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Friday round-up

Justice Thomas’s silence at oral argument continues to garner commentary.  The editorial board of the New York Times seeks to draw a connection between recent questions about the Justice’s possible conflicts of interest and his effectiveness as a judge, arguing that “[h]ow Justice Thomas comports himself on the bench is a matter of ethics and effectiveness, simultaneously.”  The board also contends that by engaging in open-minded exchanges with lawyers, Justice Thomas “would show his dedication to the court’s impartiality and to its integrity as an institution.”  Writing for Politics Daily, Andrew Cohen describes what he characterizes as the “growing political and legal pressure” on Justice Thomas and the Court to end a different kind of silence:  regarding “conflicts of interest and the reasons why the justices recuse themselves (or, more pointedly, don’t) from certain cases.”    Finally, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review has a post on its website that reflects on yesterday’s New York Times Room for Debate blog on the Justice’s silence (which Amanda covered on Thursday’s round-up).

In brief:

  • Writing for for The Hill, John del Cecato suggests that the Justices should not “generate media buzz” outside the Court, but should instead take a cue from Lady Gaga and adopt a “judicial poker face.”
  • The Associated Press (via NPR) reports that at its conference today the Court will consider a petition for certiorari challenging the constitutionality of non-unanimous convictions in state criminal cases.     [Disclosure:  Goldstein, Howe & Russell represents the petitioner in this case.]
  • The editorial board of the Washington Times urges the Court to “fast-track” the health care challenge, reasoning that although “it is rare for the high court to accept a case before it has reached a federal appeals court or a state supreme court, the current circumstance is compelling.”

Recommended Citation: Conor McEvily, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 18, 2011, 10:09 AM),