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Monday round-up

As the Court prepares to issue another batch of June opinions later this morning, commentators are digesting the recently decided cases and looking forward to the next course.

The editorial board of the New York Times praises the “sharp, separate” dissents issued by Justices Scalia and Kagan last week in Sykes v. United States.  Observing that “[m]aking sense of the Armed Career Criminal Act’s ‘residual clause’ [which defines violent felonies to include ‘conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another’] has become an almost annual rite for the Supreme Court,” the board endorses both Justice Kagan’s analysis and “Justice Scalia’s call on Congress to clarify this muddled clause — for the sake of justice and for the justices’ peace of mind.”  Trevor Burrus of Cato @Liberty argues that “[t]he ACCA shouldn’t even exist” and that “a majority of the Court will uphold intentionally vague drafting that gives inadequate notice to citizens as to what is prohibited.”

Ariane de Vogue of ABC News summarizes several of the high-profile cases that the Court has yet to decide.  At USA Today, Joan Biskupic has a similar summary, as well as a look at the end-of-term opinion-writing process.  For UPI, Michael Kirkland examines the issues in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass’n, the violent video game case.  Doug Berman of the Sentencing Law and Policy blog comments on the UPI piece, speculating that “it seems likely that some Justices may be thinking about how the Court’s ruling and dicta in EMA could impact porn regulations and prosecutions” as well as “gun rights and regulations.”

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor discusses Michigan’s system of judicial selection in a Detroit Free Press op-ed.  Justice O’Connor writes that “[p]roponents of judicial elections argue that [expensive elections are] the democratic way, and that the rough and tumble is just the price of democracy. I strongly disagree. The judiciary is different, as evidenced by our U.S. Constitution, which wisely requires appointment, not election, of federal judges.”


  • The BLT and this blog report that Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, whose service as Acting Solicitor General ended with Donald Verrilli’s confirmation on Friday, will leave the SG’s office at the end of this Term. 
  • At ACSBlog, Rick Hasen discusses United States v. Danielczyk, the recent district court case that cited Citizens United in overturning the federal ban on corporate contributions to candidates, describing it as an “outlier precedent.”
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost opines on how the Court might approach the Danielczyk issue and the Affordable Care Act.
  • At NPR, Nina Totenberg mines the recently published interviews with the Justices (which we also covered here) for a story on the Justices and legal writing. 

Recommended Citation: James Bickford, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 13, 2011, 8:20 AM),