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Thursday round-up

Yesterday’s coverage was dominated by news of the passing of Robert Bork, the former D.C. Circuit judge, Solicitor General, and nominee for the Supreme Court seat now occupied by Justice Kennedy.  Ethan Bronner of The New York Times, Stephen Miller of The Wall Street Journal, Al Kamen and Matt Schudel of The Washington Post, David Savage of The Los Angeles Times, Catalina Camia and David Jackson of USA Today, Mark Memmott of NPR, Bill Mears of CNN, Tony Mauro of the Blog of Legal Times, David Ingram of Reuters, Matthew Barakat and Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, and Laurence Arnold of Bloomberg News all have obituaries; commentary on Judge Bork’s life and legacy comes from Jonathan Adler, Randy Barnett, and Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy, Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Toobin at The New Yorker, Damon W. Root of Reason magazine’s Hit and Run blog, Mike Dorf at Dorf on Law, Gordon Smith at The Conglomerate, Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen’s Consumer Law and Policy blog, Kent Scheidegger at the Crime and Consequences blog, Paul J. Larkin Jr. at the Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog, and Roger Pilon at Cato at Liberty, while the editors of The National Review have posted their own tribute to Judge Bork, as well as collecting tributes from his friends and colleagues in an online symposium.  

Other coverage focuses on his failed nomination to the Court.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg describes the nomination as “provok[ing] a lasting partisan divide over judicial nominations” – a sentiment echoed by both Mark Sherman of the Associated Press and Jeffrey Rosen in The New Republic.  At Slate, Richard Posner argues that it was “fair enough” for political considerations to have derailed Judge Bork’s nomination, while Michael McConnell argues that “it is very likely that the court would be less politicized and more deeply committed to the rule of law” had Bork been confirmed.  And at Balkinization, Jack Balkin considers what might have happened if Judge Bork had been nominated before, rather than after, Justice Scalia.

Other coverage focuses on the possibility of new gun regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.  Greg Stohr of Bloomberg News suggests that “the legal obstacles [to new gun control measures] may be less daunting than the political ones,” but Robert Barnes of The Washington Post emphasizes that the legal landscape surrounding gun regulations is “still vigorously contested” and that “the justices have not provided clear direction.”   And Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers (h/t Howard Bashman) writes that the Court’s Second Amendment holdings “will limit the ambitions of the Obama gun task force and its Capitol Hill counterparts.”


  • Ilya Shapiro writes in The Daily Caller that whatever the Court decides in United States v. Windsor, the challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and Hollingsworth v. Perry, the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, the rulings are unlikely to be “the end of the line” for same-sex marriage.

Recommended Citation: Cormac Early, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Dec. 20, 2012, 10:18 AM),