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Monday round-up

At BuzzFeed News, Chris Geidner and Jason Leopold report that “[i]n the midst of a growing fight over what documents senators will see from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s five years in the George W. Bush White House, a narrow glance into three months of Kavanaugh’s communications with just one office at the Justice Department shows that he worked on key questions involving the president’s power to keep documents from Congress and the public, as well as important legislation in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.” For The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim reports that “Senate Democrats will begin meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh to press him privately on releasing his papers, … after Democrats had boycotted these sit-downs for weeks amid a document dispute with Republicans.” At Jost on Justice, Kenneth Jost asserts that “the Republicans’ prime movers on judicial confirmations — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley — are adopting tactics that flatly contradict their stances on President Obama’s last two Supreme Court nominations.”

For The New York Times, Michael Shear and Adam Liptak take a close look at Kavanaugh’s experience working on independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s investigation of President Bill Clinton, “an immersion course in the brutal ways of Washington combat.” For the Los Angeles Times, David Savage writes that “[b]ased on his experience later, including serving as the staff secretary to President George W. Bush, Kavanaugh said he came to believe these investigations distracted the president and damaged the country,” and that he has since argued that  “even an investigation or questioning of a president should not be permitted, unless done by Congress.” In an op-ed for the Louisville Courier-Journal, Justin Walker maintains that “Kavanaugh believes a judge must stand up to the president when the executive branch is in violation of the law.”

At the Associated Press, Geoff Mulvihill reports that environmentalists are worried about Kavanaugh’s “record of slapping back Environmental Protection Agency regulations during his 12 years as a federal appeals court judge.” In an op-ed for Fox News, John Yoo and Robert Delahunty contend that the claim by “Senate Democrats … that [Kavanaugh] will destroy affordable health care” “is not supported by records from his many years of government service.”


  • Mark Sherman reports for the Associated Press that “[w]hile the spotlight is on the two former clerks to Justice Anthony Kennedy whom President Donald Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court, the influence of the court’s most conservative justice, Clarence Thomas, is felt more widely throughout the Trump administration”: “Twenty-two Thomas clerks … either hold political appointments in the Trump administration or have been nominated to judgeships by Trump.”
  • At SCOTUS OA, Tonja Jacobi analyzes interruptions during oral arguments last term, concluding that “[t]he 2017 Term was in fact the second most gender unbalanced in the last 20 years”; a follow-up post by Jacobi and Matthew Sag explains the methodology used in this analysis.
  • In an op-ed for The Advocate, Alex Morash looks at the efforts of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal advocacy group that last term successfully represented the Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, “to find and push cases toward the Supreme Court to chip away at civil rights laws.”
  • At Howe on the Court, Amy Howe looks at a pending cert petition in which the justices “have been asked to weigh in on the level of discriminatory intent required to award compensatory damages under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.”
  • At The Verge, Makena Kelly reports that the federal government has “requested that the Supreme Court vacate an appeals court decision upholding net neutralityin 2016,” noting that “[i]f the court decides to grant the motion, the previous decision to support the rules would be removed, clearing the path for re-litigation in the future when it comes to classifying broadband.”
  • Jim Henry reports for the Tallahassee Democrat that “Florida State football coach [Bobby Bowden] has joined members of Congress, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and 12 attorneys general in their effort to have the U.S Supreme Court hear the case of a former high school football coach suspended for praying on the field.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Aug. 6, 2018, 7:29 AM),