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Tuesday round-up

Coverage of the Court remains at a near stand-still in the New Year, although new activity is likely beginning on Friday, when the Justices are scheduled to meet for their January 7 Conference; our “Petitions to Watch” for that Conference are available here. Oral arguments will resume on Monday, January 10. 

As James reported yesterday, the Chief Justice’s annual report (available here) on the federal judiciary continues to garner attention, with the ABA Journal, WSJ Law Blog, and the Hill all providing coverage.  Reporting and commentary focused primarily on the Chief Justice’s efforts to highlight the problem of judicial vacancies in “critically overworked districts,” leaving some courtrooms with what he described as “extraordinary caseloads.” The editorial board of the New York Times disputes the Chief Justice’s suggestion that “blame for this undermining of the judicial branch rests evenly with both parties.”   Instead, the board contends, “[t]he main culprit is an unprecedented level of Republican obstructionism.” Although Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress agrees, the editorial board of the Washington Post describes the Chief Justice’s pronouncement “one judgment that both sides should embrace”; it contends that “[s]ome of the blame lies with Mr. Obama, who has been slow in making nominations,” and it points out that “even nominees with bipartisan support have had to wait many months before receiving a floor vote.”

In Fortune, Roger Parloff has a lengthy article on the Chief Justice and the Roberts Court.  Parloff concludes that “[w]hen the tough questions arrive, we’ll have the comfort of knowing that there will be a smart guy with intellectual integrity leading the Court that has to grapple with them.” 

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times weighs in on Wal-Mart v. Dukes, which will be argued later this year.  The board contends that “if the justices rule that the class-action suit can’t go forward, Wal-Mart employees may not be the only ones to be denied a meaningful day in court.”

Recommended Citation: Nabiha Syed, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jan. 4, 2011, 11:23 AM),