Breaking News

Thursday round-up

Today’s news, in brief:

  • In response to Adam Liptak’s recent story for the New York Times on Justice Thomas and oral argument (which James covered in Monday’s round-up), the New York Times’ Room for Debate blog features a discussion about whether a Justice can “effectively perform his duties without participating in oral argument.” Orin Kerr, Jamal Greene, Vikram Amar, and Timothy Johnson discuss the value of oral argument and offer different takes on the question.
  • Matt Sedensky of the Associated Press reports on a recent speech by Justice Breyer in Palm Beach, Florida.  “[H]e gave no inkling to his stance on” the legality of WikiLeaks, but indicated that “the Bush v. Gore ruling ‘was totally wrong’ and that the case should have never been heard.” Michelle Dargan of the Palm Beach Daily News (thanks to How Appealing’s Howard Bashman for the link) also has coverage.
  • The Hill’s Pete Kasperowicz reports that Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) has announced his intention to introduce legislation “that would require Supreme Court justices to publicly disclose why they have recused themselves from cases . . . and require the Supreme Court to develop a process that would allow parties to a case to ‘request the Court to decide whether a particular justice has a conflict of interest.’”
  • On Wednesday, the Court declined to stay the execution of Ohio death-row inmate Frank Spisak. Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press (via the San Francisco Chronicle) reports that Spisak is “a Nazi sympathizer who shot to death two men and a teen more than a quarter century ago on the campus of Cleveland State University.” The murders were part of a “shooting spree over several months that evolved from ‘hunting parties’ that targeted blacks.” UPI and Crime and Consequences also have coverage.
  • At her Court Beat blog, Joan Biskupic discusses Snyder v. Phelps, the First Amendment case concerning anti-gay demonstrations at a military funeral. The Court heard oral argument in the case in early October and no decision has yet been issued.  In hypothesizing about what might be “holding up Snyder,” Biskupic highlights a new paper from the Cultural Cognition Project, which found that individuals’ perceptions of the protest at issue in Snyder “depends on their own views and values.”

Recommended Citation: Amanda Rice, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 17, 2011, 9:38 AM),