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Monday round-up

For CBS, Reena Flores and Major Garrett report that Donald Trump added ten names last Friday to his list of potential Supreme Court nominees, including Senator Mike Lee of Utah; they note that “specificity about potential Trump jurists” is “designed to solidify the conservative court-watchers, especially on social issues and executive power.” Matt Ford at The Atlantic observes that “if Lee’s inclusion was intended as an olive branch for Ted Cruz, it seemed to work: On Friday afternoon, Cruz finally endorsed Donald Trump, citing it as one of six reasons for his decision.” Coverage of Trump’s new list of possible court picks also comes from Steve Holland at Reuters and Greg Stohr at Bloomberg, while commentary comes from Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. Cristian Farias at The Huffington Post reports that, through a spokesman, Senator Lee “brushed off his inclusion in Trump’s list and said he ‘already has the job he wants.’”

In The New Yorker, Lincoln Caplan argues that the Supreme Court should agree to review an appeal of a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling halting an investigation into Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall campaign, maintaining that if “the Supreme Court does not review this case and begin to repair the rule of law in Wisconsin, it will endorse the rule of politics that has done so much damage to the state—and is doing so much damage to the country.” Additional commentary on the case comes from Dan Weiner and Brent Ferguson at U.S. News and World Report.

In The Intercept, Lee Fang takes issue with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s recent refusal to respond to Fang’s request for a comment on Kennedy’s majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, remarking that the justice “doesn’t seem to care that the central premise of his historic decision has quickly unraveled.” Coverage of the incident comes from Cristian Farias, who notes in The Huffington Post that “if you want to get a Supreme Court justice to talk, you have to do it on his or her own terms.”


  • In The New York Times, Adam Liptak reports that a Democratic victory in the November presidential election, and the subsequent confirmation of a liberal Supreme Court justice, could transform Chief Justice John Roberts’s role on a court in which he has been in the conservative majority in many close cases, forcing Roberts “to choose between becoming a marginal figure or concluding that a new era on his court requires a new kind of leadership – and a move to the left.”
  • For Reuters, Lawrence Hurley reports on why the Supreme Court may not agree to review a case involving a challenge to a Virginia school board’s refusal to let a transgender student who identifies a boy use the boys’ bathroom at his public high school, observing that the court “often lets novel legal issues like transgender bathroom rights percolate in lower courts before taking a case” and “also frequently refuses to take cases in which the various regional federal appeals courts have not issued conflicting rulings.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy provides a historical snapshot of the very first Supreme Court, which was marked by “personal drama that included a justice dodging creditors, a failed suicide attempt, and a chief justice who was America’s most hated man, for a time.”
  • At The Huffington Post, Cristian Farias reports that Texas has asked the Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling finding that the state’s voter ID law violated the Voting Rights Act, noting that the “move, for now, is only symbolic,” “since the Supreme Court can take several months before it decides whether to add a case to its docket.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy previews Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Pauley, the upcoming Supreme Court case involving “the legacy of the controversial Blaine amendments, which many states use to restrict public financial aid to religious-affiliated institutions.”
  • At Reuters, Alison Frankel suggests that next term’s Salman v. United States, in which “the justices have been asked to decide how tangible the tipster’s benefit must be” in an insider trading case, may affect the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against hedge fund manager Leon Cooperman, arguing that if “the justices come up with a very restrictive definition of what constitutes a personal benefit for a tipster,” that could bolster Cooperman’s defense.
  • At LifeSiteNews, Patrick Mahoney announces that the Supreme Court has agreed to allow screening of a pro-life movie, “Voiceless,” on the sidewalk in front of the court building; organizers of the event state that “this is the first time the Supreme Court has ever permitted a film to be shown in front of the Court.”
  • The Fashion Law reports that the Supreme Court has so far eschewed most “cases on politically sensitive social issues in its new term starting in October, instead showing a keen interest in more technical cases of importance to business such as disputes over intellectual property.”
  • In Above the Law, Elie Mystal questions the value of increased disclosure of information about the health of the justices, arguing that “Supreme Court health disclosures would undermine the public’s faith in the Court, while not actually changing how the Court functions in any way.”
  • In commentary in The Washington Post for The Volokh Conspiracy, Josh Blackman weighs in on the Supreme Court’s ruling last term directing the parties to work towards reaching a compromise in Zubik v. Burwell, which involved religious exemptions for nonprofits from the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate; he argues that going forward, “church plans will remain exempt from fines, but the lower courts will have to figure out what to do with insured plans and self-insured plans,” and that the “parties are no closer on these issues than they were before the case was argued.”
  • In his column for Bloomberg, Noah Feldman argues that an appeals court decision interpreting last term’s ruling in Evenwel v. Abbott that states can draw legislative districts based on total population to mean that prisoners “can be counted in population totals for determining a voting district, even though they can’t cast ballots in the place where they’re being held” “shows how delicate the theory of virtual representation used in the Evenwel case really is.”
  • Leah Jessen at The Daily Signal previews three key cases the court will hear during October Term 2016.
  • To commemorate the signing of the bill creating the Supreme Court 227 years ago, Constitution Daily provides a list of ten “interesting facts about the court over the years.”
  • In an op-ed for Forbes, Mark Chenoweth takes “one final look back at the top 10 cases that were wrongly denied cert in the Supreme Court’s last term.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Sep. 26, 2016, 7:43 AM),