on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:53 am
Yesterday Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine became the fourth Republican senator to announce that she would vote in favor of Elena Kaganâ€™s confirmation to the Court.Â Brief coverage of Snoweâ€™s announcement is available at the Wall Street Journalâ€™s Washington Wire blog, the Ninth Justice, the Boston Globe, and CQ Politics.Â The editorial board of the Washington Times questions Snoweâ€™s public assurance that Kagan regards the Courtâ€™s recent decisions in Heller and McDonald as â€œsettled law,â€ suggesting that Kagan will instead â€œfollow the same pathâ€ as Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who dissented in McDonald.Â The Caucus blog of the New York Times calls the announcement unsurprising, given Snoweâ€™s earlier votes for Sotomayor and for Kagan as Solicitor General.Â The Times also has an infographic with a running tally of committed Republican votes in the Senate.
Discussion and analysis of the Democratic failure to defeat a Republican filibuster on the DISCLOSE Act, a response to the Courtâ€™s decision in Citizens United, continues.Â (We compiled news coverage of the unsuccessful vote yesterday.)Â The American Prospectâ€™s TAPPED blog discusses the opposition of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who called the bill â€œa transparent effort to rig the fall election.â€Â At the Atlantic, Â DISCLOSE supporter Ben Heineman decries the Democratsâ€™ failure to muster a single Republican vote for closing debate.Â The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board also laments the outcome of the vote, while criticizing the bill as a â€œweak responseâ€ to the Courtâ€™s ruling.Â A Washington Post reference page briefly summarizes the Courtâ€™s holding in Citizens United and what the bill would do in response.Â Newsweek has a round-up of commentary on the vote.
â—Â Â Â Â Â Â Â At a speech at Montana State University yesterday, Justice Scalia said that judges are not qualified to decide â€œthe leading moral questions of the dayâ€ and that the big dividing line in the United States is between â€œthose who believe [the Constitution] does not change and those who think it evolves.” The MSU News Service and the Bozeman Daily have coverage.
â—Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The Wall Street Journal reports that former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is seeking to be released on bail following the Courtâ€™s June decision narrowing the scope of the law under which he was convicted.
â—Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Douglas Berman at Sentencing Law & Policy posts a proposal by a federal district court judge to hold trial judges accountable â€“ in light of their increased discretion to depart from federal sentencing guidelines â€“ by publishing their sentencing decisions.
â—Â Â Â Â Â Â Â At the Chronicle on Higher Education, Richard Kahlenberg discusses how a new case in the Fifth Circuit raises a lingering question from the 2003 affirmative action decision in Grutter v. Bollinger: â€œ[H]ow vigorously do universities need to pursue race-neutral alternatives to affirmative action before resorting to racial preferences in admissions?â€