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Tuesday round-up

Coverage relating to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to succeed him comes from Tony Mauro, who in The National Law Journal (subscription or registration may be required) reports that,as loudly as advocates lament the plight of an eight-justice court, there is one interested group that has barely made a peep—the eight justices themselves.” In a second story, Mauro also reports on recent remarks by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who described Scalia as not only “a dear colleague and friend” but also a “discerning shopper.”  In his column for The New York Times, Adam Liptak observes that the Court “seems to have split into two camps, with the four justices at its ideological center working diligently to deliver unified opinions,” while the “remaining members of the court seem less committed to that project.” And at Bloomberg Law, Kimberly Robinson looks at the effects of having an eight-member Court. 

Commentary comes from David Gans, who at Balkinization argues that “[l]eaving the Supreme Court with only eight members—and unable to decide some of the most important cases that come before it—threatens the Court’s ability to do its job.”  And at Constitution Daily , Lana Ulrich concludes that, “as the Senate Republicans’ heels remain dug-in, President Obama and the presidential candidates will have to continue to appeal to voters’ sensibilities concerning the importance of the Court vacancy in the coming election.”

Adam Klasfeld of Courthouse News Service reports that, “[w]ith the Supreme Court likely to reverse Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell’s bribery convictions in the next month, experts say whichever justice authors the lead opinion will determine the extent of fallout, with some of the nation’s most publicly disgraced politicians standing to benefit.”  Commentary on McDonnell’s case comes from former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich, who in The Washington Examiner urges the Justices to “draw a bright and shining line between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Our political system will be better for it.”


  • In the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports that the Court “is being asked to take up a bankruptcy dispute involving the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and to decide whether to restore the health and pension benefits of more than 1,000 casino workers.”
  • In another post, Savage looks at “some of the biggest remaining cases awaiting a decision by the end of June.”
  • At the Bill of Health Blog, Greg Lipper discusses Zubik v. Burwell, the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate, and argues thatthe one-track focus on the Little Sisters overlooks the tens of thousands of women affected by these cases and who risk losing the contraceptive coverage to which they’re entitled by law.”
  • In Mother Jones, Pema Levy discusses the case of five American Samoans, who are asking the Court to weigh in on their argument that denying birthright citizenship to residents of that U.S. territory “violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship to ‘[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.’”
  • At Hamilton and Griffin on Rights, Angela Morrison analyzes the Court’s decision in Green v. Brennan, describing it as “good news for workers, especially vulnerable workers who need the income from their jobs to provide for their families.”
  • The Center for Individual Rights argues that “[e]vents in Chicago once again highlight the need for the Supreme Court to resolve the questions at issue in” Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
  • At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost looks back at last week’s ruling in Foster v. Chatman, concluding that the “case now goes back to a Georgia court system that failed in its constitutional duty before, now with a chance to show a higher regard for racial justice than shown in the past.”

 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 on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in Zubik.  However, I am not affiliated with the firm.]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (May. 31, 2016, 6:52 AM),