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Friday round-up

Monday’s decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, upholding a New York town’s practice of beginning its town council meetings with a prayer, continues to generate commentary.  At PrawfsBlawg, Paul Horwitz examines “some ways in which the opinion more or less obviously intersects with questions of geography and church-state relations,” while in another post at PrawfsBlawg he suggests both that “sometimes . . . legislative prayer can be intended to divide” and that “the most effective forces in counteracting this use of legislative prayer for deliberately divisive political purposes will be the supporters of legislative prayer.”  In a post at ACSblog, retired Montana Supreme Court Justice James Nelson explains why, in the wake of the Court’s decision in Town of Greece, he will no longer stand for prayers.  And writing for Education Week’s School Law Blog, Mark Walsh covers the supplemental brief filed in Elmbrook School District v. Doe, a challenge to the decision to hold a public high school graduation ceremony at a church that the Court had been holding pending the decision in Town of Greece.  (Lyle reported on the new brief for this blog earlier this week.)


  • Yesterday “[l]egal writing expert Bryan Garner . . . launched the latest round in the long-running feud between federal appeals judge Richard Posner on one side and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Garner, his friend and co-author, on the other.”  Tony Mauro has the story for the Legal Times.
  • Elsewhere in the Legal Times, Mauro also covers the request by a coalition of news and public interest organizations to have the Justices make their financial disclosure forms available online.
  • At Talking Points Memo, Sahil Kapur reports that “[w]hether it’s privacy in one’s home, car or cellphone, Justice Antonin Scalia has emerged as one of the Court’s most outspoken champions of Fourth Amendment rights in recent years, even if it means breaking faith and siding with liberal justices in closely divided cases.”
  • At the blog of the Brennan Center for Justice, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy discusses efforts by former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, who has been indicted on federal corruption charges, to rely on the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence as part of his defense.
  • Mario Trujillo of The Hill reports on the results of a recent survey indicating that “71 percent of people support allowing camera in the court to stream the oral arguments live,” while “[a]nother 70 percent would support assigning [justices] a fixed term rather than a lifetime appointment.”
  • Discussing the politics of Supreme Court nominations in The New Republic, Simon Lazarus and Tom Donnelly suggest that it may be too late for the Senate to confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who has recently reiterated that she has no plans to retire).

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 9, 2014, 6:15 AM),