on Mar 10, 2011 at 9:10 am
Considering the possible motivations for Justice Scaliaâ€™s forceful dissent in the recent Confrontation Clause decision Michigan v. Bryant in her New York Times Opinionator column, Linda Greenhouse suggests that Scalia â€œhas cast a long shadow but has accomplished surprisingly little. Nearly every time he has come close to achieving one of his jurisprudential goals, his colleagues have either hung back at the last minute or, feeling buyerâ€™s remorse, retreated at the next opportunity.â€ At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr reacts to Greenhouseâ€™s column, countering that Scalia dissents not to persuade his fellow Justices but rather â€œto influence future generations of law students who then become the next generation of lawyers and judges.â€
Meanwhile, reactions to the Courtâ€™s recent decision in Snyder v. Phelps, the funeral picketing case, continue to accumulate. The editorial board of the Hartford Courant (Conn.) expresses its support of the decision, in which the Court held that the First Amendment shields Westboro Baptist Church protesters from tort liability. Susan Jacoby, writing at the On Faith blog of the Washington Post, also agrees with the Courtâ€™s decision, pointing out that one â€œsalutary effect of allowing vicious people like the Westboro group to speak is that they reveal exactly who they are and what they stand for.â€ But at the American Spectator, William Murchison disagrees. â€œSam Alito stood in lonely, honorable dissent,â€ Murchison contends, because â€œno morally healthy society accords unlimited living space to the ugly, the twisted, the debased.â€Â And although she agrees with the Courtâ€™s decision, Lisa Catherine Harper, in a San Francisco Chronicle column, simultaneously sees the case as an occasion to teach children â€œhow to use language with respect, how to enter public conversation with a certain level of decency, how to argueâ€”even in violent disagreementâ€”without resorting to insult or abuse or hyperbolic rhetoric.â€
- The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times commends the Court for its decision on Monday in Skinner v. Switzer, the access-to-DNA case. The board opines that Skinner, â€œwhich opens a new avenue of appeal for condemned prisoners, is welcome. But it falls short of what the court should do to make DNA evidence available to every prisoner who requests it.â€ (Yahoo! News also offers a Q&A on the case.)
- At SCOTUSblog, James Bickford recaps Mondayâ€™s unanimous decision in Wall v. Kholi, a dispute over the scope of â€œcollateral reviewâ€ in the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA).
- At ACSblog, Martha Davis marks International Womenâ€™s Day with a discussion of Flores-Villar v. United States, which was argued in November. Davis argues that the law at issue in the case, which distinguishes mothers and fathers of foreign-born children for citizenship purposes, should be stripped of its sex-based classifications.
- The Hollywood Reporter and Edward Lee at the Huffington Post discuss the grant of certiorari in the copyright restoration case Golan v. Holder.
- Some noted denials of certiorari on Mondayâ€™s orders list includes cases about adoption and paternity (the Associated Press (via the Chicago Tribune)), the NFLâ€™s â€œSpygateâ€ scandal (Courthouse News Service), the â€œIn God We Trustâ€ inscription on U.S. currency (Courthouse News Service), a $277.5 million securities fraud (Courthouse News Service), and public university funding for religious student activities (Courthouse News Service).