Tuesday round-up — Part I
on Feb 16, 2016 at 1:27 pm
[Note: We will publish at least one more post compiling additional coverage and commentary on the death of Justice Antonin Scalia later today.]
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia continues to generate coverage and commentary. Nine members of the Stanford Law Faculty provide commentary on Scalia’s legacy at the school’s blog. At PrawfsBlawg, Josh Douglas reviews in particular his influence on election law, and at Climate Wire Jeremy Jacobs reviews Scalia’s “monumental impact on environmental law.” At Slate, Robert Smith characterizes Scalia as “often a friend of criminal defendants,” while at Medium, Daniel Hemel analyzes recent claims about Scalia’s more “liberal” areas of jurisprudence and argues that by “exaggerating the extent to which his method mattered, we fail to appreciate the extent to which Scalia himself mattered.” Also at Medium, Ciara Torres-Spelliscy acknowledges that Scalia was a “brilliant man,” but also contends that, by “the time he died, he “was woefully out of step with how average Americans felt about their fellow gay citizens.” Lastly, Ami Dodson and Scott Dodson at Literary Hub present findings from a “lighthearted” study suggesting Scalia was the “most literary justice.”
For The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle outline seven ways Scalia’s death will affect the Court, and Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed provides additional coverage on the subject. Steve Vladeck at PrawfsBlawg addresses the issue of Scalia’s votes in cases for which a decision has not yet been released. At Energy Wire, Robin Bravender addresses the consequences for this Term’s environmental cases. For Reuters, Lawrence Hurley suggests that the death “may have opened a new path” to the survival of the administration’s climate-change plan. Moshe Marvit for Working In These Times predicts that without Scalia, the challengers to mandatory agency fees for public employees who decline to join the union that represents them will lose in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Lastly, Lisa Soronen takes a general look at five major cases from this Term at Knowledge Center for The Counsel of State Governments.
General coverage of the political situation comes from Greg Stohr at Bloomberg Politics. In an op-ed at The Washington Post, Richard Hasen describes “the fight to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court” as “the first major battle in a larger war over the future of the Court and our nation.” For Scott Lemieux at the New Republic, Scalia’s death marks the “beginning of a new age in which the politics of Supreme Court nominations will be increasingly fraught.” Paul Gowder At PrawfsBlawg, Paul Gowder presents what he sees as Obama’s best move. Lastly, Richard Zorza at his Access to Justice Blog tries to reframe the Court’s vacancy as a bipartisan access-to-justice opportunity.
In an op-ed for USA Today, Senator Patrick Leahy of the Senate Judiciary Committee beseeches other Senators to appoint a successor to Scalia because “[o]ur oath to uphold the Constitution requires no less.” Carrie Severino of National Review argues that the distinction between nomination and appointment needs to be maintained in this discussion, and again at National Review she argues that Scalia’s seat should remain vacant. In a third post at National Review, Severino presents as a guiding standard for this situation Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s arguments in 2007 about leaving open the vacancy created by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s retirement. For The Des Moines Register, Jason Bole presents the reverse argument, made around the same time, by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. Finally, Howard Wasserman at PrawfsBlawg analyzes legal aspects of this question.
Briefly, in other news:
- Rupert Darwall at National Review weighs in on the challenge to the administration’s Clean Power Plan, arguing that “[o]nly the courts – in this instance, the Supreme Court – have the capacity to act to protect the rule of law, for the expansion of the powers of the administrative state shrinks the domain of the rule of law.”
- At USA Today, Richard Wolf profiles Justice Samuel Alito after ten years on the Court, calling him “the darling of conservatives and the bane of liberals.”
- At Notice & Comment, David Rubenstein argues that United States v. Texas, a challenge to the administration’s deferred-action immigration policy, offers an opportunity “to rethink immigration exceptionalism,” especially “whether immigration should be treated exceptionally for purposes of administrative law.”