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Thursday round-up

At Constitution Daily, Scott Bomboy looks ahead to some of the major cases of “a potential landmark term starting in October.” At ACSblog, Dan Froomkin observes that although “[t]The Supreme Court term that ended last week was fairly tame – at least by recent standards,” court-watchers have “said that beneath the collegiality and calm were signs of major fissures likely to deepen and become more acrimonious when the Court reconvenes in October.”

In an op-ed for The New York Times, Linda Greenhouse weighs in on the debut of Justice Neil Gorsuch, finding it “no real surprise” that Gorsuch “turned out to be a hard-right conservative,” but remarking on “the sheer flamboyance of the junior justice’s behavior.” At Rewire, Jessica Mason Pieklo describes Gorsuch’s “Fourth-of-July glad-handing” at a small-town parade in Colorado as “a perfect representation of the political role he plays on the current Supreme Court,” where “[h]e represents the most ideological right wing of the Court, but has largely masked those extreme beliefs with charisma that made him appear more reasonable a justice than his opinions prove him to be.”


  • At, Tony Mauro interviews Edward Gero, who plays the late Justice Antonin Scalia in the 2015 play “The Originalist,” reporting that “[w]ith Scalia gone, and the election of a controversial president who invoked Scalia’s name often, Gero says the play may feel subtly different—both in the script itself and in the way the audience reacts to it.”
  • At ACSblog, Bidish Sarma looks at two recent decisions involving the scope of the Brady rule requiring prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence, arguing that “when put into context of [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions’s surefire effort to extend, shore up, and defend prosecutorial power, they suggest that this Court may not be prepared to take a forceful stance against misconduct and gamesmanship.”
  • At The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog, Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle discuss Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, in which the court held that “the Free Exercise Clause require[s] a state to treat houses of worship identically with other non-profit entities seeking a discretionary grant aimed at enhancing health and safety”; they maintain that “[t]he number of votes for the result … masks very deep divisions among its supporters about Religion Clause and federalism principles.”
  • At Constitution Daily, Lyle Denniston reports that “[t]he Trump Administration has vowed to return swiftly to the Supreme Court if a federal judge relaxes, in any way, the government’s restrictions on entry into the U.S. of foreign nationals and refugees.”
  • At ACSblog, Brandon Garrett and Lee Kovarsky discuss Davila v. Davis, in which “the Supreme Court blocked a promising avenue for criminal defendants to enforce their rights to counsel”; they argue that “Davila means that clients—even those facing the death penalty—are responsible for their lawyers’ failures, even where those failures are the predictable result of a state’s decision to under-fund criminal defense.”
  • At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser observes that if, as is rumored, Justice Anthony Kennedy retires at the end of next term, and “[President Donald] Trump nominates someone to replace Kennedy who’s more similar to Neil Gorsuch, … the law will move drastically to the right on many crucial issues.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Thursday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 6, 2017, 7:44 AM),