on Jun 15, 2011 at 6:35 am
Commentators continue to analyze Mondayâ€™s opinions, particularly Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, in which the Court held that a Nevada ethics law which prohibits legislators from voting when they have a conflict of interest is not unconstitutionally overbroad.Â At the First Amendment Center, Tony Mauro discusses Justice Scaliaâ€™s reliance on historical arguments in Carrigan and other First Amendment cases. (Thanks to Howard Bashman of How Appealing for the link.) In a Balkinization post that Rick Hasen of the Election Law Blog labels a â€œmust-read,â€ Deborah Hellman contends that the rationale for the Carrigan decision â€œcan be easily extended to unravel the Courtâ€™s campaign finance doctrine.â€ (Also at Balkinization, Mark Tushnet highlights a passage from Justice Scaliaâ€™s majority opinion that he describes as â€œapproach[ing] elegance.â€) The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times applauds the decision, describing it as â€œgood news for citizens who want their elected representatives to be held to high standards of integrity.â€
In the Boston Globe and (separately) at ACSblog, Martha Davis criticizes the result in Flores-Villar v. United States, a gender-discrimination case in which an equally divided Court (with Justice Kagan recused) affirmed, without an opinion, a decision of the Ninth Circuit upholding the constitutionality of a citizenship-transmission statute that treats U.S. fathers differently from U.S. mothers. At ACSblog, she observes that, â€œ[b]ecause the Court could muster only a single sentence, historians â€“ not journalists and law professors â€“ will be the ones who tell the story of Flores-Villar v. U.S.â€
The editorial board of the New York Times criticizes the Courtâ€™s decision in the securities fraud case Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders, which held that a mutual fund investment adviser cannot be held liable for misstatements in the fundâ€™s prospectuses because it did not â€œmakeâ€ the misstatements.Â In the boardâ€™s view, â€œ[t]here is no doubtâ€ that the adviser is responsible for the misstatements; â€œ[i]t used legal ventriloquism to speak through the business trust and Janus funds.â€
- Gwen Ifill of the PBS NewsHour interviews retired Justice John Paul Stevens about his forthcoming book, changes on the Court, and his tennis game.
- In his Sidebar column for the New York Times, Adam Liptak discusses the Justicesâ€™ increasing use of dictionaries in their opinions, a practice he describes as â€œbooming.â€ The Volokh Conspiracy, Constitutional Law Prof Blog, the Conglomerate, and ABA Journal all take note of the column.
- The Associated Press (via the New York Times and noted by the WSJ Law Blog) surveys the Justicesâ€™ summer plans.
- In a guest post at Election Law Blog, Anita Krishankumar analyzes Justice Scaliaâ€™s dissent in Sykes v. United States, in which the Court held that fleeing from a police officer in a car is a â€œviolent felonyâ€ for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act.Â The dissent, she suggests, â€œpresents an interesting take on the Court-Congress dialogue.â€
- The Hollywood Reporter asks, â€œWhy has the Supreme Court taken so long on [the] video game ruling?â€ (i.e., Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association). At the Legal Pulse, Richard Samp reads the tea leaves and guesses that â€œChief Justice Roberts assigned the Brown decision to himself, and is writing a decision striking down Californiaâ€™s restrictions on violent video games.â€
- In a New York Times obituary for law professor David Baldus, Adam Liptak recounts how Baldusâ€™s â€œpioneering research on race and the death penalty came within a vote of persuading the Supreme Court to make fundamental changes in the capital justice system.â€