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Friday round-up

Yesterday’s coverage of the Court remained focused on last week’s oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  At FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver examines the Chief Justice’s comparison of voting statistics for Mississippi and Massachusetts, as well as Nina Totenberg’s conclusion for NPR (which Marissa covered in Monday’s round-up) that the Chief Justice “misconstrued” the data.  Aviva Shen discusses Silver’s post at Think Progress, while columnist Dan Henninger of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board discusses last week’s oral argument and concludes that “it is time to move on.”  (A video interview with Henninger is also available on the Journal’s website.)  Writing for The New York Times, Winnie Hu looks at the history and ongoing implications of the Voting Rights Act in a northern state, reporting on the Bronx as a “case study.”  At the Constitutional Accountability Center, David H. Gans responds to Carl Cecere’s March 1 post for this blog, concluding that, “[t]o anyone who pays heed to the text and history of the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act is unquestionably constitutional.”  And in an op-ed for The Cincinnati Enquirer, Verna Williams discusses Justice Scalia’s comments at last week’s oral argument.  (H/t: Rick Hasen.)

There was also continuing coverage of the upcoming same-sex marriage cases.  Looking ahead to oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, Bill Clinton reveals in an op-ed for The Washington Post that he has come to believe that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is “incompatible with our Constitution”; Peter Baker of The New York Times discusses the former President’s op-ed.  At Bench Memos, Jonathan H. Adler defends the law professors’ amicus brief that he signed, which challenges DOMA on federalism grounds; Ernie Young (in a post by Randy Barnett) does the same at the Volokh Conspiracy.  At Think Progress, Zack Ford reports on an amicus brief filed in the Proposition 8 case by the Howard University School of Law’s Civil Rights Clinic; the brief “urg[es] the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8 by highlighting how all of the arguments against same-sex marriage equality are simply recycled variations on arguments that were used to justify prohibitions of interracial marriage until Loving v. Virginia was decided in 1967.”  In Michigan, reports George Hunter in The Detroit News, a federal judge has stayed his decision in a challenge to the state’s ban on adoption by same-sex partners pending the Court’s decisions in Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Writing for The New York Times, Erik Eckholm reports on “the sharpest challenge yet to Roe v. Wade,” a new law in Arkansas that limits abortions to the first twelve weeks of pregnancy; that paper’s editorial board weighs in against the law.  Other coverage of the new law comes from Jacob Gershman for The Wall Street Journal Law Blog, Mark Guarino for The Christian Science Monitor, and Suzy Khimm and Sarah Kliff in a video interview for The Washington Post.

At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser disputes Rand Paul’s praise of the Court’s decision in Lochner v. New York during the senator’s filibuster of John Brennan.  (Cormac linked to a transcript of those comments in yesterday’s round-up.)  At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein responds to Millhiser’s post, while in a post for Slate David Weigel anticipates angry emails for Millhiser.


  • The Sacramento Bee reports on Justice Kennedy’s trip to California, which Cormac covered in yesterday’s round-up.  (H/t:  Michelle Olsen.)
  • In a legal scholarship highlight for this blog, Katerina Linos and Kim Twist discuss the results of their study on the effect of the Court’s decisions on ordinary Americans.
  • Also at this blog, our “SCOTUS on camera” feature continues with Part 4 of Fabrizio di Piazza’s interview with Nina Totenberg, who discusses breaking the Anita Hill story, modern coaching of nominees for confirmation hearings, and what retired Justices have to do to be newsworthy.
  • At Fox News, Shannon Bream observes that there is “a growing focus on the Supreme Court’s increasingly powerful role in determining the law of the land.”  (H/t:  Howard Bashman.)
  • At Dorf on Law, Michael C. Dorf discusses the activity/inactivity distinction at issue in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Affordable Care Act case.  The specter of government meddling with bodily integrity, he argues, “is a legitimate concern, even if it was misplaced in the ACA case and even though it contradicts decades of attacks on modern substantive due process doctrine by conservative Justices.”
  • In The Washington Post, Nicholas P. Cafardi suggests that the Catholic Church can learn from the Court.
  • In The Atlantic, Andrew Cohen argues that Monday’s denial of certiorari in Price v. Thomas, a capital case, is a reminder that the Court has “spent much of the past 50 years desecrating” the right to counsel.

Recommended Citation: Allison Trzop, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Mar. 8, 2013, 10:05 AM),