on Jun 16, 2010 at 9:51 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.
As journalists and commentators continue to mull over recent action at the Court, a letter of support from sixty-nine law school deans emerged as the latest development in Elena Kaganâ€™s nomination and confirmation proceedings. The letter, addressed to the ranking Democrat and Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, describes Kagan as someone who â€œexcels along all relevant dimensions desired in a Supreme Court Justice.â€ The group of deans, led by Stanfordâ€™s Larry Kramer, represents over a third of the countryâ€™s law school deans. The Washington Post, CNN, the Christian Science Monitor, the New York Timesâ€™s The Caucus blog, and the Associated Press (via the Washington Post) all have coverage of the letter. Meanwhile, the Washington Independent has a video from an Aspen Institute panel evaluating Kaganâ€™s chances of confirmation and what viewers can expect from her confirmation hearings. SCOTUSblog has also started a series of â€œissue briefingsâ€ that will analyze the issues most likely to attract significant attention during the hearings.
The gradually emerging debate over Justice Souterâ€™s Harvard commencement address has drawn in a few more participants. At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein examines the social and political context of Plessy v. Ferguson and contends that â€œSouterâ€™s history of the case is off.â€ And in an op-ed for USA Today, David Rivkin and Lee Casey write that â€œSouterâ€™s candor [in the speech] is commendable but also genuinely troublingâ€”the practical equivalent of a retired cardinal announcing that religion is an opiate for the masses.â€ Rivkin and Casey look to Plessy themselves to make the point that â€œbad constitutional decisions, far from being the result of the Constitutionâ€™s frailty, are caused by the frailties of judges who depart from it.â€
- In USA Today, Joan Biskupic has a report on President Obamaâ€™s judicial nominees. Biskupic notes that while Obama â€œis setting records for the number of women and minorities nominated to lifetime appointments,â€ â€œhis administration has been thwarted by unprecedented delays.â€
- The New York Times editorial board describes the Courtâ€™s denial of cert. in Arar v. Ashcroft as â€œdisgracefulâ€ and â€œa bitterly disappointing abdication of its duty to hold officials accountable for illegal acts.â€
- At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick provides an excerpt of her report for Dan Rather Reports on the practical impact of last Termâ€™s decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, a decision requiring â€œcrime lab technicians . . . to testify in criminal trials far more often than they used to.â€
- At Forbes.com, Daniel Fisher discusses Mondayâ€™s cert. grant in Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano, which presents â€œthe tricky question of . . . just how much a company must disclose to investorsâ€”even when the information appears significant only in hindsight.â€ Fisher draws a connection to BPâ€™s decisions about disseminating information regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Kristin Goss has an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Second Amendment case pending before the Court, McDonald v. City of Chicago. Â Â If, as seems likely, the petitioners prevail, Goss hopes their victory will â€œopen the door for a long-overdue public reckoning about the place of firearms in civil society.â€ (Josh Blackman also speculates on McDonald, predicting that Chief Justice Roberts is authoring the decision.)
- The Atlanticâ€™s Chris Good has a post on a bet Justice Scalia made in January with Rahm Emanuelâ€™s brother Ezekiel. Justice Scalia, having wagered that a health care bill would not pass Congress, had to pay up by taking Emanuel to dinner.