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Tuesday round-up

Coverage and commentary related to the end of the Court’s Term, and looking back at the Term as a whole, abound.  Bill Mears of Fox News focuses on the role of Justice Anthony Kennedy, observing that the Court’s “swing vote” is “quietly flexing his judicial power on a dizzying mix of hot-button cases,” while Ron Elving and Nadia Farjood of NPR have some “takeaways” from the Term and Ballotpedia breaks down the Term’s statistics.

At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost also looks at Justice Anthony Kennedy’s role, in particular in the challenges to Texas’s abortion regulations and the University of Texas at Austin’s consideration of race in its undergraduate admissions process; he emphasizes that Kennedy “voted . . . after reviewing the facts and the law, not on the basis of preconvictions.” At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman looks at “the success of attorneys throughout the Term,” while in the ABA Journal Erwin Chemerinsky contends that it “is hard to remember a Supreme Court term where the decisions did less to change the law.”  At Think Progress, Ian Millhiser focuses on Justice Sonia Sotomayor; he suggests that, although Sotomayor has assumed the late Thurgood Marshall’s “mantle as the Court’s racial truth-teller, her eventual fate as his heir is very much outside of her hands. Whether she’ll be able to conjure the better world Marshall sought will depend on the next president.”

Commentary on last week’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, striking down the former Virginia governor’s federal corruption convictions, comes from Randall Eliason, who at The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket argues that the ruling was “a win for McDonnell, but a loss for anyone concerned about public corruption and the influence of money in politics.”  And at Sands Anderson, Cullen Seltzer observes that “politicians looking to exploit their position for their personal gain now know that there is a narrow path they can tread between mere communication and ‘official acts.’”


  • At his eponymous blog, John Q. Barrett marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Harlan Fiske Stone’s ascension to the position of Chief Justice of the United States.
  • More Perfect (podcast) “dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.”
  • Sarah Ferris of The Hill reports that, in the wake of last week’s ruling striking down two provisions of a Texas law regulating abortions, “[a]bortion rights groups are gearing up for a major assault against dozens — and ultimately hundreds — of state laws.”
  • At Salon, Daniel Denvir looks back at the Court’s decision in Voisine v. United States, in which the Court ruled that a domestic-violence conviction is a misdemeanor crime of violence for purposes of limiting access to firearms, suggesting that Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s vote in the case reflects a “consistent criticism of overcriminalization, excessive prosecution and abusive policing that has made her the court’s most outspoken critic of the carceral state.”

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, Tuesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 5, 2016, 6:00 AM),