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Thursday round-up

Coverage of Monday’s opinions continued yesterday.  At this blog, Brian Wolfman analyzed the decision in in Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, in which the Court held that document translation costs cannot be recovered under 28 U.S.C. § 1290, the federal cost-shifting statute, and concluded that the opinion is “clear . . . logical, and fair.”  The editorial staff of the New York Times took the opposite view, arguing that Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion, in which she argued that the statute should be read to include translation of written as well as oral speech, had “the more convincing interpretation.” [Note: The author of this post worked on the case as a summer associate at Jones Day, which represented the petitioner.]

Coverage of the impending decision in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act also continues. At Bloomberg, Greg Stohr provides a primer on the history of the Commerce Clause and its applications.  Continuing a theme raised by Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post (covered in yesterday’s round-up), several commentators discuss efforts to influence the Court’s decision. At the Washington Post’s Right Turn blog, Jennifer Rubin argues that “liberal advocates ask [Chief Justice] Roberts to knuckle under to the President’s public intimidation of the Supreme Court,” while at the Opinion L.A. blog of the Los Angeles Times, Michael McGough writes that “[s]ome conservatives are in a mild panic about the possibility that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will succumb to pressure from Democrats and the liberal media to uphold “Obamacare.”  Over at Balkinization, Mark Tushnet argues that conservative commentators are preparing to argue that any decision upholding the mandate was tainted by politics. At Investor’s Business Daily, David Hogberg writes that both Democrats and Republicans would face political difficulties were the Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act.  Writing at PrawfsBlawg, Paul Horwitz considers the possible motivations driving the recent spate of posts on the politics of the individual mandate decision. At the Volokh Conspiracy, Randy Barnett writes that if Chief Justice Roberts votes to uphold the act, his vote might appear, however unfairly, to have been influenced by political pressures; David Bernstein argues that a decision striking down the Affordable Care Act would not signal a “radical libertarian” turn in the Court’s jurisprudence; and Ilya Somin writes that a decision striking down the act would not “lead to the resuscitation of Lochner v. New York and the invalidation of a wide range of economic regulations.”

Other coverage focuses on campaign finance. Writing for this blog, Lyle Denniston discusses recent filings in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, the challenge to the Montana Supreme Court ruling upholding a statute that bans corporate spending in state elections. Writing for Reason, Damon Root describes the Montana Supreme Court holding as “misguided.”


  • Writing for this blog, Lyle Denniston discusses the recent stay application filed by the Governor of Rhode Island in Chafee v. United States, which asks the Court to block the transfer of a state prisoner to the federal government for prosecution and a possible death sentence.
  • At Reason, Jacob Sullum discusses the questions about the constitutionality of warrantless electronic surveillance left open by United States v. Jones, in which the Court held that tracking a suspect’s movements by attaching a GPS tracker to his car constituted a search for Fourth Amendment purposes.
  • At Public Citizen’s Consumer Law and Policy blog, Brian Wolfman discusses Justice Stevens’ recent talk at the American Law Institute in which he criticized the Court’s ruling in Bush v. Gore.
  • Writing in the New York Times, Mae Kuykendall argues that the Supreme Court should require all states to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully conducted in other states in order to provide “a way out of the same-sex marriage mess.”
  • Over at the Daily Beast, Chris Geidner discusses calls for Justice Ginsburg to retire in order to ensure that President Obama gets to pick her successor.

Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 24, 2012, 9:33 AM),