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Wednesday round-up

In The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin reports that the “bruising partisan process that preceded the swearing-in of Neil Gorsuch on Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court less recalled the stately self-image of the federal bench than the sharp-elbowed, much criticized retail politics most states use to elect their judges,” and that the “third-party advertising” deployed during the process “could trigger ethical concerns or even recusals at the Supreme Court if funders bring cases there.” At Politico, Seung Min Kim reports that Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has vowed that “once his party regains the Senate majority — whenever that may be — Democrats will restore the 60-vote threshold needed to advance Supreme Court nominees, which was demolished by Republicans last week.” Robert Barnes reports in The Washington Post that Chief Justice John Roberts said on Tuesday that “the Supreme Court has gone about its work in a ‘completely nonpartisan way’ since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but that the bitter political battle waged over confirming Scalia’s replacement poses a ‘real danger’ for the court.” In The Economist, Steven Mazie remarks on “two significant signs that as Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee gets to work, he may envision his job in more muscular terms than did Mr Scalia.”

Commentary on the fallout from the Gorsuch confirmation comes from Neil Buchanan, who in an op-ed in Newsweek endorses Senate Democrats’ decision to force “the Republicans to show that they have no principles and are willing to burn down the Senate in the service of their partisan agenda.” At Slate, Richard Posner observes that although the “current method of appointing justices … does not select for the best, yet the filibuster could be regarded as a means of promoting enhanced quality of appointments,” and wonders whether the demise of the filibuster will affect the quality of future Supreme Court nominees. At The Hill, Jonathan Turley argues that Gorsuch’s appointment could be thought of as a “huge loss for … Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who ignored increasing calls for her retirement during the Obama administration to avoid the prospect of the flipping of her seat from a liberal to a conservative member.” At CNN, Rachel Sklar maintains that the confirmation process “deserves to be examined, and remembered, for just how not-normal it all was.”


  • At RealClear Education, John McLaughlin lauds the recent decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, in which the court held that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a school to offer an “individualized education program” reasonably calculated to allow the student to progress appropriately in light of the child’s circumstances, observing that the ruling “shifts the position of the school district from one that must satisfy a minimum standard to one that must offer a reasonable hope of progress.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 12, 2017, 6:53 AM),