Today is the first Monday in October, which means that this morning the Justices will return to the bench for the first time since they issued a series of historic rulings at the end of June. In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage looks ahead at the new Term, which he characterizes as one that “gives the court’s conservative bloc a clear opportunity to shift the law to the right on touchstone social issues such as abortion, contraception and religion, as well as the political controversy over campaign funding”; at BuzzFeed, Chris Geidner lists his eleven cases “that could change the U.S. in the coming year.” The editorial board of The New York Times weighs in on the new Term as well, emphasizing that, although “[n]o case yet promises the high-profile splash of rulings on national health care, voting rights or same-sex marriage, . . . in many of them, long-established Supreme Court precedents may be at risk.” And in the ABA Journal, Erwin Chemerinsky focuses on the Court’s October sitting, concluding that there is “every reason to believe that October Term 2013 will again involve decisions that affect not only the law and legal system, but each of us, often in the most important and intimate aspects of our lives.”
Tomorrow the Court will hear oral arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, in which it will consider the constitutionality of aggregate limits on campaign contributions. Lyle previewed the case for us last week, while Carolyn Shapiro has a video preview at ISCOTUSnow. The case is also the focus of the Room for Debate page of The New York Times, where debaters include Richard Hasen (who also has extensive links to coverage of the case at his Election Law Blog), Ilya Shapiro, Bradley Smith, Ciara Torres-Spellicsy, and Elizabeth Wydra; other coverage comes from Kenneth Jost at Jost on Justice, who observes that the Court in Citizens United “made clear it has no qualms about setting corporations free to spend freely on political campaigns,” and contends that “[a]ll signs suggest those five justices are likely to have no qualms about unleashing McCutcheon and other well-heeled contributors as well.” And at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, Elizabeth Wydra describes McCutcheon as a case that “could make it even harder for Congress to address one particular issue: the corrupting influence of money in politics.” Finally, in anticipation of the oral argument in McCutcheon, the latest installment in C-SPAN Radio’s series on historic oral arguments looks back at the oral argument in Colorado GOP Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC.
In The Washington Post, Robert Barnes interviews Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg about – among other things – any plans that she may have to retire; she tells him that “[a]t my age, you take it year by year.” And Jennifer Senior interviews Justice Antonin Scalia for New York magazine; at BuzzFeed, Chris Geidner extracts some of the highlights from that interview.