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Monday round-up

On Friday, Lyle Denniston reported for this blog that the Court declined “to stop Texas from enforcing a strict photo ID requirement for voters in the state, but left open the chance that it might change its mind later.”  Other coverage comes from Bill Mears of Fox News, Robert Barnes of The Washington Post, and Richard Wolf of USA Today.  Commentary comes from Rick Hasen, who at his Election Law Blog describes the order as “a bit of good news for opponents of Texas’s law” insofar as it “prevents not only dawdling but intentional foot-dragging so as to allow the law to remain in effect for the November election.”

As Lyle also reported on Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit – on remand from the Supreme Court – struck down Amtrak’s “power to help write rules on the use of railroad tracks across the country.”  Leland Beck weighs in on the ruling at his Federal Regulations Advisor.  

On Wednesday the Court heard oral arguments in the challenge by former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell to his fraud convictions.  Commentary comes from Gilad Edelman, who in The New Yorker characterizes the argument as a “‘Wayne’s World’ argument”; and Zephyr Teachout, who in The New York Times concludes that the Court “seems ready to gut bribery laws.”

Ted Miller of reports that “Wisconsin prosecutors are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overrule a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that shut down a 2012 John Doe investigation” which “examined whether there was illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups during his recall election.”  Other coverage comes from Katelyn Ferral of The Capital Times, with commentary from Rick Hasen – who at his Election Law Blog observes that “[n]ever before have I seen a cert. petition with even parts of the questions presented redacted.”

Coverage related to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from Mark Sherman and Sam Hananel of the Associated Press, who report that “the justices could be trying on roles as they adjust to life without Scalia. There are fewer big cases in the pipeline for next term, almost certainly a product of the court’s desire to avoid controversial topics until the bench is once again full.”  Writing for Politico, Edward-Isaac Dovere reports that supporters of the Garland nomination planned to “launch new operations and ads starting Saturday to pressure GOP senators during” this week’s recess.  And in The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos reports on the acrimony over the plans to rename George Mason University’s law school to honor Scalia.

In The Atlantic, Matt Ford reports that last week the Court “approved a new rule . . . allowing federal judges to issue warrants that target computers outside their jurisdiction, setting the stage for a major expansion of surveillance and hacking powers by federal law-enforcement agencies.”  Other coverage comes from Danny Yadron for The Guardian and Dustin Volz of Reuters. 


  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks back at oral arguments in the October Term 2015.
  • In The Economist, Steven Mazie looks back at last week’s decision in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, describing it as an illustration of how “cases featuring a tricky set of facts can, when the majority gets a little creative, make good law.”

Remember, we rely exclusively on our readers to send us links for our round-up.  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 for the respondents in Heffernan.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]


Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 2, 2016, 5:37 AM),