on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:55 am
With the Senate expected to vote on Elena Kaganâ€™s nomination to the Supreme Court this week, media coverage this weekend focused on the upcoming vote. As the Washington Post, Bench Memos, The Caucus blog of the New York Times, and the Volokh Conspiracy all report, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska became the first Democrat to announce that he will vote against Kaganâ€™s confirmation. Senator Nelson cited the concerns of his constituents and his inability to address those concerns given Kaganâ€™s â€œlack of a judicial record.â€ However, on Friday Senator Judd Gregg became the fifth Republican senator to announce that he would vote in favor of Kaganâ€™s confirmation, thereby joining fellow Republican senators Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Richard Lugar, and Lindsey Graham. The Ninth Justice, The Hill, and the Boston Globe all have coverage, with The Ninth Justice suggesting that Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown â€œappears to be the most likely remaining GOP â€˜yesâ€™ vote.â€™â€
On Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a speech at American Universityâ€™s Washington College of Law about the role of foreign and international law in American courts. Both Jess Bravin of the WSJ Law Blog and Lyle Denniston of this blog have coverage of Ginsburgâ€™s speech; they note that Ginsburg seemed to approve of Kaganâ€™s suggestion that a foreign decision â€œcould be informative in much the same way as . . . a law review article,â€ and she seemed critical of Republican senatorsâ€™ condemnations of the use of foreign law in American courts.Â
The legal battle over Arizonaâ€™s controversial immigration law continues to unfold. On Friday, the Ninth Circuit denied Arizonaâ€™s motion for an expedited appeal, as JURIST, Politico, and SCOTUSblogâ€™s own Lyle Denniston report. In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Roberto Suro suggests that the controversy is headed down a â€œtortured path to the U.S. Supreme Court,â€ although â€œeven the nine justices wonâ€™t be able to settle the heart of the matter.â€ Â Â And in his column for the Wall Street Journalâ€™s Capital Journal blog, pollster Peter Brown argues that the case raises issues about the role of courts as political actors.
- At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick asks, â€œWill there be friction between the chief justice and Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court?â€ Citing the tense interactions between Chief Justice John Roberts and then-Solicitor General Kagan during Kaganâ€™s brief tenure as Solicitor General, Lithwick suggests the two brilliant jurists will make a â€œfascinating pairingâ€ if Kagan is confirmed to the Court.
- An opinion piece for the New York Times defends the Courtâ€™s decision in the animal cruelty case, United States v. Stevens, and argues that the Court should again refrain from carving out an exception to the First Amendment in the violent video games case, Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association, next term.
- AÂ UPI feature by Michael Kirkland (thanks to How Appealingâ€™s Howard Bashman for the link) discusses the consequences of Courtâ€™s denial of certiorari in the tobacco case. For background on the case, see Lyle Dennistonâ€™s discussion of the Courtâ€™s decision not to review the D.C. Circuitâ€™s ruling for this blog.
- At the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler added his voice to the critics of Adam Liptakâ€™s Roberts Court article (published last weekend in the New York Times and originally covered in last Mondayâ€™s round-up) Adler argues that Liptak â€œoverstates the purported conservatism of the Roberts Courtâ€ and that Liptakâ€™s data tends to show that the Roberts Court is the â€œleast activistâ€ Court, not necessarily the â€œmost conservativeâ€ Court.
- The Hill discusses the NRAâ€™s response to the Kagan nomination and speculates about whether the NRA will spend further political capital opposing Kagan given the likelihood of her confirmation.