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Friday round-up

For Fox News, Dana Blanton reports on a recent poll by the network indicating that “[v]oters are increasingly divided over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court since President Trump announced him as his choice to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.” At Politico, Burgess Everett reports that “[v]oters in three conservative states where Senate Democrats are up for reelection want their senators to support … Kavanaugh,” according to a new GOP poll. For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage reports on how Kavanaugh’s work on independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation that led to impeachment charges against President Bill Clinton “could influence a future congressional debate if Trump faces impeachment.” At, Marcia Coyle reports that “[a] nearly 20-year-old report on possible violations of grand jury secrecy during the independent counsel investigations of the Clinton White House was unsealed Thursday and cleared the office headed by Kenneth Starr of leaking secret information” and that “[t]he report made no mention of … Kavanaugh.”

For The Washington Post, Marissa Lang reports that on Sunday, “in honor of Women’s Equality Day, more than 200 events will be convened around the country to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.” Amanda Arnold writes about Sunday’s planned protests at The Cut. At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick maintains that “if ever there were an argument for Democratic unity on the Kavanaugh vote, this is it: No president suspected of criminal conduct should be allowed to seat a Supreme Court justice.” David Harsanyi writes at The Federalist that “there’s no clause in the [Constitution] that empowers angst-y liberal pundits and politicians to question the legitimacy of duly confirmed justices.”

In the most recent episode of the Heritage Foundation’s SCOTUS 101 podcast, “Senate Judiciary Committee nominations guru Mike Davis joins Elizabeth Slattery to talk about preparing for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing (and reviewing hundreds of thousands of Kavanaugh documents) … [and] his experience as an ‘elderly’ SCOTUS law clerk to Justice Gorsuch.” At Rewire.News’ Boom! Lawyered podcast, Imani Gandy and Jessica Mason Pieklo undertake to “make sense of the Senate battle over the release of hundreds of thousands of documents related to … Kavanaugh.”

For The New York Times, Emily Bazelon observes that “[s]ince the 1930s, justices who served as swing voters or drifted ideologically have made it possible to think about the court in nonpartisan terms,” but that “Kavanaugh’s confirmation will probably break this long tradition,” and that “[a]ssuming Kavanaugh votes as his record suggests, the court will move to the right on several important fronts, even as the country’s demographics predict a shift of the electorate to the left, with more young voters and voters of color.”


  • For The Wall Street Journal, Gabriel Rubin reports that “[t]he Securities and Exchange Commission said it plans to rehear dozens of cases that were pending before its in-house administrative-law judges, following a June Supreme Court ruling[, in Lucia v. SEC,] that faulted the appointment process for those judges.”
  • At The Economist’s Democracy in America blog, Steven Mazie suggests that a new lawsuit against Colorado civil rights officials by cake artist Jack Phillips, who prevailed in last term’s Masterpiece Cakeshop case “because [the Supreme Court] saw signs that the Colorado civil-rights commission was overtly hostile toward [Phillips’] religious beliefs,” indicates that Phillips’ “conscience bars him from creating a much wider array of goodies, including the very birthday cakes he said he’d be ‘happy’ to make, if the design is inconsistent with his religious beliefs.”
  • At ThinkProgress, Ian Millhiser looks at a recent study suggesting that the court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, “literally has less democratic legitimacy than anyone who has ever sat on the nation’s highest Court.”
  • For the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko traces the bonds between Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, which “go well beyond a common conservative ideology and their days at the all-boys Georgetown Preparatory School, just 11 miles (18 kilometers) from the Supreme Court’s marble halls.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Friday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 24, 2018, 7:32 AM),