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Thursday round-up

Yesterday a Virginia school board asked the Supreme Court to put on hold a lower-court ruling requiring it to allow a transgender student who identifies as a boy to use the boys’ restroom.  I covered the ruling for this blog, with other coverage coming from Lyle Denniston at Constitution Daily, Louis Llovio of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Alana Durkin Richer of the Associated Press, Lawrence Hurley of Reuters, and Moriah Balingit of The Washington Post.  

But the controversy over recent remarks by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg critical of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to dominate coverage and commentary.  Robert Barnes of The Washington Post reports that Ginsburg “made clear that her criticism of Republican Donald Trump was not the result of an unguarded moment.”  Lydia Wheeler and Jordain Carney of The Hill report that Republican senators “ripped” Ginsburg “for wading into presidential politics, saying her remarks earlier this week about Donald Trump went too far.”  NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports that Trump called on Ginsburg to resign; similar coverage comes from Brent Kendall for The Wall Street Journal and Brian McBride for ABC News.  In the ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss reports that, although “experts have varying opinions on whether her comments were better left unsaid,” “they do agree she didn’t violate the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges because it doesn’t bind Supreme Court justices.”

Commentary on Ginsburg’s remarks comes from the editorial board of The Washington Post, which asserts that the remarks were “much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court”; the editorial board of The New York Times echoes that sentiment, arguing that Ginsburg “needs to drop the political punditry and the name-calling.”  At Crime and Consequences, Kent Scheidegger reacts to the latter editorial, expressing surprise that “we would read the words ‘Donald Trump is right’ in a New York Times editorial about anything, but especially about one of the Left’s favorite jurists.”  In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Daniel Drezner contends that Ginsburg’s criticism was “a remarkably stupid and egregious comment for a sitting Supreme Court justice to make on the record.”  At First Read, Chuck Todd suggests that the “state of our politics — and especially discourse in this 2016 presidential race — has hit rock bottom when a Supreme Court justice is trading insults with the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.” In an op-ed for Reuters, Rick Hasen acknowledges that “Ginsburg has been a leader in trying to make the court less” opaque, but nonetheless contends that she has “gone too far” with “her repeated public criticisms of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.”

At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser is less critical of Ginsburg:  he concedes that her “intemperate remarks undoubtedly undermine the prestige of the judiciary” but adds that, if “the outcome she fears becomes a reality, however, we may all be very happy to see its legitimacy diminished.”  In New Republic, Brian Beutler downplays the significance of Ginsburg’s remarks, arguing that “[t]o assume that partisan actions by Supreme Court justices are bad because they erode public faith in the institution misunderstands what public faith in the Court really means. The idea that the public sees the court as independent from politics is pure fantasy.”  And Linda Hirshman defends Ginsburg, arguing in Politico that the Justice has been “saving her political capital for 40 years, to use in ways that other justices have been doing since the founding.”

  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman analyzes amicus filings from the recently ended Term.
  • At Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio reports that, with the Second Circuit’s denial of quarterback Tom Brady’s petition for rehearing in the “Deflategate” controversy, “his only recourse at this point is to file an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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 (Jul. 14, 2016, 8:13 AM),