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Friday round-up

For Fox News, Samuel Chamberlain reports that “[t]he National Archives said Thursday that it will not be able to completely review more than 900,000 pages of documents related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the George W. Bush White House until the end of October.” At Politico, Elana Schor and Burgess Everett report that Senate Republicans are nonetheless “pressing ahead on confirming … Kavanaugh before the midterm elections,” and that “the George W. Bush Presidential Library is lending its resources to processing Kavanaugh records in a bid to help expedite the release of the records Grassley and his fellow Republicans have requested.” Additional coverage comes from Igor Bobic at Huffpost and from Li Zhou at Vox, who reports that “Grassley’s recent request centered predominantly on Kavanaugh’s time as counsel during the Bush White House and did not even include the trove of documents Democrats have been pressing for from his time as staff secretary.” For The Washington Post, Robert O’Harrow and Michael Kranish look into Kavanaugh’s role in independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation of the death of Clinton aide Vince Foster in 1993, reporting that “a memo offering legal justification for the probe” “sheds light on how Kavanaugh’s thinking evolved on the legal rights of sitting presidents.”

At Politico Magazine, “liberal Democrat and feminist” Supreme Court practitioner Lisa Blatt calls Kavanaugh “the most qualified conservative for the job” and urges Democrats to “quit attacking Kavanaugh—full stop.” In an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, David Singh Grewal and others maintain that “[t]here is no liberal case for Kavanaugh,” arguing that “the debate over [his] confirmation [should] focus on the issues, not on the pedigree or manners of a judge who, as a justice, will almost surely work to undermine decades of settled judicial precedent in a way no liberal should be willing to condone.”


  • At Bloomberg, Susan Decker reports that “[t]he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has placed suspensions on trademark applications that contain ‘scandalous or vulgar’ words while it considers whether to ask the Supreme Court to look at the issue.”
  • At Bloomberg Law, Bert Rein writes that “[w]hat the unsatisfying analyses of both majority and dissent” in Ohio v. American Express Co., in which the court held that Amex’s anti-steering rules do not violate federal antitrust law, “seem to mask is a fundamental clash of principle about the need for judicial intervention in economic markets.”
  • NFIB urges the justices to review a recent decision by the California Supreme Court that “authorized shock-and-awe penalties for OSHA violations on top of previously imposed fines,” “completely undermin[ing] the process that Congress intended.”
  • In an op-ed for the Mississippi Business Journal, Ben Williams names “the one Supreme Court opinion everyone should read”: Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the court held that SEC administrative law judges are “officers of the United States” who have to be appointed by the president, a court or a department head, which Williams calls “a step in the process of unraveling the administrative state.”
  • At the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Timothy O’Neill discusses Timbs v. Indiana, in which the court will decide next term whether the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause applies to the states, predicting a “unanimous defense victory” in part because of an amicus brief “filed by none other than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”
  • At Law360 (subscription required), Margo Schlanger credits her clerkship with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with showing her that “[m]ere lip service is not enough: Law can and should effectively remove practical impediments to equality.”
  • New episodes of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast feature discussions of “RBG’s retirement ‘plans’ and Justice Kennedy’s final week on the Supreme Court” here and “how some media outlets and Senate Dems have reached a new low when it comes to confirmation battles” here.
  • At SSRN, Jonathan Harkavy summarizes and comments on all of last term’s cases “that affect employment law, labor relations, employment arbitration and the employment relationship generally.”
  • Looking ahead to the “long conference,” when the justices dispose of the many cert petitions that have stacked up over the summer, Amy Howe highlights one petition in the pile, a “property rights case involving public access to private beaches,” at her eponymous blog.

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 3, 2018, 7:24 AM),