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Wednesday round-up

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination continues to dominate court-watchers’ attention. At Politico, Lorraine Woellert reports that “[m]ore Americans oppose the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court than that of any other nominee in recent history, according to a poll from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.” Kevin Daley reports for The Daily Caller that “[a] left-leaning advocacy group, which plans to spend millions opposing … Kavanaugh’s nomination …, has obscured its funding sources through an opaque organizational structure.” For NBC News, Alex Seitz-Wald reports that Kavanaugh’s “confirmation process …  could answer a question first raised more than a decade ago about whether the judge once misled Congress, as two senators then alleged.”

At Politico Magazine, Neil Lewis explains why “[m]odern candidates for the Supreme Court have had to demonstrate not only erudition in the law, but some affecting personal journey that, one is supposed to believe, has endowed them with exceptional empathy and character.” At FiveThirtyEight, Oliver Roeder and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux assess the various metrics for predicting how Kavanaugh would fit into the Supreme Court’s ideological lineup.

At Law360 (subscription required), Mary Monahan and Bradley Seltzer note that “[a]n examination of Judge Kavanaugh’s federal tax and statutory interpretation opinions reveals that, although [he] has not confronted many substantive federal tax issues, his approach to tax cases is consistent with his general philosophy of statutory interpretation.” Also at Law360, Van Lindbergh looks at Kavanaugh’s record in intellectual-property cases, concluding that “Kavanaugh has ruled both for government agencies and against them, but in each case his reasoning tends to be backed by the text of the legislation at issue.”

In an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee, Erwin Chemerinsky suggests that “[t]he most important consequence of replacing [retiring Justice Anthony] Kennedy with Kavanaugh is substituting a 53-year-old conservative for one who is about to turn 82.” In an op-ed for Rewire.News, Jodi Jacobson worries that Senate Democrats have “failed either to mount any coherent fight against Kavanaugh or explain to the public what is at stake.” At the Brennan Center for Justice, Andrew Cohen suggests that “[t]he only courage Kavanaugh will need if and when he makes it onto the Supreme Court is the courage to cement his place in legal history as the partisan who pushed for investigations of Democratic presidents but not Republican ones.” At Slate, Eric Segall argues that “no modern justice has allowed originalist principles to block desired political outcomes, and it is extremely unlikely Judge Kavanaugh will break that streak.”

In an episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS101 podcast, Elizabeth Slattery and her guest Ed Whelan “break down myths about SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh – from the Russia investigation to being a baseball fanatic.” In an op-ed for The Hill, Ilya Shapiro maintains that Kavanaugh’s “vote won’t change that much, for two reasons: Social issues aside, Kennedy voted with conservatives a lot; and Chief Justice John Roberts, a minimalist and incrementalist, is the new median justice.”


  • At NPR, Nina Totenberg reports that, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “continues to be a cultural phenomenon,” there’s a “more personal” addition to the RBG trove — “a series of songs written about her life by her daughter-in-law and produced by her son.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Wednesday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 18, 2018, 6:58 AM),