Arlen Specter's valedictory address on the Senate floor"”styled as a "closing argument" and focused in part on the Supreme Court"”garnered widespread media coverage. According to the WSJ Law Blog, Specter "mince[d] no words" and "seemed most exercised about the Citizens United decision from earlier this year." In particular, Specter complained that the Court "has been eating Congress' lunch by invalidating legislation with judicial activism after nominees commit under oath in confirmation proceedings to respect congressional fact finding and precedents."  Specter also pressed for cameras in the Court and for a more streamlined confirmation process for judicial and executive nominees. The Blog of LegalTimes, CNN, the Caucus blog of the New York Times, ABC News, the Washington Post, and KUSI (San Diego) also have coverage of the speech, and the Philadelphia Inquirer has a lengthy profile.

In a quiet week at the Court, several media outlets reflect on some high-profile cases decided in recent Terms. USA Today's Joan Biskupic explores the impact of Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS, an antitrust case decided in June 2007. The decision "let manufacturers require retailers to charge minimum prices for their products," and now, Biskupic reports, "against the backdrop of a struggling economy, the momentum in response to the decision is in the states," some of which are trying to prevent manufacturers from punishing retailers that offer discount prices. Meanwhile, a report in the Iowa Independent examines how Graham v. Florida, last Term's juvenile-life-without-parole case, "continues to ripple through the Iowa judicial system." Also, at PrawfsBlawg, Bill Araiza compares three recent Supreme Court cases"”Citizens United, United States v. Stevens, and Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder"”"from the perspective of rules and standards in First Amendment doctrine." And at ACSblog, Jamie Raskin offers a critical appraisal of the Court's ten-year-old decision in Bush v. Gore. Finally, in an opinion piece for The Capital (Annapolis, Md.), Jon Cardin, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, suggests ways that state legislatures can "mitigate the effect of [Citizens United] on both state and federal races."


  • In a New York Times op-ed, Pauline Maier defends (with a caveat) Justice Breyer's recent comments on Fox News about James Madison and the Second Amendment.
  • At the Huffington Post, Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center expands on Adam Liptak's recent article for the New York Times on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's influence at the Court (covered in Monday's round-up).
  • The Washington Blade reports on the brief recently filed by the District of Columbia opposing certiorari in Jackson v. D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, a case filed by a local minister seeking a voter initiative or referendum on the city's same-sex marriage law.
  • And finally, at the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh highlights an Establishment Clause case in which the Tenth Circuit recently denied rehearing en banc by a vote of five to four.  Volokh contends that it is "likely that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case, and perhaps overturn the Establishment Clause endorsement test."

Posted in Round-up

Recommended Citation: Adam Chandler, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 22, 2010, 9:22 AM),