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Wednesday round-up

In The Washington Post, Sari Horwitz reports that “[i]n a court filing Monday, Justice [Department] attorneys took the opposite position from the Obama administration in a case that involved the state’s removal of thousands of inactive voters from the Ohio voting rolls” and that the department is now “arguing that the purges of voters are legal under federal law”; she notes that “[t]his brief, unlike the prior one, was not signed by career attorneys in the Civil Rights Division.” Additional coverage of DOJ’s course-reversal comes from Charlie Savage in The New York Times, Jessica Wehrman at The Columbus Dispatch, Jane Timm at NBC News, Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal and Sam Levine at the Huffington Post. At the Election Law Blog, Justin Levitt observes that “it’s quite rare for the DOJ to change course after a filing a brief in the court of appeals: the Solicitor General’s office is often called the “Tenth Justice,” in part because while reversals happen, there’s a thumb on the scale to treat DOJ filings with some internal quasi-precedential weight.” At Slate, Mark Joseph Stern argues that “[t]he department’s political appointees are transforming [a federal law regulating voter-roll upkeep] into a disenfranchisement device.”


  • At Empirical SCOTUS, Adam Feldman examines the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in cases involving constitutional challenges to state and federal laws, concluding that “[w]ith Justice Gorsuch, the Court now has what looks to be another clear left-right split that may lead to more closely divided decisions” in such cases.
  • In Bloomberg BNA’s Bench Brackets video, Kimberly Robinson and Patrick Gregory “break down last term’s highest highs and lowest lows.”
  • Counting to 5 (podcast) features a look at “how the upcoming October 2017 Supreme Court term is shaping up.”
  • In an op-ed in USA Today, Tony Mauro suggests that the Trump administration and Congress could learn from the Supreme Court’s tradition of civility and mutual respect; he adds that allowing cameras in the courtroom would give the public a view of “a functioning branch of government.”

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, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 9, 2017, 7:00 AM),