With oral arguments over until next week, yesterday Justice Kennedy spoke to students in Washington about everything from same-sex marriage (commenting that the Justices “were surprised at the speed” at which the issue reached the Court) to the government shutdown, confirmation hearings (which he described as “too politicized”), and the criminal justice system (which in his view “isn’t working”).  Jess Bravin covered Kennedy’s remarks for The Wall Street Journal.

The primary focus of commentary on the Court continues to be this week’s oral arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which the Court is considering the constitutionality of aggregate caps on campaign contributions.  At Perkins Coie’s In the Arena blog, Brian Svoboda suggests that “[a]mong the clearest conclusions to be drawn from [the oral argument] is that the Court does not fully understand how current law affects the circumvention of contribution limits.”  In the National Review, Bradley Smith argues that “[w]e now live in a world with the First Amendment turned upside down” because the Court “looks more skeptically at laws restricting pornography available to children, animal ‘crush’ videos (in which live animals are stomped to death), flag burning, or lying about military honors than at laws restricting the flow of information to voters in elections.”  The National Constitution Center’s Jeffrey Rosen spoke with David Gans and Ilya Shapiro about the case; that interview is available in a podcast.  And the Center for Competitive Politics has compiled commentary on the oral argument and the case in a page on its website.

Looking ahead to next week, at this blog Lyle previews Tuesday’s oral argument in DaimlerChrysler A.G. v. Bauman, in which the Court will consider the scope of U.S. courts’ jurisdiction over human rights violations that occur in another country.  And in his column for law students at this blog, Stephen Wermiel looks even further ahead to the oral argument in McCullen v. Coakley, the First Amendment challenge to the “buffer zone” that a Massachusetts law imposes around abortion clinics.


  • After a long hiatus (during which the Court was not reviewing petitions for certiorari), Relist Watch is back!  John Elwood reviews the cases that the Court relisted or held after Monday’s order list.
  • Notwithstanding the government shutdown, the Court has announced that it will be open at least through Friday, October 18.  Lyle reports on the latest developments for this blog.

[Disclosure:  Kevin Russell of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel to the respondents in Bauman.]

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Posted in Round-up, Everything Else

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 11, 2013, 7:35 AM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2013/10/friday-round-up-197/