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Friday round-up

Coverage of Wednesday night’s discussion of the Supreme Court at the final presidential debate comes from Amy Howe for this blog. Additional coverage comes from Matt Ford at The Atlantic, Sean Higgins at The Washington Examiner, Tamar Hallerman at, David Cohen at Rolling Stone, and Todd Ruger at Roll Call. At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman notes the candidates’ rhetoric about judicial activism and analyzes the court’s prior cases to identify activist results; he concludes that “the Supreme Court is not likely any more activist now that it has been in recent years and is less activist than it has been in points in recent decades,” and questions the power of the next president “to shift the direction of the Court’s rulings.” At The Washington Post, Aaron Blake provides an annotated transcript of the debate. Commentary also comes from Roger Pilon at Cato At Liberty, the editorial board of the Boston Herald, and the participants in an Advice & Consent podcast.

At Rewire, Jessica Pieklo discusses the apparent effort by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to walk back Sen. John McCain’s recent promise that Republican senators will obstruct all Supreme Court nominations if Hillary Clinton wins in November, speculating that Grassley’s comments, when paired with McCain’s,” may “show Senate Republicans beta-testing the talking points for their next round of judicial nominations’ obstruction to see whether or not that continued strategy is politically viable.” At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick also weighs in on McCain’s remarks and the “inconsistent” responses of other Senate Republicans, positing that “what’s causing all the melting messages here is the unforeseen consequence of a decades-long campaign by the GOP to make the composition of the court the only important issue for voters.”


  • At the National Conference of State Legislatures Blog, Lisa Soronen previews Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court will “determine what level of educational benefits students with disabilities must receive.”
  • At Cato At Liberty, Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison discuss Cato’s “friend of the court” brief asking the court to grant review in Blackman v. Gascho, a case challenging a class action settlement due to “self-dealing on the part of class counsel.”
  • In the International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Appellate Practice Blog, Lisa Soronen takes a look at McLane v. EEOC, an upcoming case involving “whether a court of appeals should review a district court’s decision to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena de novo … instead of deferring to the lower court’s ruling”; she observes that unlike “most employment cases it is not clear which outcome is better for public employers.”
  • On Wednesday evening, Justice Elena Kagan introduced a lecture commemorating the centennial of Justice Louis Brandeis’s appointment to the court, dubbing Brandeis her “’favorite justice’” of those she has not met personally; Andrew Hamm covers the event for this blog.
  • At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, known to be a devotee of opera, “is prepping for her operatic debut in Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s”The Daughter of the Regiment”; for “one night in November, the diminutive legal diva will play the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp, a character akin to the dowagers in Marx Brothers movies.”
  • Bridget Bowman reports in Roll Call that Chief Judge Merrick Garland, whose nomination to the court has now been pending for a record 219 days, “is in limbo. That is, if heaven is serving on the Supreme Court and waiting in limbo involves a bunch of paperwork.”

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 (Oct. 21, 2016, 7:49 AM),