Breaking News

Friday round-up

Coverage of the Court again centered on the prospects for filling the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Ben Walsh and Ryan Grim reported yesterday in The Huffington Post that Donald Trump is seriously considering nominating venture capitalist and billionaire Peter Thiel to the Court should Trump win in November; representatives of both Trump and Thiel denied the report. Additional coverage comes from Dahlia Lithwick at Slate and Caroline Bankoff at New York.

Mike Dorning and Greg Stohr at Bloomberg report that in a radio interview yesterday, Hillary Clinton declared that “she wouldn’t be bound by President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, hinting that she would consider a bolder choice if she takes office in January with the seat still unfilled.” At (subscription required), Zoe Tillman surveys the factors potentially influencing prospective nominations to the Supreme Court and other federal benches by the presidential candidates; she remarks that the “courts have been a flashpoint in this election, more so than usual because of congressional gridlock on vacancies, the fight over the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, and Trump’s invocation of the Supreme Court in trying to persuade moderate Republicans to support him.” Steven Mazie comments in The Economist on the significant consequences even one Supreme Court appointment will have for the Court’s constitutional jurisprudence over the next few years; although “the justices seem stuck in standby mode” and the “docket for their upcoming term is looking wan,” he asserts, disputes “over presidential power, administrative leeway, freedom of speech, abortion, race, religion and discrimination against gays and lesbians—to name a few—are sure to arrive at the justices’ doorsteps.”


  • At Empirical Scotus, Adam Feldman looks at changing work patterns at the Supreme Court, noting that the increased number of amicus briefs filed at the cert. and merits stages, combined with “the additional time the Court has to focus on each individual case due to the shrunken docket,” may have contributed to an aggregate increase in Supreme Court opinion length over time.
  • Long-time Supreme Court journalist Joan Biskupic shares her views on “the Supreme Court justices” and “the changing demographics of the Court” in a University of California, Irvine School of Law podcast.
  • In the Federalist Society Review, Christopher Keiser previews Murr v. Wisconsin, the upcoming regulatory taking case, observing that the “Court at least seems likely to offer the lower courts important guidance on when, if ever, aggregation of contiguous, commonly owned parcels for takings purposes is appropriate.”
  • Scott Lemieux in The American Prospect discusses the “fragile status of voting rights under a Court that is stalemated 4-4” and concludes that the “stalemate underscores how the future of voting rights hangs on the high court’s composition.”


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: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 16, 2016, 8:27 AM),