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Friday round-up

More commentary on Monday’s ruling in Evenwel v. Abbott, holding that states and local governments may use total population to draw legislative districts, comes from David Gans, who at Balkinization characterizes Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s opinion for the majority as “just the latest example of progressive originalism in action”; and Adam Feldman, who at Empirical SCOTUS “uses network analysis to analyze the relative importance of the Court’s past cases in defining” its redistricting doctrine.

Coverage of the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia comes from Edward-Isaac Dovere, who in Politico reports that “[a]dministration officials and Obama supporters hope they can capitalize on the president’s climbing poll numbers and their success among Democrats and independents in portraying the Republican blockade of Garland as an insult to the president.”  In Mother Jones, Stephanie Mencimer reports that, “[w]hat reporters and opponents alike have discovered is that Garland, who has been considered for a Supreme Court slot before and has already been confirmed by the Senate to his current position, appears to be a model citizen with a fairly conservative record. He’s not the liberal ideologue his conservative critics have claimed.”  In The New York Times, Michael Shear reports that yesterday President Barack Obama returned to the University of Chicago Law School, where he used to teach, “for the first time as president, using the backdrop of his onetime academic life to underscore his demand that Republicans reverse their opposition to holding hearings on his nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick B. Garland.”  And in The Washington Post, James Hohmann reports that conservatives are lobbying to have a Republican president appoint Senator Mike Lee of Utah to fill the vacancy if Garland is not confirmed. 

Commentary on the Senate’s constitutional responsibility regarding hearings more generally comes from Erwin Chemerinsky and Michael Ramsey in a podcast for the National Constitution Center.


  • At The Huffington Post, Brianne Gorod looks at standing, Chief Justice John Roberts, and the challenge to the Obama administration’s deferred-action immigration policy; she contends that, “in his first decade on the high court, Roberts has repeatedly made clear that he thinks the role of the courts should be limited, and he has consistently voted to limit parties’ ability to sue.”
  • At casetext, David Boyle discusses the supplemental briefing order in Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the birth-control mandate and the accommodation offered to religious non-profits that object to providing their female employees with health insurance that includes access to certain forms of birth control, contending that the order fails “in not accounting for Petitioners’ desire not even to contract with insurers providing contraceptives to Petitioners’ female employees or students.”

If you have or know of a recent (published in the last two or three days) article, post, or op-ed relating to the Court that you’d like us to consider for inclusion in the round-up, please send it to roundup [at]

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the counsel on amicus briefs filed in support of the respondents in Zubik.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 8, 2016, 8:09 AM),