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Monday round-up

With the Court’s winter recess continuing through February 17, the weekend’s coverage focused on the latest developments in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

As this blog’s Lyle Denniston reports, the government filed a motion Friday asking the Court to increase the time for oral arguments—from five-and-a-half hours to six—in the challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. JURIST’s Michael Haggerson also has coverage. At the Huffington Post, Mike Sacks discusses a recent Kaiser Foundation poll reporting that nearly sixty percent of the country believes that the Justices will be guided by ideology – not legal analysis – when they decide the case. On the issue of recusals, UPI’s Michael Kirkland writes that although “[t]he clamor for Justice Clarence Thomas to withdraw from hearing the challenge . . . appears to have died down for the moment . . . the pressure on Justice Elena Kagan has been relentless.” Finally, as the school’s website reports, Georgetown University Law Center hosted a mock moot court of the health care case last week, with Walter Dellinger and Steven Bradbury as the advocates. A webcast of the event can be found here; Monica Haymond at Love the Process also has coverage.

Also in the news this weekend was a television interview given by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her visit to Egypt. As Ariane de Vogue of ABC News reports, the Justice was asked by the interviewer whether she thought post-Mubarak Egypt should use the constitutions of other countries as a model for their own. The Justice responded that Egyptians should be “aided by all Constitution-writing that has gone on since the end of World War II, but added that she “would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa.” Bob Unruh at World Net Daily also has coverage, while the Volokh Conspiracy’s Eugene Volokh, PrawfsBlawg’s Paul Horwitz, and Slate’s David Weigel offer commentary.

On Friday the Court also issued its oral argument calendar for the April sitting.  Writing for this blog, Lyle Denniston takes a detailed look at the cases, which will include oral arguments in Arizona v. United States on April 25, the last day on which oral arguments are scheduled for the Term. Mike Sacks of the Huffington Post, James Vicini of Reuters, and the Arizona Republic’s Michael Kiefer have coverage.


  • The editorial board of the New York Times examines the intersection of politics and the Court, and argues that, although “[t]he political influences on these major cases are important by themselves,” they are also “a reminder that the makeup of the court for the next generation, and thus the law’s direction, are likely to be determined by the 2012 election.”
  • The ABA Journal’s Debra Cassens Weiss reports that on Saturday, Justice Scalia answered questions during the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans. Topics included abortion, religion, lawyers’ salaries, and the Justice’s recent opinion in United States v. Jones. The Associated Press (via also has coverage of the Justice’s remarks.
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost discusses whether the Court would uphold President Obama’s recess appointments, speculating that “unless the Supreme Court sets itself against the weight of practice and judicial precedent, Obama seems likely to prevail if this hard case reaches the Justices.”
  • In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, David Olson argues that in the wake of Golan v. Holder, the Court should place greater limits on Congress’s power to grant copyrights.
  • Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne argues that the world created by the Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC decision “doesn’t work,” and concludes that, “[i]n the long run, we have to hope that a future Supreme Court will overturn this monstrosity.”
  • At the Election Law Blog, Rick Hasen comments on the Justice Department’s recent announcement that it would reconsider its objections to proposed voting changes in Kinston, North Carolina. Hasen suggests that this may be a strategic choice by the government, as it would allow the Court to consider the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Acts on the more favorable facts of another case in the pipeline, in which Alabama’s Shelby County is challenging the Act.
  • In an op-ed for the Daily Sundial, Joseph A. Tomaszewki argues that the Court’s opinion in Jones leaves open the question of whether the same privacy standard applies when the government obtains personal information in ways that do not involve a physical trespass, such as using a person’s GPS-enabled smart phone to track his location.
  • Tom Giffey of the Chippewa Valley Leader-Telegram discusses the possibility of term limits for Supreme Court Justices.

Recommended Citation: Marissa Miller, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Feb. 6, 2012, 10:38 AM),