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Thursday round-up

Commentary relating to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to replace him comes from Cass Sunstein, who at Bloomberg View suggests that the conduct of Senate Republicans “is fully consistent with a much broader” principle:  “If a party can get away with refusing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee chosen by a president of the opposing party, that’s exactly what it will do. If so, appointments to the high court will become mired in the crassest form of partisan politics.”  In an op-ed for Reuters, Herman Schwartz and William Yeomans contend that the “Republican refusal to fulfill their constitutional obligation to advise and consent to Supreme Court nominees jeopardizes” the aspiration “to live under the rule of law” and “raises the prospect of continuing legal uncertainty on fundamental issues facing the nation.”  Coverage of Garland’s graduation speech at a Washington, D.C., elementary school comes from Mark Walsh for Education Week, which also has video of the speech, and NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

Commentary relating to last week’s decision in Williams v. Pennsylvania comes from Robin Maher at The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket, Christina Ford at the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Text and History Blog, and Louis Virelli, in an interview with Tony Mauro for Supreme Court Brief (subscription required).

Commentary relating to Monday’s decision in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis case comes from Michelle Anderson at Legal Aggregate, while at Text and History Blog David Chen weighs in on the ruling, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s concurring opinion, in Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle.  And in The Atlantic, Vann Newkirk suggests that the two opinions, along with the denial of review in a case by American Samoans seeking birthright citizenship, “effectively ended a budding theory of self-determination in these areas and confirmed a federal legal view of territories that was established during the height of American imperialism.”


  • In a post at Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks at the pace of cert. grants and argues that “this low rate of grants is troublesome due [to] aspects internal to the Court itself.”
  • Writing for Greenwire, Robin Bravender looks ahead to next Term’s oral arguments in the property rights case Murr v. Wisconsin.
  • In commentary at Cato, Jonathan Blanks marks the twentieth anniversary of the Court’s ruling in Whren v. United States, which he characterizes as having “effectively legalized racial profiling of drivers by police.”
  • In The New Orleans Advocate, John Simerman and Della Hasselle report on the case of Louisiana death-row inmate David Brown, whose petition for review the Justices will consider today.
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, Valerie Peterson urges the Court to strike down the abortion regulations at issue in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, arguing that they “ultimately won’t lower the number of people who need the procedure” but will instead “just force women to take drastic measures.”
  • At Patently-O, Dennis Crouch analyzes the Court’s decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics, concluding that he won’t “look for the Supreme Court to begin giving deference to the Federal Circuit anytime soon.”
  • At Disability Scoop, Michelle Diament covers the Court’s recent request for the views of the federal government in a “case questioning how much educational benefit schools must provide in order to satisfy the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.”
  • At Cato at Liberty, Ilya Shapiro discusses a challenge to a New York law that “allows merchants to offer ‘discounts’ to cash-paying customers, but makes it a crime to impose economically equivalent ‘surcharges’ on those who use plastic.”

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]

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jun. 16, 2016, 5:48 AM),