on Feb 17, 2011 at 9:38 am
Todayâ€™s news, in brief:
- In response to Adam Liptakâ€™s recent story for the New York Times on Justice Thomas and oral argument (which James covered in Mondayâ€™s round-up), the New York Timesâ€™ Room for Debate blog features a discussion about whether a Justice can â€œeffectively perform his duties without participating in oral argument.â€ 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. Â â€œ[H]e gave no inkling to his stance onâ€ the legality of WikiLeaks, but indicated that â€œthe Bush v. Gore ruling â€˜was totally wrongâ€™ and that the case should have never been heard.â€ Michelle Dargan of the Palm Beach Daily News (thanks to How Appealingâ€™s Howard Bashman for the link) also has coverage.
- The Hillâ€™s Pete Kasperowicz reports that Rep. Christopher Murphy (D-Conn.) has announced his intention to introduce legislation â€œthat 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 â€˜request the Court to decide whether a particular justice has a conflict of interest.â€™â€
- 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 â€œa Nazi sympathizer who shot to death two men and a teen more than a quarter century ago on the campus of Cleveland State University.â€ The murders were part of a â€œshooting spree over several months that evolved from â€˜hunting partiesâ€™ that targeted blacks.â€ 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.Â In hypothesizing about what might be â€œholding up Snyder,â€ Biskupic highlights a new paper from the Cultural Cognition Project, which found that individualsâ€™ perceptions of the protest at issue in Snyder â€œdepends on their own views and values.â€