 9:29 am
For all round-up coverage of Elena Kagan since her nomination, see our collection of past links on SCOTUSwiki. Staff picks are marked by asterisks.
Arizonaâ€™s campaign finance law and Elena Kaganâ€™s paper trail dominate Supreme Court coverage as the week comes to a close.
On Tuesday, the Court reinstated an injunction halting further disbursement of public subsidies to candidates for state offices, at least until the Court decides whether to grant cert. in the case. (See Lyleâ€™s post on the order here.) The editorial board of the Washington Post reacts to the order today, asserting that, â€œ[o]n the subject of campaign finance regulation, the Supreme Court is out of control.â€ The editorial goes on to describe the Courtâ€™s emergency order as â€œextraordinaryâ€”and extraordinarily unwiseâ€ because campaigns are in full swing: Arizonaâ€™s primaries are two months away, and the general election will take place in just five months. On ACSblog, the Brennan Centerâ€™s Mimi Marziani agrees; she describes the order as â€œirresponsible,â€ but she also argues that predictions of public financingâ€™s ultimate demise are â€œgreatly exaggerated,â€ â€œalarmist,â€ and â€œinaccurate.â€ At Constitutional Law Prof Blog, Steven Schwinn lists the various issues the Justices could address in the case if â€“ as now seems likely â€“ they grant cert. Deborah Hellman, in a guest post at Concurring Opinions, examines the arguments on each side of the case and asks, â€œWhy . . . is the First Amendment even implicated?â€
Senate Republicans are stepping up their criticisms of Elena Kagan as her confirmation hearings approach. Politicoâ€™s Scott Wong reports that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ)â€”both members of the Judiciary Committeeâ€”are troubled by memos that Kagan wrote as Justice Thurgood Marshallâ€™s law clerk. The senators contend that â€œthe papers suggest she lets politics dictate her legal decisions,â€ according to the Associated Press (via the Huffington Post). At the Volokh Conspiracy, however, Eugene Volokh explains the context of law clerk memoranda and why Kaganâ€™s memos to Justice Marshall should not raise eyebrows. Nina Totenberg reports for NPR that, because Kagan has never served as a judge, Senator Kyl believes she bears the burden of proving her fitness to be a Justice. Meanwhile, Senator Sessions continues to suggest that Kaganâ€™s hearings be delayed due to the pace at which the National Archives is releasing documents from the Clinton administration, according to the Blog of LegalTimes. (Another 41,759 pages of documents are set to be released today at 1 p.m.) Al Kamen, a columnist for the Washington Post, reports that â€œ[t]he administration [has] asked the Archives to step on it.â€ ABC News and Bloomberg also have reports on Senator Sessions and Senator Kylâ€™s statements.
- The Associated Press (via NPR) reports on a study from the Constitutional Accountability Center finding that the Roberts Court has â€œa decidedly pro-business tilt.â€
- At Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman responds to what he calls an â€œamusingâ€ editorial in the Washington Times (covered in yesterdayâ€™s round-up) criticizing Elena Kaganâ€™s record on gun control. Berman faults the editorial boardâ€™s charges of â€œactivismâ€ against Kagan and Justice Sotomayor on Second Amendment issues. Media Matters calls the editorial a â€œdistortionâ€ of Kaganâ€™s record.
- AOL Politics Dailyâ€™s Andrew Cohen examines Senator Tom Coburnâ€™s (R-OK) recent lament about the effectiveness of Supreme Court confirmation hearings and reflects on Coburnâ€™s performance in the hearings for Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito and Sotomayor.
- Howard Wasserman analyzes the Courtâ€™s recent decision in Krupski v. Costa Crociere, the â€œmistaken defendantâ€ case, at PrawfsBlawg. Wasserman writes that â€œ[t]he Court adopted a very broad understanding of â€˜mistake concerning the proper party’s identity,â€™ which is a good thing.â€Â (You can read Kevin Russellâ€™s discussion of the case for SCOTUSblog here.)
- Finally, Lynn Sweetâ€™s blog for the Chicago Sun-Times has a picture of President Obama wearing a bow tie while taping a video tribute to Justice Stevens.